“Twenty survivors. One hotel. One killer.”
Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.
Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.
As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?
I was really excited to read this book as it combines two things I love, post-apocalyptic worlds and murder mysteries. As promising as it was, I found myself really disappointed with this book and, despite the fact that I only rated it two star, it was almost a one star as I nearly put it on my DNF pile, but just about managed to finish it.
This story follows Jon, an American professor who is visiting Switzerland to attend a conference. While he is there, news comes in that big cities over the world have been hit with a nuclear bomb. The book is written as a journal, Jon writing it as he intends to publish it to recall the events if the world ever recovers, and tells of his story in the hotel with other guests as well as the body that is found in the water tank. Jon sets out to figure out the mystery and becomes rather obsessed with solving it.
The book itself was rather messy in my opinion. I didn’t really understand what was going on and found that I wasn’t too bothered. The characters were all problematic and forgettable, none of them seemed to be written properly and any depth that was added seemed to be thrown in for the sake of it. This was a very promising book but I was just left feeling very dissatisfied.