Friday, 4 November 2016

The Last Hotel Room by Sean McLachlan

The Last Hotel Room by Sean McLachlan
Published by Kindle Press on the 20th September 2016.

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Received an ebook copy as a reward for my successful Kindle Scout nomination

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He came to Tangier to die, but life isn’t done with him yet.
Tom Miller has lost his job, his wife, and his dreams. Broke and alone, he ends up in a flophouse in Morocco, ready to end it all. But soon he finds himself tangled in a web of danger and duty as he’s pulled into scamming tourists for a crooked cop while trying to help a Syrian refugee boy survive life on the streets. Can a lifelong loser do something good for a change?

I've been pleased with my KindleScout nominated books so far and The Last Hotel Room is no exception. Set in Tangier, Morocco, the novel follows what American traveller Tom Miller intends to be the last couple of weeks of his life. His have-it-all life back home having collapsed, Tom has just about enough money left for that many days of mint tea and hash, before he takes a stroll to a nearby high cliff.

Author Sean McLachlan won the 2013 Society of American Travel Writers Award and his expertise shows through on practically every page as he writes gorgeous descriptions of Tangier. From cruise ship tours to tiny souk shops, expat cafe life to Tom's grim hotel room, this novel is one to invoke itchy feet and I certainly wanted to see this vibrant city for myself! McLachlan doesn't shy away from the darker side of life here though and I liked how he shows Tom's despair gradually dissipating as he realises that his situation, while bad by the standards he was set, is still relatively comfortable compared to many other people around him. Contrasting Tom's life with that of Syrian child refugee Asif provides hard-hitting scenes and images for the reader and, I think, several, such as Asif's missing shop tray, are all the more powerful for being momentary glances that then grow in our imaginations.

The Last Hotel Room is ultimately a novel of hope, but also leaves us with a sense of dread with its open ending (which actually worked for me in this book!). As readers, we can shake our heads at Tom's naivete while also being uncomfortably aware that versions of Asif's story are playing out for real every day just a few hundred miles away.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Sean McLachlan / Contemporary fiction / Books from America


  1. I'd never heard of the Kindle Scout program. So neat! This book sounds really interesting and I'm excited for the author that they had this opportunity. I'll definitely be checking both out more!

    1. I'm glad to have introduced you to KindleScout! It's a great feeling to see a nominated book go forward to publication :-)