There's more to Mark Watson's latest novel than meets the eye...
In Mark Watson's latest novel, Hotel Alpha, the charismatic Howard York has built the empire of his dreams: the Hotel Alpha. It was once the finest in London, but over the years, as the world around it has moved on at an ever more dizzying rate, the hotel has struggled to keep pace.
Graham, the Alpha's concierge, has been behind the front desk since the day the hotel opened and has witnessed every stage of its history. Chaz, Howard's blind adopted son, has almost never ventured outside its walls. Both of them view the Alpha as their sanctuary, the place that gives them everything they need. But both of them must now accept that the Alpha no longer offers them the life they most want, and that Howard's vision has been built on secrets as well as dreams.
But that's not all there is, as Mark will tell you himself:
“Hotel Alpha is designed to be read in two stages. There is the novel, and then there are one hundred extra stories, which appear on a website: www.hotelalphastories.com. The extra stories span the same time period as the novel. They shine an alternative light on the plot, show the hidden links between some of its main events, solve mysteries, and give voice to some of the thousands of minor characters anddramas which make up the life of the Hotel Alpha while the main story is playing out. They can be read in any order and in any quantity. Or, of course, you can ignore them altogether – it’s entirely up to you. Everyone knows that human stories are always bigger and more complex than they appear – the relationships and connections between us all are infinite, and a book can only do so much. The internet, though, removes the physical limitations of the novel, opening up possibilities that have never before existed for readers and writers. We can now choose how much of a story we want to tell, and how much of it we want to know: in theory we can keep going forever. The one hundred extra stories of Hotel Alpha don’t quite go that far, and you as a reader probably have other plans for the rest of your life. But it’s a start...”