Sam is a war photographer famous for her hauntingly beautiful pictures of the dead. After a particularly gruelling assignment, she checks into an expensive hotel. Unfortunately she has chosen the exact moment terrorists attack the hotel. Abhi, the hotel manager, begs her to stay quiet and stay put.
Abhi has never wanted to be a hero; a disappointment to his army father and army brother. He thought he’d come to a safe haven at the hotel, a place where he could be himself. Now stuck inside the sealed off manager’s office in the middle of a terrorist attack, he’s desperately trying to keep all those still alive safe. His lover Dieter is amongst the hostages in the bar and the photographer Sam, refusing to stay in her room, is roaming through the hotel taking pictures, potentially coming face to face with the terrorists at any moment.
A small child Billy is found alive under the bodies of his dead parents and Abhi has to persuade the non-maternal Sam to bring him back to her room. He’s hurt and Sam has no clue how to look after a child. As the tension mounts and more people are killed, the bond between Sam and Abhi, between Sam and Billy, grows. If any of them get out alive, none of them will ever be the same.
“Over and over again I came across passages that were so true that I was punching the air… Sunny Singh’s Hotel Arcadia is the ultimate nail-biting thriller, as well as a work of literary art worthy of a Booker Prize shortlist.” — Edward Wilson
“The excellence of this novel is its canny synthesis of elements: the essential thriller plot (at times reminiscent of the most powerful writing of Graham Greene; no mean feat in itself) and the careful accretion of character detail in which the principals force us to decide that our initial impressions of them may not be the ones we’re finally left with.” — Barry Forshaw
“It’s well-written, tightly-plotted and great fun.” — Amanda Craig