Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Book Review: ‘Check-in Checkout’ by Keran Pantth Joshi

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Most of us have fond memories of our travels, but what if your dream holiday turned into your worst nightmare? A new horror book Check-in Checkout…and the horrors within by Keran Pantth Joshi, delves into the spooky workings of a haunted hotel, and may just make you feel relieved that there is no international travel on the horizon any time soon.

The first part of the novel consists of nine short stories centred around guests staying at the fictional Hotel Villagio in Tasmania. Each story is unique and presents the reader with a different type of horror sub-genre; from urban legends and revenge spirits to more modern-day terrors such as psychological and digital harassment as well as stalking.

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The second part of the book tells the story of Hotel Villagio’s history so the reader can delve into the reasons why it is haunted. The two parts of the novel tie together nicely and provide the reader with enough closure and context.

Author Keran Pantth Joshi runs her own hotel in Launceston with her husband and used it as inspiration for this novel. Luckily, her hotel is far from being haunted and has never had any horror situations unfold within its walls. Pantth Joshi left her corporate job in 2017 and moved from Melbourne to Tasmania to become an entrepreneur. She wrote the novel (her second, after debut novel Beyond Forever… In Love in 2014) during a particularly slow period for her business during Covid- 19 lockdowns. In her spare time, she wanted to use her time creatively and felt there was a gap in the South Asian literature market for thriller and horror stories.

Pantth Joshi’s writing is easy to read, and the colourful, wide ranging characters weaved throughout the stories leave the reader wanting to know more. What makes the novel unique is its sporadic cultural references, making the stories relatable to the South Asian diaspora, and providing much needed representation in the literary world.

While the format of short stories makes it difficult to build up the suspense, there is a general sense of foreboding throughout the whole book, and it is a great option for those who love all things horror and want to consume content in bite sized pieces.

READ ALSO: Meet 7 yr old published author, Aahana Chakraborty

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Nidhi Joshi
Freelance writer with a passion for travel, food, culture, motherhood and lifestyle journalism.

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