Things i loved- atmosphere and setting was built to be another character in the story. The author built a slow creepy vibe in the first half of the story. I liked the epilogue addition to twist the story.
Thing i didn’t love- the conclusion came too quickly, too neatly and inconsistent to the first half.
This closed room whodunit is very reminiscent of Agatha Christie but had an interesting and fresh take. You can feel the claustrophobia in every page. I love twisty fun thriller novels so this book was great for me. It was hard to put this novel down and return to real life. I'll be a lifelong fan of Sarah Pearse.
An old Sanatorium in the Swiss Alps is renovated and repurposed into a luxury hotel. The head architect goes missing, and others connected to the hotel start to go missing as well.
I was expecting this book to go into Gothic horror territory, but it ended up being more like a classic Agatha Christie-style whodunit.
Elin is a UK detective on extended leave - she took some time off after a case went wrong. She gets thrust back into her work when she visits her brother who works at the hotel. During her stay, a body turns up in the pool and her brother’s girlfriend goes missing. Not only is she trying to figure out what is going on at the hotel, she is also trying to figure out her youngest brother’s death. She has been plagued by the belief that her other brother killed him.
Once the book gets to the part about the secret underground tunnels at the sanatorium, the story becomes chaotic and derails. Normally in whodunits, authors don’t go with the obvious choice as the perpetrator; it is usually the person you don’t see coming. I would say it doesn’t really follow that formula. I saw it coming. It was entertaining up until the last quarter of the book.
I loved the premise of this book. Creepy old building made shiny and new, but with a haunted past. Strange happenings and a spookily beautiful and stark setting in the Swiss Alps. The story was fun with lots of twists and turns. It lead you right where it wanted and then flipped you on your head. My one criticism is the main character. The beat-down, messed up detective. Her inner struggles got a little tiresome for me. But overall, lots of fun!
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this eARC of The Sanatorium.
This is an intricately plotted suspense thriller told through the eyes of an unreliable narrator, Elin.
I could not put this down, as I kept trying to figure out who was responsible for the murders in this locked-room-style thriller. While the mystery is solved and recapped in a classic “Killer Tells All” scene, one twist does put some confusion in the air. However, so much has happened, you’re not quite sure what is now uncertain.
I did enjoy this book and I hope others will read it so I can discuss the ending!
I would rate this 2 and a 1/2 stars. The 1st part of the book is a strong 3 but about the last quarter just goes downhill quickly. It doesn't make any sense; it's like she was trying to rush and just finish it. It's suspenseful, but the storyline is weak. I have to say I am surprised Reese picked this for her book club when it's Black History Month & there are so many amazing books she could have selected.
I liked the premise of this book - a hotel which used to be a sanitorium set in the Swiss Alps during a snowstorm - very atmospheric, very creepy. Sounds like it would make the perfect story - but it just didn't. I couldn't get into this story - the main character is a detective suffering from PTSD which tries to solve the murder of various guests that keeps occuring, is just not interesting. She has too many issues, including one from her childhood involving her brother. The story just didn't hold my interest and I struggled to finish it.
I can understand the hype behind this novel. Setting: A former Sanatorium turned minimalistic hotel in the Swiss Alps. Spooky right? Plot: Elin is visiting to celebrate her brother's engagement to former friend/now hotel exec but a snow storm and a couple dead bodies are ruining the weekend. A handful of twists and turns, a couple who-dun-its and the errie backdrop of the Sanatorium's history give off a very moody vibe.
My complaint? It was missing something. I finished the last page feeling hungry for... something? I don't know. A deeper betrayal? A jaw-dropping twist? A little more into the history of the building, the doctors involved, the patients there? I like how the ending left it open (if you know... you know!) and hope that leads us somewhere in the future.... Because, yes I still have some questions!
What a fantastic murder mystery! It had lots of twists and turns. Just when you think you know what's happening something happens and you don't know what's going on! Things go back and forth from one part of the gig saw puzzle to another that its hard to keep up with who is who but all in all a wonderful read! I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.
An eerie atmosphere that surrounds the old Santorum now a hotel. Police officer Elin goes there for there to celebrate her brothers engagement. But the bride to be goes missing, a storm, and other dangers evolve. Great story line with a descriptive background. If you like mysteries this is one for you!
** “Will’s right, about her coming alive. She’s forgotten this — life not just happening to her, but being part of it. Changing the path of something. Taking action.” **
“The Sanatorium” by Sarah Pearse is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
As Elin Warner meets her brother, Isaac, for his engagement party at a converted sanatorium now serving as a resort, she hopes to repair her strained relationship with him all while overcoming some past work-related trauma in her recent job as a police detective.
But with a massive storm heading toward the Swiss Alps resort, Elin must find strength and confidence in herself as people start going missing … and showing up dead.
Can she solve the mysteries all while being cut off from the rest of civilization? And can she heal her relationship with Isaac and herself?
Pearse does a great job of creating a great thriller filled with many misdirections to keep the reader guessing. She also develops incredibly intriguing characters, as well as an intense history for the sanatorium.
Told like a locked-room mystery — just on a grander scale than a single room — “The Sanatorium” deals with themes like obsession, justice and recognition; what happens when you indulge grief; taking action to heal your life’s wounds; and exorcising ghosts. It will appeal to fans of authors like Ruth Ware or even tales like Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None.”
I’m hoping there will be a sequel, as the book does have a mysterious component to its ending.
One disclaimer: this novel does contain some usage of coarse language.
Five stars out of five.
Penguin Group Viking provided this complimentary copy through NetGalley for my honest, unbiased review.
I wanted to love this book, but it fell a little short for me. It started out great but there was a bit of a lull in the middle that I had to force myself to keep reading. Then, it got good in the end, but there was a lot of the book that I just didn’t find appealing unfortunately.
This book has such an interesting premise; snowed into an old sanatorium turned luxury hotel in the Swiss mountains with a murderer on the loose. However, the setting is the best thing about the book. The main character Elie, a British detective on extended leave following a traumatic work event, has brought her boyfriend, Will, along to the engagement party of her brother and old friend. Elin's relationship with her brother is strained, though I'm really not sure who is at fault for the estrangement. Elin also has a lot of old trauma and a bit confusing when she talks about her recent work trauma but then completely switches focus to still being traumatized by her brother's death when they were kids.
When the murders began I thought there was an element of the supernatural to them, the way the killer appeared silently to their victims. It turns out that is not the case. Anyway, when they are trapped at the hotel by an Avalanche, Elin is authorized by the Swiss police to do a preliminary investigation. It really annoyed me that she didn't keep the investigators in the loop at all, withholding evidence that maybe they could have used to research things while she was following clues in person. Also, I was very concerned that her disregard for keeping the police in the loop would compromise any sort of trial if/when the murderer was caught. Also, Elin was never really believably capable to me. You knew anytime she went off on her own (why are you going off on your own, Elin?) something bad was going to happen to her.
Anyway, the eventual resolution was kind of meh and I'm unconvinced they could have so stealthily sneaked up on all of their victims. Also, I really don't get what Laure was up to or why Elin's brother was so shady and awful.
The hallmarks of mass-market fiction: excessive exposition, repetitive internal monologues, unearned twists. Unfortunately, it's all here. The Sanatorium is a disappointment despite an intriguing plot and knockout cover. But there are plenty of readers out there who will enjoy this book and that's great! It moves at a brisk pace and informs a bit as well as entertains. An easy read in a very basic style.
4.5 stars! This was a creepy thriller and I loved it! So many gruesome elements in this story. It was kind of like watching a scary black and white movie. The dark history of the sanatorium and the mystery behind what historically happened there was super creepy. Dead body’s, scary masks and more elements made this story a true thriller. Thank you NetGalley for this advanced copy and I will be recommending this one to everyone!
There was certainly a lot to like in this debut novel: namely the setting and the level of suspense quickly developed by the author. Unfortunately, there were a few things that marred my overall opinion of this novel - most;y importantly the lack of a plausible conclusion to the story and an underdeveloped rationale for the crimes. Additionally, although it’s not always necessary, I had a difficult time relating to or feeling empathy for the main character. It was worth the read but not the best suspense I’ve read lately.
My thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this novel.
An old sanitorium, repurposed into a glitzy 5 star minimalist hotel, in the middle of an avalanche plagued zone during a blizzard with a murderer as the featured guest makes for a familiar atmospheric tale by this first-time novelist. Sarah Pearse in The Sanatorium has all the ingredients for a perfect thriller, trapped participants, dangerous weather conditions, murders, and a self-doubting detective with her own past problems to solve the mystery. Unfortunately the book seems undercooked in character, their intelligence, and dialogue, a little heavy on the gruesome acts and atmosphere and an ending that more ehs than awes. A good but not great debut.
A chilling suspense thriller set in a former TB sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, Sarah Pearse’s novel is a hold your breath page turner. The mood is dark and foreboding due to to the macabre setting of a grim sanatorium now a four star luxury hotel. The characters all have secrets. Elin Warner, a British detective on leave because of trauma from a previous case, and her boyfriend WillRiley are going to Le Sommet for an engagement party for her estranged brother Isaac and his girlfriend Laure, an employee of the hotel.
As people disappear and gruesome secrets unfold, Elin is swept up in the bizarre events. Throw in an avalanche and no way to leave, she is the only person available to help the police. It’s a great read! And I highly recommend.
Thank you to #NetGalley#SarahPearse#Viking#RandomHouse
I picked this one to read over a weekend we had a big snowstorm and it was the perfect match for sitting by the fire and reading. The setting is really the star of the book - eerie and the author describes everything in the just the right amount of detail. Elin is also a believable protagonist you can root for. That said, I didn't love the epilogue. It seemed contrived and didn't fit with the rest of the story. I get that the author was trying to set up a second book but using the epilogue to do so seemed unnecessary. Otherwise, a well-written and twisty plot with great atmosphere and characters.
The utter lack of suspense in this novel about bizzare murders taking place in a luxury hotel that's been completely isolated by an avalanche, is actually shocking. At one point, they are able to get a last known location ping on a missing person's cell phone, someone they believe to be in considerable danger from the psychotic murder who's running around, so they have a conversation about whether they should have a snack before going to look for her. And the whole damn book is like that.