2021 · Bantam Press · Book · NetGalley · Psychological Thriller · Review

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – Review

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The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: 3’5/5
Publisher: Bantam Press
Source: NetGalley

About The Book

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Once a sanatorium treating tuberculosis patients, it was abandoned years ago and had fallen into disrepair. Long plagued by troubling rumors, it has recently been renovated into a lavish hotel.
An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place detective Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s on a career break, scarred by a particularly brutal case she just can’t shake. So when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiance, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.
But when Elin wakes the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. And she soon realizes that Laure is not the first person to have vanished mysteriously from the old sanatorium.
As one of the worst snowstorms in thirty years descends, Elin starts to connect the dots between Laure’s disappearance and the hotel’s troubling history. Just when she thinks she’s making progress, a body is found, staged to send a terrifying message. With avalanches closing off all access to the hotel, Elin is under pressure to uncover the sanatorium’s secrets and find her brother’s fiance before the killer strikes again.

My Thoughts

Only thinking about Sanatoriums makes me distrust any type of story or creation, they are not happy places, they haven’t been happy places and they will never be. So, an architect who created his “masterpiece” on a sanatorium, trying to make it a museum while you are walking the corridors it’s scary and disrespectful. Having said this, I think that this is one of the points of the author, make us remember how people suffered at the hands of their doctors while they sell it for the good of humanity, but never forget how evil was what they did.
This is the story of Elin, she is meeting her brother in a new hotel using the structure of an old sanatorium, they are not on good terms and the distrust between them is touchable all the time. But there’s another plot combined with it, the disappearance of some of the workers at the hotel, while there’s a snow blizzard approaching the hotel making all the hosts trapped in the building. Ready to be a little bit scared?
This had been a slow paced story, I would have rushed the plot, it was good to have all the emotions flying in the reader’s mind while the action is evolving. While I really enjoyed the read, I missed a little bit of the background of the patients of the sanatorium, there’s little detail and too quickly wrapped for my taste. I was intrigued with Elin, she seems to have a very interesting background with PTSD and being a police officer, but I would love to know more and more focus on her. Maybe we will see another case where she is the main detective? Fingers crossed!
This is an atmospheric read, full of twists and hunting situations; if you want to be afraid of the dark for a few days, this is your next read, believe me.
Ready to enter “The Sanatorium”?

About The Author

Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes.

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