The Sanatorium, by Sarah Pearse
Published by Bantam Press, 18th February 2021
Genres: Thriller, mystery
Source: Purchased (second-hand)
Although on compassionate leave from her job as a police detective, Elin Warner has no desire to travel. But, when an invitation to her estranged brother’s engagement party arrives, she cannot refuse. So she finds herself in an ultra-modern and very isolated hotel in the Swiss Alps. The new hotel might be the height of luxury, but Elin senses a strange feeling about the place. Maybe it is only the hotel’s history as a sanatorium?
However, they wake up the next morning to find her brother Isaac’s fiancée is missing. With the hotel cut off from the outside world by a major snowstorm, Elin is tasked by the Swiss police to investigate the disappearance. As time passes and they are no nearer to finding her, the remaining hotel guests begin to panic. But nobody has realised that another woman is also missing.
After seeing this book all over Instagram at the beginning of this year, I was excited to pick up a nearly new second-hand copy and get stuck in. I wasn’t disappointed, the book definitely lived up to the hype, but I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting to.
The author has done an amazing job of setting the scene. The isolated mountain location and the hotel really came to life in my mind’s eye and I could really picture myself there. Being Swiss myself, it was nice seeing familiar place names and being able to really imagine these locations.
The mystery itself was very intriguing. I was constantly trying to figure out what had happened, who was behind it all, who was telling the truth and who could be trusted. I managed to guess some things, but not everything! It was a very gripping story and I read it through almost in one sitting.
That being said, I struggled with the beginning and the very end. I found that it was quite a slow start and it took quite a bit of time to really get going. The ending was a bit confusing. I don’t know if the author was setting up for a second book, but the very end just left me a bit confused.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this story and loved reading a book set in my home country.
My rating: 4/5