AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: The Sanatorium: A Novel by Sarah Pearse


Publication Date: February 22, 2021
Format: Audio
Genre:  Psychological Thriller/Suspense
Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden

Publisher: Penguin Audio        
11 hours 58 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


You won't want to leave...until you can't.

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin's taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge - there's something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she's the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in....


I grabbed this since it was part of Reese Witherspoons book club and I wanted to give it a try.  It actually reminded me of some Scandinavian tv shows I've watched where people are cut off due to a snowstorm and a mystery from the past is causing people to die.  

Very atmospheric you could feel the chill in the air and the fog rolling off the hills.  Elin goes to visit her estranged brother and his new fiancé Laure at the hotel where Laure works.  It is a rehabilitated sanatarium with a questionable past, large windows looking out onto the snow covered hills and very little decor.  There is nothing warm about this hotel and other than the views I don't know why anyone would want to stay.  

I often felt like I was missing something while listening to this, it felt like a sequel to something since most of Elin's issues happened before the book began. Little by little parts of her past start coming to light  and an attack during her last case has caused PTSD and panic attacks. I actually paused the book to see if there was an earlier book from Pearse with these characters but nope. 

I really wanted to like this, from the strange deaths to the creepy hotel I had high hopes for this book but it just didn't pan out for me.  

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