#BookReview: THE SANATORIUM by Sarah Pearse @SarahVPearse @TransworldBooks

Publication: 18th February 2021 – Bantam Press


An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac.

And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

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’re all in…




If you are looking for a chilling, dark, and twisty read that will keep you on the edge of your seat while you turn page after page after page, unable to put it down because you can’t wait to see what happens next, then I highly recommend you pick up The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse.

Le Sommet was formerly a sanatorium for TB patients, but now it is a luxurious hotel on the Swiss Alps. Elin is a detective visiting with her boyfriend Will to celebrate her brother Isaac’s engagement. Even before she arrives at the hotel, Elin feels a sense of dread about her visit, not only because she and her brother have been mostly estranged for the last years, but also because the minimalist style of the hotel recalls too much the former sanatorium. When members of the staff start to disappear, Elin needs to find out the truth and investigates and, as an avalanche completely isolates the hotel from outside help, she discovers that danger may be inside the hotel itself.

I was so engrossed in The Sanatorium that, when I wasn’t reading, I couldn’t wait to go back to it. The characters are smart and very well-developed, especially the protagonist Elin Warner. This trip is her chance to reconnect with her brother, but she is haunted by her past, her grief, and her last case. The mountains are a character itself of the story. Threatening, impressive, but also beautiful, they are the perfect set for this dark, intense, addictive, and suspenseful story that will give you chills, it will take you by surprise with its many twists, and it will make you question until its very excellent end: who is the killer?

A huge thank you to Transworld and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this amazing novel.


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. You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahVPearse and Instagram @sarahpearseauthor

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