Publication: 21st July 2022 – Bantam Press
This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.
A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.
We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.
A storm has been forecast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and its history.
As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.
Detective Elin Warner is back and, once again, she finds herself in a remote location, with bad weather conditions, murder to solve, and a killer on the loose (and I loved it!). This time, the murder scene is a bit a closer to home, a recently opened hotel on a island just off the coast which her boyfriend Will designed and where his sister Farrah works as a manager. A few years earlier, the island had been the setting of another crime scene when a group of teenagers camping there had been murdered. Now, the victim is a young woman who wasn’t supposed to be on the island, and then someone else is found dead…
While I enjoyed The Sanatorium and The Retreat both in the same way, I have to say that I liked more the Elin Warner that we see in The Retreat. She has a new working partner, while her relationship with her boyfriend Will becomes a bit strained during the investigation. She is surer of herself and tougher working her first murder case since leaving the Major Crimes Investigation Team.
The plot is suspenseful and chilling. Secrets, lies, resentment, revenge, and jealousy start a series of murders while the island, renamed Reaper’s Rock, is itself a protagonist of the story. Once it housed a school that burnt down, then became an Outward Bound center where a group of teenagers was brutally murdered, and now people are being killed in the newly built retreat while a storm outside prevents people from leaving the island. As the storm raged I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen. And once the killer is found, the twists don’t end with a final shocking surprise that I didn’t see coming.
I was completely immersed in The Retreat and I am already hoping for more adventures and cases for Detective Elin Warner.
A huge thank you to Transworld and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this gripping 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 households brands before following her passion for writing.
Her experiences living in the Swiss Alps in her early twenties inspired her acclaimed debut novel, The Sanatorium, which was an instant No.1 Sunday Times and New York Times Top Ten bestseller in hardback, and a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.
You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahVPearse and Instagram @sarahpearseauthor