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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.9 out of 5
5 Stars
46 reviews have 5 stars
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All Book Reviews

  • A Fabulous Début

    Sarah Pearse has written a superb, atmospherically chilling, crime thriller set in the snowy mountainous Swiss Alps, in the resort of Crans Montana and Le Sommet. Elin Warner, a detective who has PTSD is on extended leave and is invited to celebrate her estranged brother's engagement at the newly renovated hotel: Le Sommet. Her brother, Isaac is to marry Laure, an old childhood friend, now an assistant manager at the hotel. When two women vanish, one of them being Laure, and the area is cut off because of the inclement weather, Elin feels compelled to investigate... This is a really clever and fascinating crime début that drew me in right from the first pages. Sarah Pearse engages the reader with layered characters, a mystery that has many underlying themes and a vividly drawn setting. The author makes fabulous use of the isolated location and harsh weather conditions to develop a very suspenseful and atmospheric murder mystery. The fabulous plotting and great pacing also contributed to my huge appreciation of the story. There was quite a lot of brutality in the tale involving the way in which the victims were mutilated but it never overwhelmed the story. Elin's own insecurity and neuroses formed a fair chunk of the overall novel as, burdened by her uncertainties she wondered as to whether she could serve as a police officer back home, again. In addition, she had unresolved grief at the death of her younger brother during childhood to cope with. If you love a good crime mystery fiction read with plenty of chills, intensity and twists, then The Sanatorium is for you. Very highly recommended. Rating: five stars. I read The Sanatorium in staves with other Pigeonholers as part of a group. A special thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers/ Bantam Press, Sarah Pearse, NetGalley and The Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • An atmospheric and creepy read

    I’ve always been fascinated by abandoned buildings, Urbexing is something I have always wanted to try but been too scared to make a reality! The most beautiful and atmospheric of these are abandoned Sanatoriums - large and magnificent architectural masterpieces which have such a turbulent and troubled history. Therefore the setting of Sanatorium; an asylum which has been renovated to a chic hotel on the Swiss Alps really peaked my interest. When murders start occurring and an avalanche cuts the hotel off from civilisation, Elin Warner, a detective on a career break after a disturbing case finds herself in charge. There is much to like about Sanatorium, and this doesn’t just extend to the brilliant setting of the book. The crimes themselves are creepy, with the assailant wearing a black, rubber gas mask with a hose connecting the mouth and nose. This imagery stuck with me and is so creepy when reading after dark! I also really enjoyed the characters – particularly Elin who has a lot of previous trauma, claustrophobia and commitment issues which are explored throughout. Although she is a detective it was nice to have someone with flaws and personal issues to overcome and it never felt cliché like it has in previous crime fiction stories I have read. I also liked that you never really trusted anyone in the book – they all felt well-rounded and realistic but your guard was up the whole way through and there were plenty of red herrings to confuse you. My only criticism would be the end few chapters – I didn’t understand the reveal twist at the end and don’t think it added much to the story – is it trying to set up a second book perhaps? The epilogue was nice to wrap things up but again didn’t really feel needed – it just summed up everything we already knew. Overall, The Sanatorium is an atmospheric and creepy read which kept me hooked trhoughout. Thank you to NetGalley & Random House UK & Transworld Publishers – Bantam Press for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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  • Great read

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book with its mystery and ending.

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  • Excellent Read

    Excellent well told story. With good characters and tight story line

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  • The Sanatorium

    I saw several glowing reviews for this book in various magazines but I don't feel it lived up the the hype. The first half of the book was quite fast paced and I enjoyed it but it became tedious very quickly. I was quite disappointed and frustrated at times with the main character, for a police woman battling her own mental health she was a little dim and made some silly mistakes by going off on her own to investigate. The killer was finally revealed, which really didn't come as any surprise however, I felt let down by the ending. A new character was introduced in the epilogue, who is the mysterious man, perhaps there will be a sequel!

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