Book Review

THE SANATORIUM by Sarah Pearse

Rating: 3.5 / 5

THE SANATORIUM by Sarah Pearse was our second #SaturdayBookstaClub book pick for March. As we head into spring, we decided to go for something a little bit chilling.

THE SANATORIUM is set in the Swiss Alps in a place difficult to access but full of beauty. Once upon a time this was the setting for a sanatorium long since fallen into disuse and disrepair. Developers decide to breathe new life into the site by turning it into a luxury hotel. Our main character Elin is a detective on leave from work and debating a return to duty. She has been contacted by her estranged brother Isaac to come to the resort to celebrate his engagement to her onetime friend Laure.

Elin accepts the invitation, though she is already having second thoughts before she arrives. Soon, her nerves about the setting and the atmosphere seem to be proven right when Laure goes missing. It turns out the hotel’s development has been plagued by problems from the very beginning. When those at the hotel are cut off from help, Elin begins to investigate on her own.

This was a very polarizing book in our buddy reads – some loved it, some really did not. Myself, I fell somewhere in the middle. There was a lot I liked about the book. The author did a great job of layering multiple mysteries from Elin’s past, the hotel’s history and other sources. There were some really creepy moments that had me eager to learn what was going on!

Where I struggled a bit was with Elin and her decision making. There were multiple moments where I just wanted to yell at her for going someplace alone or doing something dangerous without considering the obvious (to me) alternatives. I think a lot of the polarizing views centered on whether this drove you crazy or whether this was something you could roll with for plot purposes.

There is also a very open ended part to the ending, so that is another element which will turn some readers off. Upon further research there is a plan for a sequel and that does give hope that the ending twist will get some resolution at least in the future.

This is one that you might love or you might hate, so it is one I suggest you read a few reviews on! 

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