“This nail-biting thriller has echoes of the horror story about it, haunting and chilling, genuinely claustrophobic and oppressive” – Paul Burke

Richard Osman said that this ‘spine-tingling, atmospheric thriller has it all […] it’s a must-read’. Reader’s are comparing Pearse’s debut to the works and style of Stephen King and Agatha Christie (high praise indeed). But what did Paul Burke make of The Sanatorium? If you aren’t already hooked, you will be after reading this!

Review by Paul Burke

Detective Sergeant Elin Warner is on leave from Kent police after a devastating year, she’s not sure she ever wants to go back. Elin and Will are off on an all expenses paid vacation at a posh Swiss Alps resort, for a reunion with her brother Isaac, in celebration of his engagement to fiancée Laure. It should be a dream holiday, so why does Elin feel so uneasy? Is it the place – isolated and forbidding, a former tuberculosis sanatorium – or is it the fear of meeting her estranged brother again? Elin and Isaac haven’t been close since the death of their younger brother, Sam, when they were children. Elin blames Isaac and that day haunts her.

In any case Elin is right to be apprehensive, this is going to be a memorable break for all the wrong reasons.

A storm is closing in and the exclusive hotel will soon be cut off from the outside world. No one even notices the first woman to go missing, a hotel worker on her way home, but that’s just the beginning… it emerges the architect who envisioned the hotel project also vanished five years ago. As the weather worsens the guests and staff are evacuated, but an avalanche traps a small group at the hotel. The police cannot reach them, so Elin assumes the responsibility for solving the mystery. It’s not long before a body turns up and Elin is drawn into the sinister history of the clinic.

The Sanatorium is a layered story that interweaves the hotel’s past as a clinic with the strained relationship between Elin and Isaac and the hunt for a murderer threatening those trapped in the hotel. This nail-biting thriller has echoes of the horror story about it, haunting and chilling, genuinely claustrophobic and oppressive. The mystery is gripping and the denouement is a heart thumper. This is also a fascinating psychological drama exploring the toxic patriarchy of the past and childhood trauma, false memory, grief and family relationships in the present.

Bantam Press (18 Feb. 2021)
ISBN-13 : 978-1787633315