Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Elin Warner's brother is getting married. To celebrate, the couple have invited Elin and her boyfriend to the brand new five-star hotel in the Alps where her brother's fiancee is employed. 

Secluded in the mountains, the hotel was once a famous sanatorium designed by the current owner's ancestor. In keeping with the history of the building, displays of equipment used in the medical facility can be found around the building with historical notes explaining their use. 

All of this proves to be a fascination to some, but for Elin the trip is a chance to finally face a piece of her past that's haunted her for decades. And yet, before she can confront her brother, his fiancee goes missing. With a storm rolling in and the local authorities unable to access the hotel, Elin—a police officer who has been on sabbatical from her job—is the most logical person to head the investigation. But are her own issues hindering her ability to do the job that needs to be done? And is there a killer stalking the halls of the hotel, or is there something going on between Elin's brother and his partner?

The Sanatorium is out now from Pamela Dorman Books and is the current Reese's Pick!

Once upon a time there was a thread that went around the internet about readers' buzz topics. And I fully admit that anything centered around abandoned hospitals, orphanages, and the like as well as plots that involve people being snowed in and cut off from the outside world are candy to me! 

The book opens with a definite hook—one of the people involved with the restoration and renovation of the hotel, which has been plagued by protests, is attacked in the first few pages. Some time later, Elin and her boyfriend arrive at the hotel, with clear trepidation on Elin's part. 

Elin's history is hinted at throughout the book, but it takes a while to really learn what's going on with her. And it's a multi-faceted issue that relates to her work as a police officer as well as a tragedy in her own past, which makes her quite an interesting character!

And the book is absolutely brimming with atmosphere! Snow, snow, and more snow pound the hotel leaving a small group trapped on the mountain with a possible killer on the loose!

I will say that I loved about 99% of the book. And what I didn't love didn't necessarily detract from the reading experience. I expect it's more a matter of personal taste, but when it came down to the ultimate reveal of the who and why behind the crime...I wasn't 100% sold. And this doesn't apply to the whole reveal, just a small part of it that I thought wasn't quite executed as convincingly as it could have been. 

But again, the read as a whole was straight up my alley and delivered on so many points that I absolutely love! I also really loved that it seems like we may return to Elin in a future novel!

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop! And if audiobooks are your thing, I highly recommend this one in that format, read by Elizabeth Knowelden and clocking in at just under 12 hours (if you listen regular speed). You can snag a copy of it from Libro.fm.

1 comment:

Dianna said...

This one's on my list! It sounds great.