An exhilarating story of mystery and redemption. An excellent book for those who enjoy crime novels. Sarah Pearse does a fantastic job of transporting the reader into an isolated world of unknown and paranoia.
Elin Warner is a police detective in the UK who needs a break from her overwhelming work. She takes her boyfriend, Will, on a trip to Le Sommet, a hotel in the Swiss Alps, to celebrate her brother Issac's engagement. Issac's fiancée, Laure Strehl, happens to be the manager of the hotel. However, Le Sommet has a disturbing past as it used to be a hospital where tuberculosis patients were held. The beginning of the novel begins thrillingly when the hotel architect is attacked by a masked assailant. This prologue adds a sense of mystery to the novel.
Will and Elin arrive first, just in time as a large snowstorm rolls through the mountain, causing the roads to be closed. From the moment Elin stepped into Le Sommet, she felt uneasy, something about the hotel didn't feel right. Elin's suspicions were confirmed when Laure suddenly goes missing, prompting Elin to investigate. Elin soon receives word that an avalanche is blocking the main road to the hotel, so they can not get local police to help with the investigation. Will Elin solve the mystery of the peculiar hotel Le Sommet, or will she suffer the same fate at the hands of the mystery assailant that killed the chief architect?
The Sanatorium is another book that will keep you hooked from the first few pages. One of the main reasons for this is the pity that the reader feels for Elin. Pearse does a great job of conveying how tired Elin really is. She is very depressed and unmotivated. So much so that she sent in a letter of resignation to her job in the UK because she couldn't deal with the stress. You as the reader hope that Elin can muster the strength to uncover the truth of Le Sommet and regain her confidence.
Besides the character work, where The Sanatorium shines is in imagery. You can vividly picture the snowy mountain tops and the elegant design of Le Sommet. Such a contrast to the dark and devious mystery that unfolds. I also find that the added isolation from the snowstorm not only ties back to the imagery but also to Elin as a character. She is all alone, all of the pressure is on her, and she has no backup, no partners, just her. It is a true test of Elin as a person and as a detective.
The Sanatorium is a great read! So much so that it has won numerous awards! Go check it out. It will leave you spinning.