Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Sanatorium

 The Sanatorium 

Author: Sarah Pearce

Publisher: Penguin 

Year: 2021

Happy Sunday! Happy Mother’s Day to all the caregivers who love, nurture, and inspire others. 

The Sanatorium seemed like it was all over bookstagram when it was published.  Bookstagram didn’t make me buy it, but it made me read it. I waited patiently for it from the library instead of running out to buy it. 

Quick synopsis- this is a locked room mystery that takes place at a former TB sanatorium that’s been turned into a luxurious, but controversial hotel, high in the Swiss Alps. As a brutal snow storm rages, people start dying. 

Elin, the main character, is at the hotel to celebrate her brother’s engagement. She’s a police detective on leave after her first big case goes bad and she’s dealing with grief and family trauma. She takes over investigating the murders when a storm cuts off the hotel and police can’t get there. 

My quick take- it’s an ok read, but I didn’t love it. Here’s why- I thought it had a lot of potential, but the story didn’t add up for me. The setting was supposed to be creepy. But it didn’t feel that creepy to me. The author spent a lot of time describing the minimalist decor of the hotel with it bare furnishings and huge windows. All I kept thinking was reading a book by a roaring fire and watching it snow through those huge windows sounds kind of cozy to me. Honestly, Elin’s boyfriend Will came across as creepier than the setting to me. 

Elin goes to the hotel to celebrate her brother Isaac’s engagement.

She and her brother have a rocky relationship. Their younger brother Sam died when they were children. Elin always blamed Issac for Sam’s death. There’s a big build up to her confronting Isaac about Sam’s death. And then when Elin and Issac finally discuss what really happened when Sam died, it was rather anticlimactic. 

Here’s the part that really bothered me- the motive for for murders was very convoluted. As Elin investigates the murders, she keeps noting that the killer was obviously trying to say something because of how the murders were staged. But here’s the thing- the murders didn’t have to happen. The motive for the murders was revenge and to let the world know a terrible secret about the sanatorium. But a simple interview with the press would have achieved the desired result without the murders. It all seemed too contrived to me. I spent most of the book waiting for a huge avalanche to destroy to hotel. To be honest, I was disappointed it didn’t happen. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

This is perfect for readers who love locked room mysteries or who really enjoyed Ruth Ware’s One by One or Lucy Foley’s The Guest List. 

#thesanatorium #sarahpearse #penguinpublishing #thriller #mystery #swissalps #snow #blizzard #policeproceedural #hotel #murders #libbyapp #librarybook #bookstagrammademereadit 

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