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The Sanatorium, by Sarah Pearse (audiobook read by Gemma Whelan)

The Sanatorium was chosen by my book club under the genre ‘horror’. I think thriller (detective, mystery and psychological combined) is more apt but wouldn’t count it as horror despite some grisly episodes.
Elin is a detective but on holiday. Her destination is a luxury hotel situated in a former sanatorium with a sinister reputation. But when the bodies start to pile up, she is snowed in with a killer to catch…
I liked Elin’s character. She has trauma in her past and her vacation is forcing her to confront it. Police cannot reach the hotel when a murder is discovered so she finds herself leading an investigation and also in danger. The tense atmosphere is created and maintained well to underpin the plot effectively.
There is little description or graphic detail about the injuries and bodies, although it is still unpleasant. I thought that the opening chapters were quite sinister but the book then settled into the thriller genre as Elin seeks the killer. I found myself a little confused by the epilogue which seems to hint at more. Is a sequel planned? Yes it is! (And I had actually read it before and not realised 🙁 )
The Sanatorium is an enjoyable and atmospheric thriller. I really enjoyed Gemma Whelan’s narration.

The Sanatorium book cover

Book blurb
You won’t want to leave…until you can’t.
Half hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.
An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.
Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge–there’s something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.
Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in…

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