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Publisher's Summary

Reese's Book Club Pick

An instant New York Times best seller!

"An eerie, atmospheric novel that had me completely on the edge of my seat." (Reese Witherspoon)

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....

©2021 Sarah Pearse (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Dark, suspenseful and downright chilling, Pearse’s debut, The Sanatorium, is a triumph. Vividly set against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps, it had me on the edge of my seat from the first page. Pearse’s writing is sublime. Pearse has a big future ahead of her." (Sally Hepworth, best-selling author of The Mother-in-Law)
 

"A superb debut offering an astonishingly creepy and isolated backdrop, great characters, tension and twists. Hugely atmospheric with enough menace to keep you looking over your shoulder!" (Sam Carrington, best-selling author of I Dare You)

"The Sanatorium is an absolutely splendid Gothic thriller - gracious in its nods to the classic locked-room mystery, yet bold enough to burst out of that room through the window. Pearse writes prose fresh and crisp as Swiss Alp powder, and her characters fascinate even as their numbers dwindle.” (A. J. Finn, number-one New York Times)

“Pearse’s engrossing debut boasts a highly atmospheric setting.... Readers will applaud as Elin, for all her anxieties, emerges as a competent sleuth. This dark tale of family dynamics is sure to please suspense fans.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Sanatorium

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Who did it

Picked this up on a whim. I love Reese Witherspoons book picks. This was a good read, in fact I polished it off in about 3 days! Good who did it read!

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Let’s get on with it already!!

I wanted to like this.
First 1/4 of the book I was definitely intrigued.
But as it went on I became increasingly frustrated by the incredibly long, incredibly detailed, incredibly boring narrative about useless details.
It was like watching a closed caption movie. I don’t need to know every detail about the coffee machine in the hotel room and what the sound of the coffee drip is like. *sigh*
If you do, then this book is your jam.
I also became very frustrated with the lead character and how predictable, useless and sometimes ridiculously annoying she was.
And many times the actions she took just did not align at all with what a real police officer would do. Or it would be so obvious... I found myself yelling out “no really?!?”, slapping my forehead and sighing in disappointment many times.
A lot of reviews talk to how easy it was to figure out who did it early on. They must be genius or reading into something I missed, because I didn’t know until the end.
Have to say that the ending was interesting, lots of twists but I wanted something way darker and spookier, which they easily could have done with the subject matter they had regarding the history of the Sanatorium.
Synopsis: This was a 12 hour read that easily could have been 6-7 if they cut out all the useless boring description.
This book was like lukewarm coffee, you drink it because you feel you have to, but your don’t really like it and then you kinda regret it.

2 people found this helpful

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Terrible!

So poorly written and formulaic ! Don't waste your time. I figured out who did it early on. So bad.

1 person found this helpful

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Light read.

Great setting however historical information was weak.
For a mystery there were too many holes and the character development was lacking.
There was no real surprises at the end... I had guessed the whodunit half way through.
Considering it was a Reese pick I was disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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Well read, but main character development was weak

The premise of the story was interesting; however, the development and decision making of the main character was irrational and contradictory at times - it made it difficult to enjoy listening to the character. Also - there were some were some weaknesses in the plot - some leaps and bounds were made to bridge conclusions. Overall, it was a decent read.

1 person found this helpful

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Good read

The author describes vividly the setting, weather and personalities in this murder mystery.
One can imagine how the book transforms to the big screen.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A bit too predictable

Listened to this book because it was a Book Club Pick. Sorry, but I struggled to finish it. Felt it just went on and on and just ended up being a bit too predictable and cliché. Even the main character felt annoying to me. I know it was not a true story but still I found it hard hearing the descriptions of multilation and torture. Not on a level with Agatha Christie.

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gripping from the start

A well written thriller with great twists and turns. I was locked in from the first few pages.

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couldn't stop listening

loved the setting for this story. could relate to the characters. slightly creepy and slowly who dun-it. liked this book alot.

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It's ok

It was really hard to get through the middle of the book. There were a lot of adjectives that were repeated and it was off putting. For example the word 'chipped' to describe almost every make characters tone.

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  • Feviegirl
  • 2021-02-05

Worth a credit

I love a mystery with this type of setting - snowy with murders and stranded guests. The story was quite good, but, as another reviewer has noted, the reveal was underwhelming. I was also confused by the epilogue - the author throwing suspicion on some unknown person who might be involved. Sometimes there are too many red herrings. At any rate, it's a good, atmospheric mystery performed by one of the best, Elizabeth Knowelden.

34 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Katie Brown
  • 2021-02-08

Waste of a Credit

Reese Witherspoon claims this book had her on the edge of her seat. I wonder how. This book was flat. Boring. There were no exciting twists, no likeable characters, nothing redeeming at all. Don't waste your time or credit.

31 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2021-02-13

What A Waste Of Time AND A Credit.!

I so very much wanted to like this book... it had all of the proper components to make it a hit,.. but it fell short in every single area..crashing bore made worse by being too long, then a lackluster ending.... yawn...

22 people found this helpful

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  • renee
  • 2021-02-15

Worst book I’ve listened to on audible.

I’m not sure why there are so many positive reviews here or why this is a Reese’s pick but I found this book ridiculous and stupid. Save your credits. The main character is an insecure, weak pushover who is apparently hung up on her brother’s death from 15 years ago and thinks her other brother did it. Why didn’t she just ask him, you ask, like maybe once in the past 15 years - yeah I don’t know why either.

I also think this author lacks any understanding of what the job of a detective looks like - just watch Broadchurch if you can’t be bothered to research. This main character as a detective is incredibly naive, unprofessional and lacks any comprehension of basic training and self defense. Oh and apparently all the male characters in this book know this about her as they have to go along with her when she plays detective to keep her safe.

Also, I think the strategy of throwing all possible motives for a murder were thrown in here - more is not always better. Let’s just pick one and go with that storyline. SPOILER ALERT **** So is the murderer a woman’s rights activist? And she’s murdering other women because...she was raped? Head scratcher. Or is she a truth seeker who murders others because they are liars? Ugh. The plot, if you can call it that, is weak, cobbled together and goes on and on, winding an incredibly long and exhaustingly ridiculous path as the author continues to tag motives on the tail end of her story. Just pick a plot and put us out of our misery. In case you weren’t sure I couldn’t even bring myself to finish this book.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-02-07

Wow so thrilling!!

The author described the settings and characters in a way that made me feel like I was in the sanitarium. It was very thrilling and captivating as the story unfolded with many many many twists and turns. many times I would gasp out loud in disbelief about where the story was going (a good thing!) highy recommend if you are into thrillers. You will not be able to put this one down!

11 people found this helpful

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  • KerriAnn
  • 2021-02-04

Good Story But....

It was good but finding out "who done it" was underwhelming. Worth the listen, the narration was very good eventhough I would've liked a better outcome, Just my opinion.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-02-08

Ruined it

The book is written very well until the end—which comes out of nowhere. The motive for the killings wasn’t even hinted at until you already know the murderer. Great premise and plot, but the ending ruined it. This book isn’t for fans of Agatha Christie who are used to being given the information necessary to solve the mystery as breadcrumbs throughout the book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • diane
  • 2021-02-08

the 5-star reviews have me wondering

this was an OK read - for a detective novel there are lots of decisions that do not make sense from a law enforcement perspective, but serve to put the character in dangerous situations and ultimately make the story. The common sense factor is missing and detracts from the overall story, as you wonder, WHY on earth would anyone with a brain do this?
The setting was interesting and overall it was an okay read. I couldn't help but be a little disappointed with the frailty of the main character and her questionable decision making and the rather cliche' weather phenomenon.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jessica Tyndall
  • 2021-02-17

Good premise, disappointing execution

I thought the premise was great and I was excited to read this book. Unfortunately, I felt it was a bit slow. There was simply one long lead up to a “big reveal” rather than multiple twists and turns. I guessed the killer about halfway through and wanted to skip ahead most of the time, but stuck with it to avoid missing out on a twist that never came. The worst part was that the motive was a terribly unbelievable motive for multiple murders.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-02-10

Would’ve binge-listened if I could have

Author kept me intrigued until the end with her slow weave of the full story. A couple details felt like a stretch but overall a very compelling listen!! Would recommend for sure!

5 people found this helpful