The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Rating: 2/5 Stars

An imposing isolated getaway spot high up in Swiss Alps, which used to be a sanatorium, an avalanche cutting it off from the outside world, a woman dies and another one goes missing in this atmospheric locked room type thriller. Sounds interesting right? But No. Though the book sets the stage well, with vivid descriptions and establishing characters, it goes nowhere.

Elin Warner, a british cop is a guest in this hotel along with her boyfriend. She suffers from PTSD and is on a break from her job for almost a year. When the murder happens and her brother’s fiancee goes missing, she steps in to be a liason for the Swiss police as they have no way to get to the hotel due to weather conditions.

The problem with this book is Elin herself. She is one of the worst main characters I have read in a long time ( the lady from The Woman in the Window, comes close but at least she wasn’t a detective). A lot of times I had to roll my eyes, as a reaction to Elin’s deductions. With time her inefficiency only grows and she keeps making the same mistakes over and over. Its impossible to like her. The other characters in the book felt like a cliche and underdeveloped as well. There is so much going on in the book, Elin’s trauma, her stressed relationship with her brother Isaac, the death of her mother and her other brother Sam, but it was very hard to connect with any of it. I was able to kind of guess who was killing half way through the book, but the reason why they were killing is so convoluted . It didn’t make sense at all. Also it ended with a cliffhanger for a sequel?

Oh no, No more Elin.

The Sanatorium is the kind of book where the idea is great but the execution failed miserably. I would skip it.

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