Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge. . .
An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation—but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumoured to be cursed.
Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest—she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.
When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests, and who else is in danger?
Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . .
My second book by this author, the first being The Sanatorium, and I really loved it. Same main protagonist Detective Elin Warner, plus her boyfriend Will, who I am not so keen on (when you read the book you may understand why) and a brief reference to her brother Isaac, who was in the previous book.
I loved The Sanatorium, but I think The Retreat shows a maturity in the author’s writing which I am sure will continue to improve with every book. I was particularly impressed with the action scenes involving Elin, as I can imagine they are hard to write, but she pulls it off perfectly.
Once again we are at a posh ‘retreat’ – in The Sanatorium it was a minimalist hotel, an imposing, isolated getaway spot called Le Sommet high up in the Swiss Alps, while this time it’s an eco-wellness island getaway, where people come to recharge and refresh. Or to get murdered.
Unfathomably Le Sommet was built on the site of an old TB hospital (we had some great discussions amongst my book club readers about old sanatoriums). Even stranger is that the retreat named LUMEN, has been built on an island famous for a weird school for misfit boys in the sixties AND the site of a murder spree many years later, in which a group of teenagers were stabbed whilst on an outward bound adventure. Superstition has it that the famous Reaper’s Rock, which looms over the island, is the cause of the evil that lives there. Then the bodies start piling up and we know we are going to be in for an exciting ride.
This was so good and I kept having to read on to find out what happens next. And that twist at the end – genius.
Many thanks to @annecater for inviting me to be part of #RandomThingsTours
About the Author
Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains and the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel.
Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes.
You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahVPearse and Instagram @sarahpearseauthor