The sanatorium / Sarah Pearse.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      First American edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "A chilling debut in which a detective must uncover the dark history of a luxury hotel in the Alps if she has any hope of stopping the deaths that won't let up. . . Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Once a sanatorium treating tuberculosis patients, it was abandoned years ago and had fallen into disrepair. Long plagued by troubling rumours, it has recently been renovated into a lavish hotel. And an imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place detective Elin Warner wants to be. But having received an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother's recent engagement, she had no choice but to accept. Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin is immediately on edge. Though it's a stunning retreat, something about the hotel makes her nervous - as does her brother, Isaac. When Elin wakes the following the morning to discover Isaac's fiancaee Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin's alarm grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the more the remaining guests start to panic. Yet no one has realized that another woman has gone missing. And she's the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they're all in. . "-- Provided by publisher.
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Booklist Reviews 2021 February #1

*Starred Review* Le Sommet, the prestigious hotel fashioned from a former TB sanatorium, is more than just the setting for this atmospheric debut mystery: the building's history ultimately propels the plot. Elin Warner, an English police detective on extended leave, is somewhat fragile when she arrives at the hotel high in the Swiss Alps to celebrate the engagement of Elin's older brother, Isaac, and Elin's old friend Laure Strehl, a hotel staffer. Elin is dealing not only with the aftermath of a difficult case (about which more backstory would have been welcome), she also has a major unresolved issue with Isaac about the death of their younger brother, Sam, years earlier, as well as regret in letting her friendship with Laure wither. Then, as heavy snows lead to potential avalanches and the hotel is largely evacuated and totally isolated, bodies are discovered; it's clear that a killer is on the loose. With police unable to reach the hotel, Elin assumes the role of investigator, eventually putting herself at risk. Pearse not only creates believably fallible characters, she also vividly portrays the frigid landscape of Le Sommet buffeted by blizzards, and a chilling epilogue cries out for a sequel. Crime-fiction readers will want to keep an eye on Pearse. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2020 November #5

Pearse's engrossing debut boasts a highly atmospheric setting. Le Sommet, originally a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in the Swiss Alps, was abandoned for decades, until it was renovated as a luxury hotel. British police detective Elin Warner and her boyfriend, Willy Riley, come to Le Sommet at the invitation of her selfish brother, Isaac, a university lecturer in Lausanne, and his fiancée, Laure Strehl, to celebrate the couple's engagement. The emotionally fragile Elin is on break from her job, following an intense case and the death of her mother, whose funeral Isaac was too busy to attend. When Laure goes missing the day after Elin and Willy's arrival, Elin learns that others have disappeared from Le Sommet, long shrouded in sinister rumors about its patients' brutal treatment. Might Isaac, whom she blames for the decades-old death of their brother, somehow be involved? The discovery of a body raises the stakes. 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. Agent: Charlotte Seymour, Andrew Nurnberg Assoc. (Feb.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.