The Sanatorium: A Novel - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : Penguin Books
  • Published : 11 Jan 2022
  • Pages : 416
  • ISBN-10 : 0593296699
  • ISBN-13 : 9780593296691
  • Language : English

The Sanatorium: A Novel

An instant New York Times bestseller!

"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. . .

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Sanatorium:

"Creepy, deeply claustrophobic, mind-numbing, teasing, twists and turns galore, this book is a towering example of a masterful hand at work. If only Hitchcock were still around to film it."
-David Baldacci

"CHILLING! The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is an eerie, atmospheric novel that had me completely on the edge of my seat. Let's set the mood. . . . You're in a remote location-at a hotel-and there's a snowstorm. The winds are howling, the snow is pelting in every direction, there's a missing person, and a dead body shows up!"
-Reese Witherspoon

"When guests at a five-star resort in the Alps disappear mid-blizzard, vacation's over for detective Elin Warner. It's The Shining but with a full house."

"I devoured this in one sitting."

"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

"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."
-Booklist (starred review)

"I absolutely loved The Sanatorium-it gave me all the wintry thrills and chills. It was just wonderful."
-Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List

"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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

"Pearse's The Sanatorium will keep you checking over your shoulder. This spine-tingling, atmospheric thriller has it all: an eerie Alpine setting, sharp prose, and twists you'll never see coming. A must-read."
-Richard Osman, international bestselling author of The Thursday Murder Club

"Sarah Pearse's The Sanatorium is a knockout. Mesmerizing, lyrical prose contrasts starkly with the dark story events in this debut thriller set at a remote luxury hotel in the Swiss Alps. Tense, claustrophobic, with a horrific connection between past and present that is utterly unpredictable-I loved this book!"

Readers Top Reviews

Kindle sam ReviewL
Good Lord. Boy. This. Was. A. Slow. Read. I actually applauded myself when I finished this book. And did a happy dance. I think the dance scared the cats, but I was gonna shake my tushy-butt like there was tomorrow after finishing this tome. I really do not like to give bad reviews; in this case I was inspired by the story. I figured out the killer by page 80 or so, and then sat back to watch the book unfurl. It didn't. The female protagonist is wishy-washy; her boyfriend has a serious case of a wannabe Russell Crowe; and her brother is just ... is just a snooze. I never took so many breaks while reading a book. I took a pause to let the dogs out (even when they didn't want to go); filed my nails; moisturized my hands; checked social media; performed yoga; trimmed my toe nails; emptied the dishwasher, etc. The only part of this book that was suspenseful was in waiting for the suspense ... that never occurred. Burn your money for free at home before buying this book.

Short Excerpt Teaser

Press Release – Under Embargo until midnight March 5th 2018

Le Sommet
Hauts de Plumachit
Crans Montana 3963


Located on a sunny mountain plateau above Crans Montana, high in the Swiss Alps, Le Sommet is the brainchild of Swiss property developer Lucas Caron.

After eight years of extensive planning and construction, one of the town's oldest sanatoriums is set to reopen as a luxury hotel.

The main building was designed in the early nineteenth century by Caron's great-grandfather, Pierre. It became renowned worldwide as a center for treating tuberculosis before the advent of antibiotics forced its diversification.

More recently, it gained international recognition for its innovative architecture, earning the elder Caron a posthumous Swiss Arts Award in 1942. Combining clean lines with large panoramic windows, flat roofs, and unadorned geometrical shapes, one judge described the building as ‘groundbreaking' – custom designed to fulfill its function as a hospital, while also creating a seamless transition between the interior and exterior landscapes.

Lucas Caron said: "It was time we breathed new life into this building. We were confident that with the right vision, we could create a sensitively restored hotel that would pay homage to its rich past."

Under the guidance of Swiss architectural firm Lemaitre SA, a team has been assembled to renovate the building and also add a state-of-the-art spa and event center.

Subtly refurbished, Le Sommet will make innovative use of natural, local materials such as wood, slate, and stone. The hotel's elegant, modern interiors will not only echo the powerful topography outside, but will draw on the building's past to create a new narrative.

Philippe Volkem, CEO of Valais Tourisme, said, "This will doubtless be the jewel in the crown of what is already one of the finest winter resorts in the world."

For press enquiries, please contact Leman PR, Lausanne.

For general enquiries / bookings please visit


January 2020
Day One

The funicular from the valley town of Sierre to Crans‐Montana scores a near‐perfect vertical line up the mountainside.

Slicing through snow‐covered vineyards and the small towns of Venthone, Chermignon, Mollens, Randogne, and Bluche, the route, almost three miles long, takes passengers up the mountain in just twelve minutes.

In off‐peak season, the funicular is usually half empty. Most people drive up the mountain or take the bus. But today, with the roads almost station‐ ary thanks to heavy traffic, it's full.

Elin Warner stands on the left in the packed carriage, absorbing it all: the fat flakes of snow collecting on the windows, the slush‐covered floor piled high with bags, the lanky teenagers shoving through the doors.

Her shoulders tense. She's forgotten how kids that age can be: selfish, unaware of anyone but themselves.

A sodden sleeve brushes her cheek. She smells damp, cigarettes, fried food, the musky‐citrus tang of cheap aftershave. Then comes a throaty cough. Laughter.

A group of men are jostling through the doorway, talking loudly, bulg‐ ing North Face sports bags on their backs. They are squeezing the family next to her farther into the carriage. Into her. An arm rubs hers, beer breath hot against her neck.

Panic pushes through her. Her heart is racing.

Will it ever stop?

It's been a year since the Hayler case and she's still thinking about it, dreaming about it. Waking up in the night, sheets damp with sweat, the dream vivid in her head: the hand around her throat, damp walls contract‐ ing, closing in on her.

Then salt water; frothing, sloshing over her mouth, her nose . . .

Control it, she tells herself, forcing herself to read the graffiti on the wall of the funicular.

Don't let it control you.

Her eyes dance over the scrawled letters weaving up the metal:

Michel 2010
Bisous xxx
Ines & Ric 2016

Following the words up to the window, she startles. Her reflection . . . it pains her to look at it. She's thin. Too thin.

It's as if someone's hollowed her out, carved the very core of her away. Her cheekbones are knife sharp, her slanted blue‐gray eyes wider, more pro‐ nounced. Even the choppy mess of pale blond hair, the blur of the scar on her upper lip, doesn't soften her appearance.

She's been training non...