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  • Published: 18 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473580725
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $24.99

The Sanatorium

The spine-tingling #1 Sunday Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

High in the Swiss Alps, a luxury hotel opens in what was once a sanatorium, but the new design can’t hide the building’s dark history for long . . . This is the chilling debut from the hottest new talent in crime fiction.

'At first glance they're magnificent, yet the more she looks, the more she realizes how sinister the mountains appear: raw, jagged spikes. It's not hard to imagine, she thinks, looking out; this place somehow consuming someone, swallowing them whole.'

An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she's taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother's recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it's beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous - as does her brother, Isaac.

And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin's unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

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're all in . . .

  • Published: 18 February 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473580725
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: Audio Download
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Sarah Pearse

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 still has a home in 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

Also by Sarah Pearse

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Praise for The Sanatorium

A seriously sinister setting, an incredible sense of place and a twisty, unpredictable plot combine to make an utterly terrifying read. I loved it.

Allie Reynolds, author of SHIVER

What an incredible debut novel. Clever, creepy and utterly compelling.

Samantha King, author of THE CHOICE

I loved it - such a wonderful sense of location, and the tension is knife edge-sharp. I was up at 5.30 in the mornings to read it.

Michelle Adams, author of THE SISTER

Dark, suspenseful and downright chilling, 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. What a talent! Pearse has a big future ahead of her.

Sally Hepworth, 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, author of BAD SISTER

Tense and fast paced, filled with revelations to keep you hooked and all set in a wonderfully creepy Alpine location.

G. R. Halliday, author of FROM THE SHADOWS

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, bestselling author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

The Sanatorium is definitely a debut novel to watch out for. Wow, what a chilling read! One of the creepiest thrillers I've ever read. So atmospheric, clever and compulsive. LOVED it!

Claire Douglas, author of LOCAL GIRL MISSING

An atmospheric thriller with the perfect claustrophobic setting - a converted sanatorium in the remote Alps. This is equal parts creepy, suspenseful and gruesome - everything you could want in a novel for this genre. The heroine Elin is intensely flawed but totally relatable. This is a sure-fire hit guaranteed to keep you seeing shadows in the snow on those freezing winter nights. I loved it.

C J Skuse, author of SWEETPEA

The perfect claustrophobic setting packed with mystery and edge-of-your-seat tension.

Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author of THE CELLAR

An elegant, tense and chilling read. The glowering Swiss Alps setting was beautifully rendered - for all the horrors, I still wanted to be there!

Emylia Hall, author of THE THOUSAND LIGHTS HOTEL

A tense and seriously chilling page-turner.

Emma Curtis, author of KEEP HER QUIET

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, internationally bestselling author of THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

A superbly atmospheric crime debut. Deliciously creepy and clever, it's everything you could want in a thriller. Very highly recommended!

Simon Lelic, author of THE SEARCH PARTY

A spine-tingling setting, an unnerving cast of characters and so many incredibly creepy moments . . . this is not one to read before bed!

Elizabeth Kay, author of SEVEN LIES

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!

Karen Dionne, author of THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER

It's hard to believe this is a debut novel, given how masterfully Sarah Pearse writes. The setting is starkly chilling, the characters are smart and vulnerable, and as you turn the pages, the slow creep of claustrophobia sets in . . . Highly recommended.

Sarah Pekkanen, co-author of THE WIFE BETWEEN US

A chillingly vivid thriller in a fantastic setting - you can almost feel the icy Alpine wind on your face as you turn the pages.

T M Logan, bestselling author of THE HOLIDAY

A tense page-turner.

Sunday Times Style magazine

One of the most eagerly awaited debuts of the year.

Sunday Express magazine

The nail-biting suspense and spooky atmosphere of Sarah Pearse's thrilling debut novel kept me reading until late in the night. I loved Sarah's masterful descriptions of the Alpine setting, the creepy history of the hotel, and the growing sense of danger as the hapless characters are cut off from the outside world by a massive storm . . . just as the realisation dawns that a deranged killer is on the loose.

Ann Gosslin, author of THE SHADOW BIRD and THE DOUBLE

Tense, claustrophobic and chilling in every sense of the word.

Tammy Cohen, author of WHEN SHE WAS BAD

Dark and suspenseful - I had shivers running down my spine as I read this chilling thriller.

Good Housekeeping

An addictive, creepy and twisting read. The perfect gothic story for a cold February night.


An eerie, atmospheric novel that had me completely on the edge of my seat.

Reese Witherspoon, for Reese's Book Club

[A] menacing, creepy debut [...] There are echoes of Hitchcock and du Maurier, but Pearse has her own distinctive, emotional voice - one to be admired.

Daily Mail

Tense, chilling and full of surprises.

Sun, Pick of the Week

Locked-room mysteries a la Agatha Christie are proving to be very popular right now, and this one doesn't disappoint.


This atmospheric chiller has a few shocks up its sleeve.

Crime Monthly

A mix of whodunnit and psychological thriller with hints of horror, this fine debut [...] is smartly structured and often powerful.

Sunday Times

Spooky, chilling and claustrophobic.


This impressive debut is a twist on the classic locked-room mystery in a wonderfully eerie Gothic setting. Its sharp prose builds suspense through a series of twists that will send an Alpine chill up your spine, building to an unpredictable finale. This clever, compelling thriller deserves to be a bestseller and marks out Sarah Pearse as one to watch.

Sunday Express S Magazine

Want a book that's going to leave you chilled to the bone? This is it!

Fabulous Magazine

Sarah Pearse's chilling debut is making waves. The Sanatorium certainly has an eerie, cinematic appeal [...] With whispers of The Shining in setting and The Girl on the Train in pace.

Vanity Fair

I absolutely loved The Sanatorium - it gave me all the wintry thrills and chills. It was just wonderful.

Lucy Foley, bestselling author of THE HUNTING PARTY and THE GUEST LIST

Genuinely scary and deliciously atmospheric, and one of the best books of 2021, this international bestseller is guaranteed to give you goosebumps.

Woman & Home

What a page-turner! Like Agatha Christie crossed with Scandi noir, and doing with Swiss mountains what Jane Harper books do with the Australian outback. Loved it, and can't wait for the next Elin book!

Andrea Mara, author of ALL HER FAULT

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, internationally bestselling author of MERCY

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