Monday 1 August 2022

The Retreat by Sarah Pearse BLOG TOUR #TheRetreat @SarahVPearse @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #BookReview


This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.

A woman's body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.

We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.

A storm has been forecast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and its history.

As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.

The Retreat by Sarah Pearse was published on 21 July 2022 by Bantam Press / Transworld. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour 

Back in January 2021, I read and reviewed Sarah Pearse's debut novel, The Sanatorium. I really enjoyed that tense and creepy thriller story and have been looking forward to her follow up ever since. 

The Sanatorium was set in a high class hotel in the Swiss Alps, and in The Retreat this author again takes her readers to a world of luxury. This time we find protagonist Elin Warner deeply involved in the case of mysterious deaths, not in the Alps but at a newly opened spa and health retreat called Lumen that has opened on a small island just off the coast of England. 

The prologue of the story sets the scene for what is to come, and readers are aware that all is not well at Lumen. We know that someone is injured, probably dead. We know that someone saw it. We don't know who it is, or why it's happened. 

Guest are setting off on the short boat trip from the island, and among them are Hana, Jo, Maya, Seth and Caleb; an interesting mix of people, all connected and all with with their own issues to try to resolve during the trip. 

Meanwhile, Elin Warner is still trying to come to terms with tragedy in her past, and the impact of things that have happened to her. She's desperate to get back to her job in the Major Crimes Investigation Team, yet he's not quite ready emotionally and mentally to deal with it. However, events find her attending the island after one death and it's not long before she's caught up with the deaths and the guests. 

Although The Retreat opens fairly slowly, after the intriguing prologue, it is still a compelling read. Full of drama and suspense, mystery and action. 

This author creates such a sense of place, the reader is aware of the history of Lumen, and how locals call the setting Reaper's Rock. There are rumours of a curse, and stories of a previous serial killer that really adds to the depth of the story. 

Once again, I was totally pulled in by Elin, her own issues and the case that she was working on. Sarah Pearse excels at her own form of the locked-room mystery and whilst slower in parts than her debut, this one is a satisfying and entertaining read. 

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 households brands before following her passion for writing.

Her experiences living in the Swiss Alps in her early twenties inspired her acclaimed debut novel, 
The Sanatorium, which was an instant No.1 Sunday Times and New York Times Top Ten bestseller in hardback, and a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Her eagerly anticipated next thriller, 
The Retreat, will be published in Spring 2022.

You can find Sarah on Twitter @SarahVPearse and Instagram @sarahpearseauthor

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