They couldn’t wait to stay here.

An idyllic 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 rumored to be cursed.

But now they can’t leave.

A young woman is found dead below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But Detective Elin Warner soon learns the victim wasn’t a guest—she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.

And they would do anything to escape.

The longer Elin stays, the more secrets she uncovers. And when someone else drowns in a diving incident, Elin begins to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests at this luxury resort? Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself.

Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge. . . .


Photo: Rosie Parsons Photography


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 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. It has been translated into over 30 languages and has sold over half a million copies. Her eagerly anticipated next thriller, The Retreat, will be published in July 2022.

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    @sarahpearseauthor 📚 New York Public Library Summer Reads! 📚 I’ve loved being guest librarian @The New York Public Library and my summer reading recommendation is this beautiful collection of poems #TimeIsAMother by @ocean_vuong – tender, playful and moving in every way… words to read, re-read and savour. #nyplsummerbookshelf #nyplsummerreading #guestlibrarian #nyplsummerreadingrecommendations #summerreading #librarylove #loveyourlocallibrary #nypl #librariesofinstagram #libraries #oceanvuong #timeisamother #booktok #booktokers #bookrecommendations #summerreading ♬ original sound – SarahPearseAuthor


    The Retreat

    “Full of foreboding and high-stakes tension, Sarah Pearse's latest is a page-turner. The past doesn't stay buried for long, at sea or on land, and what comes to the surface is both shocking and chilling.”

    —Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid

    “Pearse goes from strength to strength in The Retreat. The suspense inexorably builds to a stunning climax. An added treat is the return of Elin Warner, who is a fascinating character one can only root for.”

    —David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 6:20 Man

    “If Sarah Pearse’s sensational debut The Sanatorium summoned the dangerous spirits of Gothic storytellers past, her new novel The Retreat recalls the one-by-one-by-one nerve-shredding of Agatha Christie at her darkest. Pearse is one of those rare contemporary writers—alongside Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, and Alice Feeney—both reviving and refreshing the traditions of mystery fiction. A fresh, daring, irresistible thriller.”

    —A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

    “Sarah Pearse has done it again! The Retreat is a heart-pounding, adrenaline-soaked thrill ride, packed with well-drawn characters, settings so real you could touch them, and cliffhangers and twists as belly-flipping as a dive off the fictional island's Reaper's Rock. Block off your schedule, because once you start reading, you won't be able to stop.”

    —Andrea Bartz, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Never Here

    “Dazzling and inventive, like an Agatha Christie mystery split open by a heatwave. Sarah Pearse won readers' hearts with The Sanatorium, and The Retreat is every bit as transporting, with another unforgettable setting and a complex web of secrets. I didn't want it to end.”

    —Flynn Berry, New York Times bestselling author of Northern Spy

    “Be careful who you root for, as no character is safe in Sarah Pearse’s new novel The Retreat. In the spirit of a true thriller, the tension is taut and the suspense is real as the pace builds to a heart-stopping finale. A triumphant second novel, which is no mean feat.”

    —Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Woman

    “Atmospheric and richly described, with surprises around every corner. From the terrifying prologue to the chilling final twist, Pearse has created another highly creepy thriller!”

    —Allie Reynolds, author of Shiver

    “Sarah Pearse has expertly crafted another eerie, atmospheric thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder as you read. A wonderfully chilling story of grief, revenge, and family secrets. An absorbing escape!”

    —Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

    “Detective Elin Warner is back in another atmospheric thriller. Pearse cleverly develops intrigue and ramps up the tension relentlessly as the stakes become deadly. Fans of The Sanatorium will love it.”

    —Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Long Weekend

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

    —Stacy Willingham, New York Times bestselling author of A Flicker in the Dark

    “With The Retreat, Sarah Pearse confirms her spot as a world-class thriller writer. Superb.”

    —Steve Cavanagh, author of Thirteen

    “I absolutely loved it. So many threads, more red herrings than a North Sea fishing trawler, cliffhangers galore and my absolute favorite—short, snappy chapters. It's a riveting, twisty turny read, a classic whodunnit with a killer final twist.”

    —John Marrs, bestselling author of The One


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    With the latest news.


    Press contact & Events

    Keep in touch by using the contact form below or join Sarah at one of her up coming events. If you’d like to get in touch with either the UK or USA Publicity Manager, please use the details below.

    UK Publicity

    Thomas Hill

    Publicity Manager, Transworld, Penguin Random House UK

    US Publicity

    Ben Petrone

    Viking Books,
    Penguin Random House


    Get in touch or say hello!

    For any general enquiries, please contact Sarah’s agent, Charlotte Seymour. at Andrew Nurnberg Associates: For any other comments or messages, send them using the form below.