Everyone's in danger.
Anyone could be next.

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 . . .


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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    The Sanatorium

    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

    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, #1 international bestselling author of The Wicked Sister

    “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, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of The Wife Between Us

    “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

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

    —Claire Douglas, bestselling author of Last Seen Alive

    “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, bestselling author of I Dare You

    “An incredible debut. .  . Clever, creepy and utterly compelling.”


    —Samantha King, author of The Perfect Family

    “An atmospheric thriller with the perfect claustrophobic setting. This is equal parts creepy, suspenseful and gruesome—everything you could want in a novel for this genre. 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

    “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

    “I devoured this in one sitting.”


    The Sanatorium certainly has an eerie, cinematic appeal...With whispers of The Shining in setting and The Girl on the Train in pace, it . . . will please fans of suspense. Either way, it’s crying out for a screen adaptation and provides a welcome, if unsettling, distraction from current events.”

    —Vanity Fair

    “A colorful and tense murder mystery with a chilling (in more ways than one) atmosphere. . . There is a pleasing pressure-cooker feel to proceedings, reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None. Pearse uses clever red herrings—secrets, pills, affairs, mental illness—and the stand-off scenes between Elin and the murderer are genuinely scary.”

    —The Irish Times

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

    —Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar

    “Dark, suspenseful and downright chilling, Pearse’s debut, 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. Pearse has a big future ahead of her.”

    —Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Mother-in-Law

    “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

    “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

    “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 If You Knew My Sister

    “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.”


    “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, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mercy

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

    —Lucy Foley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Apartment

    “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.”

    —The Sunday Express

    “Slowly the dark secrets hidden in the sinister building emerge from the shadows. There are echoes of Hitchcock and du Maurier, but Pearse has her own distinctive, emotional voice—one to be admired.”

    —Daily Mail

    Reader Quotes

    "Thrilling, chilling - a tingles down my spine type of read."

    "Imagine a universe where Agatha Christie and Stephen King collaborated on a book."

    "Sarah Pearse wastes no time in ramping up the tension and is clearly destined to be a master of this genre."


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    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.