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Book Review: The Sanatorium

Reading is a series of human emotions. Writing is the gift of sharing these emotions.

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

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


The Sanatorium is a psychological thriller by Sarah Pearse. The story begins with one of the town’s oldest sanatoriums which is set to reopen as a luxury hotel. Daniel, the principal architect of the hotel goes missing during the final stages of planning. Now known as Le Sommet situated in Swiss Resort Crans-Montana, the sanatorium has a sinister past that has been buried and reinvented as a 5-star hotel minimalist hotel.

Meanwhile, an isolated place is the last thing that Elin wants to be, but when her brother Isaac and Laure, his fiancé invites her to Le Sommet to celebrate their engagement, Elin couldn’t resist. Little did they know that their life would turn upside down when they wake up the next morning and find out that Laure is missing.


The thing that captured me the most in this story isn’t the storyline, the characters, or the setting. I now understand why this book has mixed reviews and that a lot of people had high expectations, but didn’t seem to be happy with what they read. Even I was expecting something more because I have prepared myself to get creeped out by this book, but then I didn’t get scared much. But still, I kept reading and couldn’t put it down because of the beautiful yet dark flow of words that created this gothic mystery and psychological thriller. It’s the writing itself that pulled me in. The choice of words. The emotions evoked by those words. This book was eloquently written and well-researched.

Apart from the beautiful writing, I also like Elin, her struggles, and her sentiments. More often than not, our inner motivation comes from something very impactful that happened in the past. On Elin's case, it was Sam's death and the trauma that she went through. Because of that, she would risk her life to find answers and make sure she does something because not being able to do something about her brother’s death has taken a toll on her.

Now, I know I mentioned I wasn’t creeped out, but if this were a movie, I would definitely scream a bunch of times, so I’m not really looking forward to a movie adaptation. I was able to get through it because I chose to shut my imagination when it came to the details of the barbaric murders, but I wouldn't want to watch this. I wouldn't be able to handle the suspense and the very disturbing details.

Overall, I’m giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed reading it and didn’t expect that ending coming. I mean, I have practically suspected everyone except the real murderer!

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