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The Retreat by Sarah Pearse

Another great thriller by Sarah Pearse! Having read The Sanatorium, I was eager to read this second book. Although I wasn’t totally drawn in at the start of the story, I quickly became lost in the world of these characters on an isolated island with a horrific history.

Hana has reluctantly joined her family for a get together with free accommodations on the island, courtesy of her sister, a media influencer. It should have been a lovely retreat. When one of the guests at the luxury resort is found dead, Detective Elin Warner is brought in to investigate. She explores the possibility of a link to the deaths of teens decades ago. The atmospheric setting adds to the creepy vibe of ‘there’s a killer on the island—again’ with an abandoned school and the grim reaper’s form etched into the side of the cliff. There is a bit of a gothic feel to it all, the past haunting the current occupants of the island. To make it even eerier, a storm blows in, trapping guests on the island. With no police assistance on the way due to the weather and problems on the mainland, it’s up to Elin and her partner, Steed, to keep everyone calm and safe.

The alternating points of view kept me interested and added to the suspense of the situation. As connections between various characters were brought to light, several possible motives evolved. This locked room mystery intrigued me with revelations about the characters’ pasts. Definitely kept me on the edge of my seat! Bring on the next creepy setting, author Sarah Pearse!

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