Book Review

The Retreat by Sarah Pearse | Book Review

The Retreat by Sarah Pearse
Detective Elin Warner #2
Release Date: 19th July 2022
Genre: Adult, Thriller
Source: Publisher, NetGalley
Rating: ★★★.5

An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the coast of Devon, 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 rumoured to be cursed.

DS Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion, in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest – she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.

When a man drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the retreat – and who else is in danger?

Elin must find the killer – before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . . .

I read Sarah Pearse’s debut, The Sanatorium, and had a great time with it, mostly due to the snowy setting and the dark and unsettling atmosphere. While I don’t think The Retreat pulled this off as well, I still very much enjoyed the isolated island setting. I do wish the retreat itself had been fleshed out more before the deaths started happening, as the setting was once again very important to the plot.

Speaking of the deaths, I found everything to be a little too coincidental. Or perhaps a little too convoluted. Not everything had to be connected in this way, and yet…

The Retreat was certainly as fast paced as the first book and it had some thrilling moments. The reveals were a bit of a let down, as was one unrealistic scene in which a character goes swimming during a storm.

Overall though I enjoyed The Retreat and I would pick up more from this author in the future. I particularly want to see where this main character goes!

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