BookClub logo

“The Sanatorium” by Sarah Pearse

Frozen Secrets

By Kristiyan ParzulovPublished 4 months ago 4 min read

Sarah Pearse’s gripping psychological thriller “The Sanatorium” is set against the stunning yet remote setting of the Swiss Alps. The author expertly blends family drama, suspense, and a spooky, atmospheric environment to produce a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this book. The story takes place in the gloomy confines of a deserted luxury hotel that has been converted into a distant sanatorium. Here, the boundaries between fact and fiction are blurred and secrets from the past are reluctant to remain hidden.


Elin Warner

Elin, the protagonist of the book, is a former investigator who is coping with her own personal trauma. The mystery of the story begins when she arrives at the sanatorium to celebrate her estranged brother’s engagement. Elin is a fascinating protagonist who has to negotiate the intricacies of her family and the murky environment of the sanatorium because of her investigative abilities and personal struggles.

Isaac Warner

Elin’s brother, whom she has grown distant from, and Laure’s fiancé, who disappears without explanation. The events in the novel are set in motion by Isaac’s engagement. His family dynamics and multifaceted character give the story more dimension.


The woman who went missing and Isaac’s fiancée. The abrupt departure of Laure initiates a sequence of events that ultimately reveal the mysteries of the sanatorium. Even though she isn’t physically present in the narrative, her character is crucial.

Dr. Gustav

The mysterious sanatorium’s owner and operator. One of the primary characters in the story is Dr. Gustav, whose background and objectives are yet unknown. He gives the narrative a touch of mystery and tension.

Sanatorium Residents

A wide range of fascinating and reticent individuals, each with their own pasts and ulterior motives, reside in the sanatorium. These locals add to the novel’s layers of intricacy and play crucial roles in the drama that is developing.


The plot of “The Sanatorium” opens with Elin Warner arriving at the isolated sanatorium, which was once a posh hotel with a sordid past, tucked away in the Swiss Alps. The purpose of her visit is to celebrate her brother Isaac’s engagement to Laure, but when Laure mysteriously vanishes, the happy event swiftly turns tragic. The sanatorium is soon shut off from the outside world by a huge snowstorm, keeping everyone inside.

In the midst of her urgent hunt for her brother’s missing fiancée, Elin explores the murky and enigmatic history of the sanatorium itself. The personnel and visitors to the facility have their own mysteries, and the structure itself has secrets from its past as a hotel. Elin is a strong and incredibly captivating protagonist because of her background as a detective and her personal tragedies.

Sarah Pearse deftly spins a web of tension by using unreliable narrators and unsettling events that cast doubt on the reader’s understanding of reality. Elin is forced to face not only the secrets hidden within the sanatorium’s walls but also her own deeply rooted traumas and broken family connections as she works through the mysteries surrounding the facility.

The book does a fantastic job of conveying a sense of loneliness and confinement inside the snow-covered sanatorium throughout the story. This adds to the tension that is developing as the protagonists’ experiences get more unsettling and their sanity is called into doubt.

The narrative leads readers on a trip that is full of unexpected turns, startling discoveries, and unsettling moments. Pearse crafts a spine-tingling psychological thriller by skillfully building suspense all the way to the very end.


In “The Sanatorium,” Sarah Pearse deftly examines the psychological effects of seclusion and the lingering influence of family secrets. The sanatorium’s remote, snowbound location adds to the suspense and supports the idea that some secrets are meant to stay that way.

The reader is exposed to a story of suspense, intricate family dynamics, and sinister riddles that test the protagonists’ resolve as they dive into this engrossing psychological thriller. The unsettling ambiance and the indistinct boundaries between actuality and fantasy create an engrossing reading experience.

Page after page, “The Sanatorium” will captivate you as you become embroiled in the web of secrets and deceit that permeates the narrative. It serves as a warning that secrets can have far-reaching and terrifying effects, and that the past has a way of coming back to haunt you.

If you enjoyed my summary then you should definitely check out the full book here.

AuthorVocal Book ClubReviewRecommendationReading ListGenre

About the Creator

Kristiyan Parzulov

I Give my Personal Book Reviews 👏👏 of the Most Popular Bestsellers!

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.