Murders in the Sanatorium

Amanda Bussman
3 min readFeb 4, 2024
Photo by Luisa Brimble on Unsplash

Would you stay the night at a former sanatorium? One that’s in a remote location in the Swiss Alps with very few exists?

Today’s book is The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

This adventure follows former detective, Elin Warner as she embarks on a weekend that will surely be one for the books. Estranged from her brother after a grave loss of their other sibling, things between Elin and her brother have been tense. This is the weekend to reconcile and see if Elin’s memories are accurate about what her brother did to their younger sibling.

The book takes a turn when during a horrendous storm. Bodies begin to show up with little relics of the sanatorium’s past.

In a double-fold mystery, Elin’s past and the deaths occurring at the hotel must be figured out.

If you keep reading you can expect spoilers from this point forward :

A Lackluster Tale of Suspense

The book starts with what every good mystery should be, the introduction to a murder. We, as the audience, have no idea who has committed the crime or what exactly has happened to Daniel.

You’d assume that Daniel was the prime victim, right? …wrong.

The novel goes on to introduce a young detective who has lost her way. After a tumultuous case, Elin’s past is coming back to haunt her. After the death of her brother when she was young, Elin suspects that her other brother may have been the culprit of his murder.

This should be a pretty solid story.

You would expect to find out that she or the brother was responsible for not only the youngest brother’s death but the murders taking place at the sanatorium, right? At least, that was what I would have expected.

Instead, the book seems to fall short of its delivery.

The plot lines fall flat, the characters don’t feel built enough, and the resolution to the mystery lacks the charm of a good tale. The book feels like it could have used more depth for a bigger payoff.

What could have been a great setup with more of the history of the sanatorium being utilized, doesn’t quite reach its potential. I would have loved to see more of the history used as a…

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Amanda Bussman

If you're looking for a writing coach and someone who is working through generational trauma, you've come to the right place. OH! I hope you like Taylor Swift!