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Book Rec: The Retreat by Sarah Pearse

Updated: Jul 6

"Family is all you have, but it isn’t found only in a blood connection. Family shows itself in the unlikeliest of moments: the split-second glances, a gesture, the hand next to yours when you need it the most."

Whether or not you’ve already read the first novel in the series (The Sanatorium), this one can stand alone. I loved going on another ride with the slightly neurotic detective. The suspense builds into a twisty ending that leaves you wanting more. The Retreat is juicy.

book jacket with a hotel building set on top of a mountain cliff

Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone's here for revenge. . . An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, 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 rumored to be cursed. Detective 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 guest 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 guests, and who else is in danger? Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself…

The Retreat Discussion Guide (spoilers ahead!)

  1. The island has been reinvented several times over the last century after a school for troublesome boys was burned down. How does the transformation add a layer? How does Will’s work on LUMEN impact Elin’s path forward?

  2. Did you expect the past events to connect to the present? Were you surprised by the twists?

  3. The Leger family – Hana, Jo, Bea & Maya – and their boyfriends are fraught with drama. Who did you suspect in the group?

  4. At the end of both novels in this series, Elin has someone seemingly stalking her. Do you have a guess who it may be?


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Feb 17
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Loved this one and Sanatorium!

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