On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Sarah Pearse, The Retreat. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
This is a warning for all our guests at the wellness retreat.
A woman’s body has been found at the bottom of the cliff beneath the yoga pavilion.
We believe her death was a tragic accident, though DS Elin Warner has arrived on the island to investigate.
A storm has been forecast, but do not panic. Stick together and please ignore any rumours you might have heard about the island and its history.
As soon as the weather clears, we will arrange boats to take you back to the mainland.
In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your stay.
I loved Sarah Pearse’s debut novel, and I was really eager to read her latest, The Retreat. Sarah’s latest book is set on an island off the coast of Wales. The primary setting is a luxury retreat, but the island also has a dark past, and when a woman’s body is found, people begin to wonder if the island’s history is firmly in the past, or if it is about to resurface.
I love a mystery novel set in an isolated location. You can instantly feel the creeping sense of danger as you know that the person behind what is happening is still on the island. You don’t know who to trust amongst the characters, and you have no idea if this person will strike again. Sarah Pearse knows how to deepen suspense in her writing, and I loved the creepy vibe to this book which drew me in from the first few pages, keeping me hooked.
I liked that she brought back the Detective from her first novel, Detective Elin Warner, and it was good to get to know her more. In the first book to feature her, Elin was out of her comfort zone as she was on holiday, and out of her jurisdiction. Now she is back on her home turf. It was interesting to see the change in this dynamic. The characters who are on the island, on holiday, were intriguing as well, and I thought Sarah Pearse gave them some interesting backstories.
I really wanted to know what was going on, on the island, and if there was any chance that the events happening in the present were linked to the events that happened there in the past. I loved the backstory that Sarah Pearse gave the location which really added to the tension. It really helped bring the setting to life, and I’m still thinking about the island now, after I’ve read it.
I was utterly gripped by The Retreat, Sarah Pearse is fast becoming a favourite author of mine, and I know that I’ll read whatever she writes next. If you love a creepy setting, then you definitely need to pick up The Retreat.
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication date: 21st July 2022
Print length: 368 pages
The Retreat is available to buy:
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