Download high-resolution image
Listen to a clip from the audiobook
audio pause button
0:00
0:00

The Wilds

A Novel

Listen to a clip from the audiobook
audio pause button
0:00
0:00
“An atmospheric chiller with shocking twists.” Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

Detective Elin Warner unravels the mystery behind the disappearance of a young woman in a propulsive new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium


Since the dark events that scarred her childhood, Kier Templer escaped her hometown to live life on the road. She and her twin have never lost contact until, on a trip to a Portuguese national park, Kier vanishes without a trace.

Detective Elin Warner arrives in the same park ready to immerse herself in its vast wilderness – only to hear about Kier’s disappearance, and discover a disturbing map she left behind. The few strangers at an isolated campsite close ranks against Elin’s questions, and the park’s wild beauty starts to turn sinister.

Elin must untangle the clues to find out what really happened to Kier. But when you follow a trail, you have to be careful to watch your back...

Sarah Pearse brilliantly introduced readers to Elin Warner in The Sanatorium, with her exploits continuing in The Retreat; here, the series concludes with The Wilds, where the unanswered questions plaguing Elin are finally resolved.
Praise for The Wilds:

“An atmospheric chiller with shocking twists.”
Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

“Sarah Pearse always delivers a riveting read! The Wilds is a page-turning, unpredictable, and brilliantly plotted thriller that had me double-checking my locks.”
—Ashley Elston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Lie Wins

“An absolute winner! The Wilds gives us everything we crave in thriller writing: A roller coaster of a plot (who doesn't just love a mysterious map to be decoded?), a strong and thoroughly appealing protagonist and an addictive literary voice painting rich portrayals of the characters and the ominous locale in which Detective Elin Warner finds herself. This is a one-sitting read; plan your day accordingly.”
—Jeffery Deaver, #1 international bestselling author of the Colter Shaw series

“Layered, richly drawn, and utterly compelling. Pearse masterfully turns the screws of suspense, deftly twisting and subverting expectations until nothing and no one is what it seems.”
—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The New Couple in 5B

The Wilds is the perfect thriller for your summer holiday and a mesmerically brilliant conclusion for Detective Elin Warner. With delicious atmospherics, compulsively readable characters and secrets that will leave your jaw on the floor, the million-copy bestseller Sarah Pearse has surpassed her own dazzling standards and written her best book yet.”
—Matthew Blake, international bestselling author of Anna O

“Grips from page one with its serpentine plot, powerful sense of place and mood of real menace. The Wilds is Sarah Pearse’s best yet.”
—Louise Candlish, international bestselling author of Our House

“Elegantly crafted and neatly plotted. The twisty narrative is stuffed with cryptic clues and unexpected developments. It makes for a satisfying thriller and a fitting swan song for a compelling creation.”
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“An addictive, atmospheric mystery in an absolutely spectacular setting: if you enjoyed The Sanatorium, you're going to love this.”
T.M. Logan, international bestselling author of The Holiday

“Pearse's final installment of Detective Elin Warner’s story is a deeply compelling, tightly plotted, and transportive read. A master of suspense, Pearse weaves a complex story with skillful twists, leading us to a breathless conclusion. A must-read.”
—Lucy Clarke, international bestselling author of The Hike

“Transporting, beautifully written, the story shifting with each satisfying dark twist, I was both gripped and moved by The Wilds. A cracker of a thriller, I just loved it.”
—Eve Chase, international bestselling author of The Glass House

“Engrossing, surprising, and beautifully written.”
—Mark Edwards, international bestselling author of The House Guest

“With whiplash inducing twists and an intricately plotted story, Sarah Pearse writes with such inimitable style and confidence, it's hard to believe this is only her third novel. Utterly gripping.”
—John Marrs, bestselling author of What Lies Between Us
 
The Wilds is a superb Elin Warner thriller. Intelligent, twisty, stylish, and incredibly suspenseful. Had a genuine feel of Hitchcockian tension and dread. Riveting.”
—Will Dean, author of The Last Passenger

“The Wilds has an incredible sense of place. I could smell the pine needles and feel the mist on my face. An eerie and atmospheric destination thriller with some mind-bending twists!”
—Allie Reynolds, author of Shiver
 
“A stunning, sweeping suspense that leaves you reeling.”
—Jane Corry, author of My Husband’s Wife

“It’s Sarah Pearse’s best book yet (a very high bar). Smart, shocking, and scary; the twists had me turning pages at breakneck speed. The Wilds is everything you want a thriller to bea cracking plot, perfectly told. I miss Elin already.”  
—Nikki May, author of Wahala

“The Wilds is visceral, evocative, and crackles with tension. It’s a totally engrossing, immersive, and thought-provoking read, and a brilliant conclusion to a trilogy that marries edge-of-the-seat thrillers with deeply transporting writing.” 
—Emylia Hall, author of The Shell House Detectives series

The Wilds is impossible to resist. It’s tense, atmospheric, and gripping with emotional depth and incredible twists. What a feat!”
—Trisha Sakhlecha, author of The Inheritance

"Pearse has written another intriguing page-turner.”
LA Times

Praise for The Retreat:

“Devilish and deliciously twisty.”
—People

“Well-written fusion of psychological thriller and whodunnit. . . Pearse smartly reworks Christie’s setting, making her island at once a gothic throwback, with caves and talk of a curse, and a very 21st-century escape, with green values and holistic therapy. And she’s very good on the relationships within the group as tension builds.”
—Sunday Times (London)

“This thriller novel is so dark and tense, it’s the perfect read for anyone lounging in the sun this summer, grateful that your holiday isn’t so chaotic.”
—Cosmopolitan (London)

“[A] thrilling murder mystery.”
—PopSugar

“A riveting, twisty page-turner . . . Readers of Pearse’s earlier book or Ruth Ware’s suspense novels will be hard-pressed to put down this atmospheric, sometimes creepy novel.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“Full of foreboding and high-stakes tension, Sarah Pearse's latest is a page-turner. The past doesn't stay buried for long, at sea or on land, and what comes to the surface is both shocking and chilling.”
—Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid

“Pearse goes from strength to strength in The Retreat. The suspense inexorably builds to a stunning climax. An added treat is the return of Elin Warner, who is a fascinating character one can only root for.”
—David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simply Lies

“If Sarah Pearse’s sensational debut The Sanatorium summoned the dangerous spirits of Gothic storytellers past, her new novel The Retreat recalls the one-by-one-by-one nerve-shredding of Agatha Christie at her darkest. Pearse is one of those rare contemporary writers—alongside Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, and Alice Feeney—both reviving and refreshing the traditions of mystery fiction. A fresh, daring, irresistible thriller.”
—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

“Gut-wrenching, taut, and brilliantly claustrophobic, The Retreat delivers twist after devastating twist. I could not put it down—an absolute must-read.”
—Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of The Love of My Life

“Sarah Pearse has done it again! The Retreat is a heart-pounding, adrenaline-soaked thrill ride, packed with well-drawn characters, settings so real you could touch them, and cliffhangers and twists as belly-flipping as a dive off the fictional island's Reaper's Rock. Block off your schedule, because once you start reading, you won't be able to stop.”
—Andrea Bartz, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Never Here

“Sarah Pearse has expertly crafted another eerie, atmospheric thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder as you read. A wonderfully chilling story of grief, revenge, and family secrets. An absorbing escape!”
—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

“Deliciously paced with rich worldbuilding, The Retreat teems with questionable motives, unspoken frustrations, and hair-raising cliffhangers. Pearse's latest thriller is a reminder that beneath the glimmering exterior of the places and people we love, vengeance often lurks. I absolutely could not put this book down!”
—Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

“Detective Elin Warner is back in another atmospheric thriller. Pearse cleverly develops intrigue and ramps up the tension relentlessly as the stakes become deadly. Fans of The Sanatorium will love it.”
—Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Long Weekend

“Dazzling and inventive, like an Agatha Christie mystery split open by a heatwave. Sarah Pearse won readers' hearts with The Sanatorium, and The Retreat is every bit as transporting, with another unforgettable setting and a complex web of secrets. I didn't want it to end.”
—Flynn Berry, New York Times bestselling author of Northern Spy

“Be careful who you root for, as no character is safe in Sarah Pearse’s new novel The Retreat. In the spirit of a true thriller, the tension is taut and the suspense is real as the pace builds to a heart-stopping finale. A triumphant second novel, which is no mean feat.”
—Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Woman

“A story as unsettling as the island that serves as its setting. Don't trust anyone at The Retreat.”
—Stacy Willingham, New York Times bestselling author of A Flicker in the Dark

“Unsettling, unnerving and unforgettable. The Retreat is the kind of creepy, atmospheric thriller that burrows deep beneath your skin until the chilling climax.”
—Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End

“With The Retreat, Sarah Pearse confirms her spot as a world-class thriller writer. Superb.”
—Steve Cavanagh, author of Thirteen

“Just like The Sanatorium, The Retreat tells a twisty, chilling and tense tale in a location so vividly imagined, you feel like you’re there too, among the guests. Long may Sarah Pearse continue to ruin the idea of luxury-resort travel for us all…”
—Catherine Ryan Howard, international bestselling author of The Nothing Man

“Atmospheric and richly described, with surprises around every corner. From the terrifying prologue to the chilling final twist, Pearse has created another highly creepy thriller!”
—Allie Reynolds, author of Shiver

“I absolutely loved it. So many threads, more red herrings than a North Sea fishing trawler, cliffhangers galore and my absolute favorite—short, snappy chapters. It's a riveting, twisty turny read, a classic whodunnit with a killer final twist.”
—John Marrs, bestselling author of The One


Praise for The Sanatorium:

“CHILLING! The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is an eerie, atmospheric novel that had me completely on the edge of my seat. Let’s set the mood. . . You’re in a remote location—at a hotel—and there’s a snowstorm. The winds are howling, the snow is pelting in every direction, there’s a missing person, and a dead body shows up!” 
—Reese Witherspoon

“When guests at a five-star resort in the Alps disappear mid-blizzard, vacation’s over for detective Elin Warner. It’s The Shining but with a full house.”
—People

“I devoured this in one sitting.” 
—Parade

“Creepy, deeply claustrophobic, mind-numbing, teasing, twists and turns galore, this book is a towering example of a masterful hand at work. If only Hitchcock were still around to film it.”
—David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simply Lies

“I absolutely loved The Sanatorium—it gave me all the wintry thrills and chills. It was just wonderful.”
—Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List

The Sanatorium is an absolutely splendid gothic thriller—gracious in its nods to the classic locked-room mystery, yet bold enough to burst out of that room through the window. Pearse writes prose as fresh and crisp as Swiss Alp powder, and her characters fascinate even as their numbers dwindle.”
—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

“Pearse’s The Sanatorium will keep you checking over your shoulder. This spine-tingling, atmospheric thriller has it all: an eerie alpine setting, sharp prose, and twists you’ll never see coming. A must-read.”
—Richard Osman, international bestselling author of The Thursday Murder Club

Sarah Pearse’s The Sanatorium is a knockout. Mesmerizing, lyrical prose contrasts starkly with the dark story events in this debut thriller set at a remote luxury hotel in the Swiss Alps. Tense, claustrophobic, with a horrific connection between past and present that is utterly unpredictable—I loved this book!” 
—Karen Dionne, #1 international bestselling author of The Wicked Sister

“It's hard to believe this is a debut novel, given how masterfully Sarah Pearse writes. The setting is starkly chilling, the characters are smart and vulnerable, and as you turn the pages, the slow creep of claustrophobia sets in. Highly recommended.”  
—Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Wife Between Us

“A mix of whodunnit and psychological thriller with hints of horror, this fine debut. . . is smartly structured and often powerful.”
—The Sunday Times (London)

“Sarah Pearse’s chilling debut is making waves . . . The Sanatorium certainly has an eerie, cinematic appeal... Sinister scene well and truly set, unexplained disappearances commence and dark family dynamics emerge, with quick chapters that keep pages turning. With whispers of The Shining in setting and The Girl on the Train in pace, it . . . will please fans of suspense. Either way, it’s crying out for a screen adaptation and provides a welcome, if unsettling, distraction from current events.”
—Vanity Fair (UK)

“This impressive debut is a twist on the classic locked-room mystery in a wonderfully eerie gothic setting. Its sharp prose builds suspense through a series of twists that will send an alpine chill up your spine, building to an unpredictable finale. This clever, compelling thriller deserves to be a bestseller and marks out Sarah Pearse as one to watch.”
The Sunday Express (London)

“A colorful and tense murder mystery with a chilling (in more ways than one) atmosphere. . . There is a pleasing pressure-cooker feel to proceedings, reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None. Pearse uses clever red herrings—secrets, pills, affairs, mental illness—and the stand-off scenes between Elin and the murderer are genuinely scary.”
—The Irish Times

“Slowly the dark secrets hidden in the sinister building emerge from the shadows. There are echoes of Hitchcock and du Maurier, but Pearse has her own distinctive, emotional voice—one to be admired.”
—Daily Mail (London)

“Pearse’s engrossing debut boasts a highly atmospheric setting . . . This dark tale of family dynamics is sure to please suspense fans.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Pearse not only creates believably fallible characters, she also vividly portrays the frigid landscape of Le Sommet buffeted by blizzards, and a chilling epilogue cries out for a sequel. Crime-fiction readers will want to keep an eye on Pearse.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“The perfect claustrophobic setting packed with mystery and edge-of-your-seat tension.” 
—Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar

“Dark, suspenseful and downright chilling, Pearse’s debut, The Sanatorium, is a triumph. Vividly set against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps, it had me on the edge of my seat from the first page. Pearse’s writing is sublime. Pearse has a big future ahead of her.”
—Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Mother-in-Law

“The Sanatorium is definitely a debut novel to watch out for. What a chilling read! One of the creepiest thrillers I’ve ever read. So atmospheric, clever and compulsive. LOVED it!”
—Claire Douglas, bestselling author of Last Seen Alive

“A superb debut offering an astonishingly creepy and isolated backdrop, great characters, tension and twists. Hugely atmospheric with enough menace to keep you looking over your shoulder!”
—Sam Carrington, bestselling author of I Dare You

“A spine-tingling setting, an unnerving cast of characters and so many incredibly creepy moments . . . this is not one to read before bed!”
—Elizabeth Kay, author of Seven Lies

“An incredible debut . . . Clever, creepy and utterly compelling.”
—Samantha King, author of The Perfect Family

“A superbly atmospheric crime debut. Deliciously creepy and clever, it’s everything you could want in a thriller. Very highly recommended!”
—Simon Lelic, author of The Search Party

“An atmospheric thriller with the perfect claustrophobic setting. This is equal parts creepy, suspenseful and gruesome—everything you could want in a novel for this genre. This is a sure-fire hit guaranteed to keep you seeing shadows in the snow on those freezing winter nights. I loved it.” 
—C.J. Skuse, author of Sweetpea

“I loved it—such a wonderful sense of location, and the tension is knife edge-sharp.” 
—Michelle Adams, author of If You Knew My Sister
© Rosie Parsons Photography
Sarah Pearse grew up in Devon, England, and studied English literature and creative writing at the University of Warwick before completing a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism. The Sanatorium, her debut, was an instant New York Times bestseller and a #1 Sunday Times bestseller, and was selected as a Reese's Book Club Pick. The Retreat, her second novel, was also a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. View titles by Sarah Pearse

About

“An atmospheric chiller with shocking twists.” Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

Detective Elin Warner unravels the mystery behind the disappearance of a young woman in a propulsive new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium


Since the dark events that scarred her childhood, Kier Templer escaped her hometown to live life on the road. She and her twin have never lost contact until, on a trip to a Portuguese national park, Kier vanishes without a trace.

Detective Elin Warner arrives in the same park ready to immerse herself in its vast wilderness – only to hear about Kier’s disappearance, and discover a disturbing map she left behind. The few strangers at an isolated campsite close ranks against Elin’s questions, and the park’s wild beauty starts to turn sinister.

Elin must untangle the clues to find out what really happened to Kier. But when you follow a trail, you have to be careful to watch your back...

Sarah Pearse brilliantly introduced readers to Elin Warner in The Sanatorium, with her exploits continuing in The Retreat; here, the series concludes with The Wilds, where the unanswered questions plaguing Elin are finally resolved.

Reviews

Praise for The Wilds:

“An atmospheric chiller with shocking twists.”
Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

“Sarah Pearse always delivers a riveting read! The Wilds is a page-turning, unpredictable, and brilliantly plotted thriller that had me double-checking my locks.”
—Ashley Elston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Lie Wins

“An absolute winner! The Wilds gives us everything we crave in thriller writing: A roller coaster of a plot (who doesn't just love a mysterious map to be decoded?), a strong and thoroughly appealing protagonist and an addictive literary voice painting rich portrayals of the characters and the ominous locale in which Detective Elin Warner finds herself. This is a one-sitting read; plan your day accordingly.”
—Jeffery Deaver, #1 international bestselling author of the Colter Shaw series

“Layered, richly drawn, and utterly compelling. Pearse masterfully turns the screws of suspense, deftly twisting and subverting expectations until nothing and no one is what it seems.”
—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of The New Couple in 5B

The Wilds is the perfect thriller for your summer holiday and a mesmerically brilliant conclusion for Detective Elin Warner. With delicious atmospherics, compulsively readable characters and secrets that will leave your jaw on the floor, the million-copy bestseller Sarah Pearse has surpassed her own dazzling standards and written her best book yet.”
—Matthew Blake, international bestselling author of Anna O

“Grips from page one with its serpentine plot, powerful sense of place and mood of real menace. The Wilds is Sarah Pearse’s best yet.”
—Louise Candlish, international bestselling author of Our House

“Elegantly crafted and neatly plotted. The twisty narrative is stuffed with cryptic clues and unexpected developments. It makes for a satisfying thriller and a fitting swan song for a compelling creation.”
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“An addictive, atmospheric mystery in an absolutely spectacular setting: if you enjoyed The Sanatorium, you're going to love this.”
T.M. Logan, international bestselling author of The Holiday

“Pearse's final installment of Detective Elin Warner’s story is a deeply compelling, tightly plotted, and transportive read. A master of suspense, Pearse weaves a complex story with skillful twists, leading us to a breathless conclusion. A must-read.”
—Lucy Clarke, international bestselling author of The Hike

“Transporting, beautifully written, the story shifting with each satisfying dark twist, I was both gripped and moved by The Wilds. A cracker of a thriller, I just loved it.”
—Eve Chase, international bestselling author of The Glass House

“Engrossing, surprising, and beautifully written.”
—Mark Edwards, international bestselling author of The House Guest

“With whiplash inducing twists and an intricately plotted story, Sarah Pearse writes with such inimitable style and confidence, it's hard to believe this is only her third novel. Utterly gripping.”
—John Marrs, bestselling author of What Lies Between Us
 
The Wilds is a superb Elin Warner thriller. Intelligent, twisty, stylish, and incredibly suspenseful. Had a genuine feel of Hitchcockian tension and dread. Riveting.”
—Will Dean, author of The Last Passenger

“The Wilds has an incredible sense of place. I could smell the pine needles and feel the mist on my face. An eerie and atmospheric destination thriller with some mind-bending twists!”
—Allie Reynolds, author of Shiver
 
“A stunning, sweeping suspense that leaves you reeling.”
—Jane Corry, author of My Husband’s Wife

“It’s Sarah Pearse’s best book yet (a very high bar). Smart, shocking, and scary; the twists had me turning pages at breakneck speed. The Wilds is everything you want a thriller to bea cracking plot, perfectly told. I miss Elin already.”  
—Nikki May, author of Wahala

“The Wilds is visceral, evocative, and crackles with tension. It’s a totally engrossing, immersive, and thought-provoking read, and a brilliant conclusion to a trilogy that marries edge-of-the-seat thrillers with deeply transporting writing.” 
—Emylia Hall, author of The Shell House Detectives series

The Wilds is impossible to resist. It’s tense, atmospheric, and gripping with emotional depth and incredible twists. What a feat!”
—Trisha Sakhlecha, author of The Inheritance

"Pearse has written another intriguing page-turner.”
LA Times

Praise for The Retreat:

“Devilish and deliciously twisty.”
—People

“Well-written fusion of psychological thriller and whodunnit. . . Pearse smartly reworks Christie’s setting, making her island at once a gothic throwback, with caves and talk of a curse, and a very 21st-century escape, with green values and holistic therapy. And she’s very good on the relationships within the group as tension builds.”
—Sunday Times (London)

“This thriller novel is so dark and tense, it’s the perfect read for anyone lounging in the sun this summer, grateful that your holiday isn’t so chaotic.”
—Cosmopolitan (London)

“[A] thrilling murder mystery.”
—PopSugar

“A riveting, twisty page-turner . . . Readers of Pearse’s earlier book or Ruth Ware’s suspense novels will be hard-pressed to put down this atmospheric, sometimes creepy novel.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

“Full of foreboding and high-stakes tension, Sarah Pearse's latest is a page-turner. The past doesn't stay buried for long, at sea or on land, and what comes to the surface is both shocking and chilling.”
—Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid

“Pearse goes from strength to strength in The Retreat. The suspense inexorably builds to a stunning climax. An added treat is the return of Elin Warner, who is a fascinating character one can only root for.”
—David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simply Lies

“If Sarah Pearse’s sensational debut The Sanatorium summoned the dangerous spirits of Gothic storytellers past, her new novel The Retreat recalls the one-by-one-by-one nerve-shredding of Agatha Christie at her darkest. Pearse is one of those rare contemporary writers—alongside Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, and Alice Feeney—both reviving and refreshing the traditions of mystery fiction. A fresh, daring, irresistible thriller.”
—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

“Gut-wrenching, taut, and brilliantly claustrophobic, The Retreat delivers twist after devastating twist. I could not put it down—an absolute must-read.”
—Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of The Love of My Life

“Sarah Pearse has done it again! The Retreat is a heart-pounding, adrenaline-soaked thrill ride, packed with well-drawn characters, settings so real you could touch them, and cliffhangers and twists as belly-flipping as a dive off the fictional island's Reaper's Rock. Block off your schedule, because once you start reading, you won't be able to stop.”
—Andrea Bartz, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Never Here

“Sarah Pearse has expertly crafted another eerie, atmospheric thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder as you read. A wonderfully chilling story of grief, revenge, and family secrets. An absorbing escape!”
—Ashley Audrain, New York Times bestselling author of The Push

“Deliciously paced with rich worldbuilding, The Retreat teems with questionable motives, unspoken frustrations, and hair-raising cliffhangers. Pearse's latest thriller is a reminder that beneath the glimmering exterior of the places and people we love, vengeance often lurks. I absolutely could not put this book down!”
—Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

“Detective Elin Warner is back in another atmospheric thriller. Pearse cleverly develops intrigue and ramps up the tension relentlessly as the stakes become deadly. Fans of The Sanatorium will love it.”
—Gilly Macmillan, New York Times bestselling author of The Long Weekend

“Dazzling and inventive, like an Agatha Christie mystery split open by a heatwave. Sarah Pearse won readers' hearts with The Sanatorium, and The Retreat is every bit as transporting, with another unforgettable setting and a complex web of secrets. I didn't want it to end.”
—Flynn Berry, New York Times bestselling author of Northern Spy

“Be careful who you root for, as no character is safe in Sarah Pearse’s new novel The Retreat. In the spirit of a true thriller, the tension is taut and the suspense is real as the pace builds to a heart-stopping finale. A triumphant second novel, which is no mean feat.”
—Sandie Jones, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Woman

“A story as unsettling as the island that serves as its setting. Don't trust anyone at The Retreat.”
—Stacy Willingham, New York Times bestselling author of A Flicker in the Dark

“Unsettling, unnerving and unforgettable. The Retreat is the kind of creepy, atmospheric thriller that burrows deep beneath your skin until the chilling climax.”
—Chris Whitaker, New York Times bestselling author of We Begin at the End

“With The Retreat, Sarah Pearse confirms her spot as a world-class thriller writer. Superb.”
—Steve Cavanagh, author of Thirteen

“Just like The Sanatorium, The Retreat tells a twisty, chilling and tense tale in a location so vividly imagined, you feel like you’re there too, among the guests. Long may Sarah Pearse continue to ruin the idea of luxury-resort travel for us all…”
—Catherine Ryan Howard, international bestselling author of The Nothing Man

“Atmospheric and richly described, with surprises around every corner. From the terrifying prologue to the chilling final twist, Pearse has created another highly creepy thriller!”
—Allie Reynolds, author of Shiver

“I absolutely loved it. So many threads, more red herrings than a North Sea fishing trawler, cliffhangers galore and my absolute favorite—short, snappy chapters. It's a riveting, twisty turny read, a classic whodunnit with a killer final twist.”
—John Marrs, bestselling author of The One


Praise for The Sanatorium:

“CHILLING! The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is an eerie, atmospheric novel that had me completely on the edge of my seat. Let’s set the mood. . . You’re in a remote location—at a hotel—and there’s a snowstorm. The winds are howling, the snow is pelting in every direction, there’s a missing person, and a dead body shows up!” 
—Reese Witherspoon

“When guests at a five-star resort in the Alps disappear mid-blizzard, vacation’s over for detective Elin Warner. It’s The Shining but with a full house.”
—People

“I devoured this in one sitting.” 
—Parade

“Creepy, deeply claustrophobic, mind-numbing, teasing, twists and turns galore, this book is a towering example of a masterful hand at work. If only Hitchcock were still around to film it.”
—David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simply Lies

“I absolutely loved The Sanatorium—it gave me all the wintry thrills and chills. It was just wonderful.”
—Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest List

The Sanatorium is an absolutely splendid gothic thriller—gracious in its nods to the classic locked-room mystery, yet bold enough to burst out of that room through the window. Pearse writes prose as fresh and crisp as Swiss Alp powder, and her characters fascinate even as their numbers dwindle.”
—A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

“Pearse’s The Sanatorium will keep you checking over your shoulder. This spine-tingling, atmospheric thriller has it all: an eerie alpine setting, sharp prose, and twists you’ll never see coming. A must-read.”
—Richard Osman, international bestselling author of The Thursday Murder Club

Sarah Pearse’s The Sanatorium is a knockout. Mesmerizing, lyrical prose contrasts starkly with the dark story events in this debut thriller set at a remote luxury hotel in the Swiss Alps. Tense, claustrophobic, with a horrific connection between past and present that is utterly unpredictable—I loved this book!” 
—Karen Dionne, #1 international bestselling author of The Wicked Sister

“It's hard to believe this is a debut novel, given how masterfully Sarah Pearse writes. The setting is starkly chilling, the characters are smart and vulnerable, and as you turn the pages, the slow creep of claustrophobia sets in. Highly recommended.”  
—Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Wife Between Us

“A mix of whodunnit and psychological thriller with hints of horror, this fine debut. . . is smartly structured and often powerful.”
—The Sunday Times (London)

“Sarah Pearse’s chilling debut is making waves . . . The Sanatorium certainly has an eerie, cinematic appeal... Sinister scene well and truly set, unexplained disappearances commence and dark family dynamics emerge, with quick chapters that keep pages turning. With whispers of The Shining in setting and The Girl on the Train in pace, it . . . will please fans of suspense. Either way, it’s crying out for a screen adaptation and provides a welcome, if unsettling, distraction from current events.”
—Vanity Fair (UK)

“This impressive debut is a twist on the classic locked-room mystery in a wonderfully eerie gothic setting. Its sharp prose builds suspense through a series of twists that will send an alpine chill up your spine, building to an unpredictable finale. This clever, compelling thriller deserves to be a bestseller and marks out Sarah Pearse as one to watch.”
The Sunday Express (London)

“A colorful and tense murder mystery with a chilling (in more ways than one) atmosphere. . . There is a pleasing pressure-cooker feel to proceedings, reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None. Pearse uses clever red herrings—secrets, pills, affairs, mental illness—and the stand-off scenes between Elin and the murderer are genuinely scary.”
—The Irish Times

“Slowly the dark secrets hidden in the sinister building emerge from the shadows. There are echoes of Hitchcock and du Maurier, but Pearse has her own distinctive, emotional voice—one to be admired.”
—Daily Mail (London)

“Pearse’s engrossing debut boasts a highly atmospheric setting . . . This dark tale of family dynamics is sure to please suspense fans.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Pearse not only creates believably fallible characters, she also vividly portrays the frigid landscape of Le Sommet buffeted by blizzards, and a chilling epilogue cries out for a sequel. Crime-fiction readers will want to keep an eye on Pearse.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“The perfect claustrophobic setting packed with mystery and edge-of-your-seat tension.” 
—Natasha Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar

“Dark, suspenseful and downright chilling, Pearse’s debut, The Sanatorium, is a triumph. Vividly set against the backdrop of the Swiss Alps, it had me on the edge of my seat from the first page. Pearse’s writing is sublime. Pearse has a big future ahead of her.”
—Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Mother-in-Law

“The Sanatorium is definitely a debut novel to watch out for. What a chilling read! One of the creepiest thrillers I’ve ever read. So atmospheric, clever and compulsive. LOVED it!”
—Claire Douglas, bestselling author of Last Seen Alive

“A superb debut offering an astonishingly creepy and isolated backdrop, great characters, tension and twists. Hugely atmospheric with enough menace to keep you looking over your shoulder!”
—Sam Carrington, bestselling author of I Dare You

“A spine-tingling setting, an unnerving cast of characters and so many incredibly creepy moments . . . this is not one to read before bed!”
—Elizabeth Kay, author of Seven Lies

“An incredible debut . . . Clever, creepy and utterly compelling.”
—Samantha King, author of The Perfect Family

“A superbly atmospheric crime debut. Deliciously creepy and clever, it’s everything you could want in a thriller. Very highly recommended!”
—Simon Lelic, author of The Search Party

“An atmospheric thriller with the perfect claustrophobic setting. This is equal parts creepy, suspenseful and gruesome—everything you could want in a novel for this genre. This is a sure-fire hit guaranteed to keep you seeing shadows in the snow on those freezing winter nights. I loved it.” 
—C.J. Skuse, author of Sweetpea

“I loved it—such a wonderful sense of location, and the tension is knife edge-sharp.” 
—Michelle Adams, author of If You Knew My Sister

Author

© Rosie Parsons Photography
Sarah Pearse grew up in Devon, England, and studied English literature and creative writing at the University of Warwick before completing a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism. The Sanatorium, her debut, was an instant New York Times bestseller and a #1 Sunday Times bestseller, and was selected as a Reese's Book Club Pick. The Retreat, her second novel, was also a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. View titles by Sarah Pearse