The Retreat by Sarah Pearse | ARC Review


The Retreat by Sarah Pearse

The Retreat by Sarah Pearse
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: July 19th, 2022
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
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Source: Thank you Times Read for the review copy in return for an honest review
Rating: 3.5⭐ 


Most are here to recharge and refresh.
But someone's here for revenge . . .

An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the coast of Devon, 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 rumoured to be cursed.

DC 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 man 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 retreat - and who else is in danger?

Elin must find the killer - before the island's history starts to repeat itself . . .


The second book in Detective Elin's series I have read the first one, which is The Sanatorium. I quite liked the first one, so I'm looking forward to reading The Retreat. A new eco-wellness retreat has opened on Cary Island, where a group of family and friends are vacationing. However, one of the sisters, Bea, wasn't able to attend the vacation with them. Not that long into the vacation, a woman's body was found below the yoga pavilion, and another woman's body was found dead too. In a short time, two accidental deaths in a row happened on an island. But who actually did it? Is it a murder case or an accident? Here's where Detective Elin comes into the picture to investigate the tragedy.

My hope was that this second book would be a little bit different. It might have a little bit of spice in it, but it is not that different from the first book. Knowing that the eco-wellness retreat has a history—a sinister one—and has suddenly become a retreat place, it does feel like a place to do something really bad. The vibe is exactly the same as the first book, except the death happened quite early in the chapter and it does make me question the family members and the partners as well. It seems that everyone has a motive to do it.

Detective Elin's character really has improved compared to the first book. Her character is raw and has many flaws that feel real to us. It's incredible how she's always been determined to solve this case. Despite having difficulty with herself that she needs to face, she manages to close the case. Once she started to investigate the case, she found more information not only about the death but also the history of the place, and she had to connect the dots in order to solve it. To be honest, that did wow me a lot. I was like, seriously?? Honestly, as I went further into the story, I found that the only character I cared about was Detective Elin, because the back and forth on their stories for the other characters was so confusing that I needed to go back to the previous pages just to understand their situation.

Altogether, the premise is intriguing enough to become the major reason I stay with the story. Although the beginning was quite slow, it was still manageable to give the mystery vibe and make me feel that something was not right with that group of people going on a vacation. It was really intense and really put me on the edge of my seat. However, there were times I didn't connect with the stories and couldn't be bothered to reread them again because I felt that they were too heavy for my head to understand. Overall, it was a good read, but still not my favourite.