The Retreat, Sarah Pearse

The Retreat opening line: Thea’s scream rips through the clearing, startling the birds from the trees in a flurry of flapping wings.

The Retreat

My blurb:

DS Elin Warner has been called to a murder scene on an island retreat her partner designed. Will’s sister Farrah is the resort manager and she has a long history with the island. Eighteen years ago she was there when some children were murdered. At first, this current murder seems random, but Elin doesn’t think so. And connecting the dots will take a lot of effort, and truth telling.

The Retreat
Most are here to recharge and refresh.
But someone’s here for revenge…
They couldn’t wait to stay here.
An idyllic 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 rumored to be cursed.
But now they can’t leave.
A woman is found dead below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But DS Elin Warner soon learns that the victim wasn’t a guest – she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.
And they would do anything to escape…
The longer Elin stays, the more secrets she uncovers. And when someone else drowns in a diving incident, Elin begins to suspect that the old stories about the island are true.
Because history seems to be repeating itself – and the guests might not make it home alive…
My verdict:

Any book where I cannot work out who did it, is a great read in my opinion. I had no clue right up until Elin pieced it together. And then I hoped she was in time to save the lives of everyone else whose lives were at risk.

Read an extract of The Retreat


Summer 2003

Thea’s scream rips through the clearing, startling the birds from the trees in a flurry of flapping wings.

The sound isn’t human; it’s high-pitched and desperate, the kind of scream that turns your stomach inside out, makes your ears burn.

She should have waited until they got back to camp. He told her to wait.

But Thea had insisted. Half an hour and three beers since they’d snuck away from camp for some time alone, and she couldn’t hold it any longer: ‘Don’t look at me like that, it’s your fault for bringing so many cans. Shout if you see someone coming . . .’

Laughing, she’d walked a few paces away, carefully positioned herself so Ollie could see only the sandy tips of her white pumps, the thin trail of wet already winding through the dusty floor.


Publishing information:
ISBN 9781787633346
Format Trade Paperback
Published August 2022

Penguin Random House South Africa sent me this novel to review.

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