The Retreat

Pamela Dorman: Viking. (Detective Elin Warner, Bk. 2). Jul. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9780593489420. $27. SUSPENSE
Pearse follows the best-selling first “Elin Warner” novel The Sanatorium with a riveting, twisty page-turner. Memories of the murders at Reaper’s Rock, a small island off England’s coast, still linger. But, 20 years later, it’s the site of a luxury eco-resort. When the guests find a body on the beach, Detective Sergeant Elin Warner is sent to the island. After a recent case triggered panic attacks, Elin isn’t sure she’s ready to run an investigation again. It appears the young woman’s death, a fall over a banister, was an accident, but she wasn’t supposed to be on the island, and something about her death tweaks Elin’s suspicion. When two more people die, Elin begins to wonder if the stories of a curse on the island might be true. The murders pile up, and Elin and Police Constable Steed dig into the island’s history of murder and violence, looking for connections to the current deaths.
VERDICT Readers of Pearse’s earlier book or Ruth Ware’s suspense novels will be hard-pressed to put down this atmospheric, sometimes creepy novel.
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