The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse: Chilling murder mystery set in the Swiss Alps
Book review: When a freak snowstorm leaves a hotel cut off the nightmare scenarios begin
There is a pleasing pressure-cooker feel to proceedings in Sarah Pearse’s debut novel, reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None
In How Novels Work, a superb manual on fiction by the English professor and Guardian editor John Mullan, the author discusses the importance of creating a sense of place in crime fiction and thrillers. Typically, the essence of detection begins with a particular location – the crime scene.
Mullan singles out Ruth Rendell as an author so adept at setting that it feels as if she has literally trodden the ground of her fictional backdrops: “You feel that she might do the research for each new novel simply by fixing on some locality and then tramping around it, noting those details of topography that can only ever be recorded, never just imagined. This is the trick of it, getting the place right.”