What Da Cover Says: An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.
Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac.
And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.
But no-one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they’re all in.
What I Says: I have mixed feelings about this book, it has it’s good moments but there is a lot of weak writing and I can’t decide whether I liked it or not. The setting in the Swiss Alps was a fantastic idea, you can tell the author knows this landscape well, the descriptions are stunning and you could almost be there yourself. The plot itself is interesting enough to have kept me reading to the end, the idea behind the Sanatorium’s history was quite chilling.
The characters though are rubbish, nobody is developed enough to get you interested in them, Elin has a lot of baggage from an event in her past and it is dragged out for two thirds of the book, maybe if it was dealt with quicker she would have become the strong character that this book needed. The rest of the characters left you thinking they could be the killer and also not the killer at the same time, they were tough to get a read on, rather wishy-washy. A lot of the issues could be down to the very short chapters, the tension will start to build and then the chapter ends and you are left to start again, so many of the chapter breaks seemed unnecessary to me.
So it all came down to the ending would it be strong enough to make me want to recommend it to others…it wasn’t half bad, the reasoning behind the murders was very good, the final scene was very intense….and I have to admit I can’t remember if it was spread across loads of chapters or not, the flow was kept up well and I got caught up in the moment.
I think the book was ok in the end, it is a debut after all. There is a sequel, I’m hoping that Elin’s past has now been dealt with and that the readers can now get to see her in her element and start to solve some interesting cases. I think if you are a big reader of crime novels then you’ll like this one, I’m just a fussy old git.