The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton @Emma_Haughton @HodderBooks #TheSanctuary #TheClqrt #EmmaHaughton #BookBlog #BookReview

Hodder Books 24th November 2022

Book Description

Zoey enjoys her life. She fills it with travel, casual work and partying with friends, and tries not to think about what’s gone wrong in the past.

But after a night our clubbing in New York to celebrate her best friend’s birthday, Zoey wakes in a stifling room she’s never seen before, with no memory of how she got there. Filled with panic, she searches the luxurious house for someone who can tell her where she is, only to find herself entirely alone in what appears to be vast, unending desert.

Until in the distance, she hears a woman screaming…

My Thoughts

Thank you Jenny at Hodder for inviting me to be involved with the blog tour for this book, I was also lucky enough to be invited to a Hodder blogger event where I heard the author speaking about this book, which served only to whet my appetite further. The modern day queen of the locked room mystery, Emma Haughton has moved from the remote Antartic to the equally remote Mexican desert – both environments hostile and inaccessible, both the perfect location for a murder!

A mysterious benefactor intervenes when Zoey finds herself in a mess and bails her out, on condition that she completes the programme at the exclusive Santuary, funded by the aforementioned anonymous benefactor. This is all news to Zoey as she has little recollection of the preceding events and initially sees no reason to stay, cost and consequences persuade her and she finds there are some benefits to being at the Sanctuary, as she begins to develop some insight into events that have left her lost and drifting, using alcohol as a crutch.

But there is an undercurrent at this idyllic location, one guest has left abruptly leaving the others confused, then a member of staff is reportedly found dead in the pool, but all is not what it seems and things swiftly take a further downturn as the healing luxury resort spirals into chaos.

I read The Dark (reviewed here) which I enjoyed, however everything about this second book, The Sanctuary is better. The author spent time developing the characters and detailing the environment, this meant it was a while before too much happened but that worked well; it was a positive. By the time things really started to go wrong I felt connected with Zoey, intrigued and appalled by what was happening and I had some suspicions.

The use of remote settings to create the ‘locked room’ is an entertaining format, there is a limited number of suspects and everyone – you and the characters know that! The build up of events was done well and the author created a real sense of foreboding as things went from bad to worse. A strong thriller which I enjoyed a lot. Will you be reading this one?

Thanks as always for reading.

About the Author

Emma Haughton grew up in Sussex, studied English at Oxford and worked as a journalist for several national newspapers, including The Times Travel section. Emma has written several non – fiction books for schools as well as YA thrillers. The Dark was her first crime novel; The Sanctuary is her second.


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