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Sarah Pearse follows 'The Sanatorium' with a new summer thriller, 'The Retreat'

Sarah Pearse is the author of "The Retreat"
Rosie Parsons Photography
Sarah Pearse is the author of "The Retreat"

An island getaway sounds like the perfect escape from a scorchingly hot summer, but author Sarah Pearse can’t resist juxtaposing a gorgeous setting with a gruesome crime. Her 2021 book The Sanatorium was a Reese’s Book Club pick and she’s back with a new summer thriller that revisits some of the characters we met in The Sanatorium.

Titled The Retreat, her newest novel follows detective Elin Warner as she unwraps the disturbing historical past and horrific present of a relaxing island getaway.

I recently spoke with Sarah Pearse about her setting choices, character development and more. Here’s our conversation.


The Retreat by Sarah Pearse was published by Pamela Dorman Books.

Thanks for joining us for Marginalia. If you enjoyed this podcast, please leave us a review.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita.

  • Mark Statzer and Torin Andersen - engineers
  • Lu Anne Stephens - editor
  • Haley Crowson - producer
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  • Beth Golay - host

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.