Thank you so much to Jenny Platt at Hodder for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton. I received a copy of the book to read and prepare, however this review is my honest opinion.
Very few people get the opportunity to stay here. And some don’t get to leave…
Zoey doesn’t remember anything about last night. But she knows something went badly wrong. For she is no longer in New York. She’s woken up i the desert, in a white building she doesn’t recognise, and she’s alone.
When she discovers she’s been admitted to The Sanctuary, a discreet, mysterious, isolated refuge from normal life, to avoid jail, she is stunned. She knows she has secrets, troubles, but she thought she had everything under control. But as she spends more time with other residents, she begins to open up about what she’s running from. Until she realises that not everyone in The Sanctuary has her best interests at heart, and someone might even be a killer…
I was a fan of Emma Haughton’s first locked in thriller, The Dark, last year (it literally feels I read it about three weeks ago….where has the time gone?!) and so I was very keen to take part in this blog tour when invited.
Like The Dark, The Sanctuary has a unique setting, this time in the Mexican desert. Once more it is a remote, dangerous location – although this time far warmer!
Told through the eyes of Zoey, a thirty-two-year-old woman whose life is aimless and on self-destruct after an incident in her university days caused her to give up her dreams for the future. Suddenly she finds herself in The Sanctuary after a night out gone wrong. But all is not as idyllic as it seems.
This is another one of those books that have robbed me of sleep! One more chapter it continually taunted – and so I blame my need to overuse the concealer solely on the pages of this book.
For me, the interactions between Zoey and the other residents were really compelling – finding out snippets of their past and trying to piece everything together. For a while I was pretty intent that going to this rather gorgeous place in the middle of nowhere might actually be some kind of bliss. Then it all started kicking off and I was invested.
One of my comments on The Dark was that it was a slow lead in – which was excellent for scene setting, but I know from conversations I’ve had that for some readers it took a bit too long to get going. In my opinion, The Sanctuary is far more evenly paced throughout. While the desert is prominent throughout, it doesn’t feel quite as dominant as Antarctica felt at times. The balance is much better throughout, so although I loved The Dark – The Sanctuary feels to level up and pack a punch on many more levels, which I suspect will earn many more fans for this brilliant writer.
Emma Haughton is definitely an author I’ll keenly be waiting to read more from. I have a feeling there is even better to come from her yet as her skill from one novel to the next has grown massively.
Warm yourself in the Mexican desert by grabbing a copy of The Sanctuary – fast paced, and full of everything you’re looking for in a thriller; twists, turns and intrigue!
The Sanctuary is out now and priced at £16.99. Things are tough right now, but if you can, please support your local independent bookshop. Either shop in store, or via their shop front at Bookshop.org if they don’t have their own online shop. From experience, every single sale really matters right now. And for the height of cheekiness, here’s the affiliate link for the rather lovely indie bookshop I work in, The Rabbit Hole in Brigg, North Lincolnshire.