The Retreat is Elisabeth De Mariaffi's newest novel. The locked room premise is a favourite of mine, so I was eager to check out The Retreat.
Maeve has taken herself to an arts retreat high up in the Rockies. She was a prima ballerina, but with a failed marriage, two children and an aging body, she has now has her sights on having her own ballet company. The two week retreat will give her inspiration and help her plan.
The choice of profession for the protagonist was quite different. As Shakespeare said..."Though she be but little, she is fierce." The six other staff and visitors in residence are quite the varied cast. There's something off about each and every one of them. And Maeve feels the tension right away. Personally, I would have turned and ran. But she stays...and an avalanche ensures that no one is going anywhere in the near future. The dead body is definitely going anywhere.
With the avalanche cutting the group off, the murderer has to be one of them. The first bit of the book was a bit slow for me. But the action picked up after the murder and kept racing forward from there on to the final pages. This is the bit I enjoyed the most. De Mariaffi has ensured that the reader will suspect everyone right down the final pages. I did find the murderer's 'why' to be a bit of a stretch. And as much as I thought I should, I never really bonded with Maeve as a lead character.
The Retreat was a good read, but not a standout for me. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The Retreat.