Book Review: The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton

“Very few people get to stay here. And some don’t get to leave …”

Set to be published on 24th November, The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton follows Zoey who 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 in 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 . . .


Thank you to NetGalley for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

An intriguing mystery with a tense setting, The Sanctuary has a brilliant opening scene that instantly fills you with a claustrophobic dread.

I was a big fan of Haughton’s The Dark and I love the fact that she went from frozen landscape to the scorching desert. And the locked-room thriller vibe again works quite well here. This is a rather large locked room with so much freedom outside so I never got the sense of being confined or trapped, but the isolated setting does add a lot more mystery and I certainly felt the heat.

The thriller side of the story is definitely quite domestic and not as gritty as I was hoping. But there’s a lot going on, which does make it difficult to predict easily.

Unfortunately, I found Zoey to be far too nosy which is one of my pet peeves for thrillers. Make her a journalist or a family member seeking answers, and her many questions would have been more justified. I understand that she needed to understand her own place at The Sanctuary, but I feel like all she did was pester into other peoples’ lives and that got a little tedious for me.

Other than that, I found this to be a quick and enjoyable thriller.


The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton
Release Date: 24th November 2022
Print Length: 372 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton


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