Alex is a young writer suffering from a severe case of writer’s block. When literary idol Roza Vallo decides to host a writer’s retreat, Alex ends up as one of the lucky few selected for the once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from the best. Held at the gorgeous but eerie Blackbriar Estate, Roza’s retreat is sure to give Alex the kick start she needs to resume writing. Famed for her privacy, Roza welcomes the five young writers into her secluded home and lavish lifestyle. The house itself has a history of spiritualism and murder that is well-documented in the home’s library. What could be better for an aspiring horror writer?
But there’s a problem. Alex’s ex-friend Wren is also selected for the retreat, and things between them ended badly (to put it mildly). When the two come face to face, tension rises as they fight for control of their friendship’s story. Roza puts forth a strict schedule for the retreat and surprises the attendees with a shocking proposition. The writer with the best manuscript at the end of the month will win a one million dollar contract. Stakes are raised as each writer begins to work on what they hope will become their big-ticket debut.
Roza has more than one surprise up her sleeve, and as Alex begins her one-on-one coaching relationship with the legendary author, she realizes that some things are not as harmless as they appear. As a snowstorm looms, the retreat quickly leads to unsettling discoveries as the house and its occupants reveal their true intentions.
This wasn’t my favorite locked-room snowstorm thriller, but if you’re a thriller fan like me you’ll find yourself turning pages to see what happens next! If you enjoyed the setting and vibe of this book, try The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse, One by One by Ruth Ware, or The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley.