Do you know what I love most about Karen Swan’s books? You know they are always going to be great. You know that when you pick them up, you’ll find these wonderful characters, who always have a secret – sometimes you know it, sometimes you don’t – but it will have changed them in some way, and you get to discover how and why. You will also know the location will be amazing and knowing how much research Swan does for each of her books (you can read about it in my interview with the author here), you know it will be like you are also traveling to these places. And for 400 or so pages, you’ll be offered an escape. And those are the reasons I eagerly await Swan’s books. She rarely disappoints.

And Swan does it again in The Secret Path, her latest book by PGC Books and Pan MacMillan.

In this book, we get to meet Tara Tremain, a 20-year-old doctor trainee who is engaged to the man of her dreams, American biology student Alex Carter. Life is perfect, until Alex betrays her. Fast forward 10 years and she has moved on – a successful career and a man who loves her.

“But when she’s pulled back into her wealthy family’s orbit for an unmissable party in Costa Rica, she finds herself flung into a crisis: a child is desperately ill and the only remedy is several days’ trek away, right in the heart of the jungle. There’s only one person who can hep, but it’s the man who shattered her heart a decade before. And how can she trust him, of all people.”

Often Swan’s books start with a before and then switch into the present where we eventually meet the person from the past and the stories collide. In this case, the past went longer than I was expecting leaving me with a feeling of dread. I obviously knew Alex was going to do something awful and I was just waiting for it to happen. Until it did, I couldn’t feel settled in the story. I just wanted “it” to happen so I could move on to the now. It also took longer in the present to figure out fully happened.

The other great thing about Swan’s books is there always multiple things going on, a deeper issue that she dives into her stories, and, again, The Secret Path is no exception. I liked what this book showed me.

It also showed me while Costa Rica sounds glorious, heading deep into the jungle – guide or no guide – is not for me.

A copy of The Secret Path was provided by PGC Books for an honest review. My opinions are my own.