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The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

Updated: Jun 4


As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!

Karen Swan is a UK writer who has written 17 bestselling novels, and they are often set in beautiful locations around the world. Previous novels are The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret and The Spanish Promise. In her latest book, The Hidden Beach, she transports the reader to Sweden.


Bell is working as a nanny for a wealthy family in the oldest part of Stockholm. Hanna and Max are parents to a nine-year-old boy, Linus, and four-year-old twins. Bell enjoys working for this happy family. But then one day she takes a phone call that changes everything. A woman from a clinic she has never heard of asks her to pass on an urgent message that Hanna’s husband is awake. Bell is confused – Max left the house only a few minutes earlier. But when she finally gets hold of Hanna, she discovers that Hanna’s first husband had an accident and has been in a coma for the past seven years. But now he’s awake and he wants his family back. But Hanna has forged a new life with Max, and Max is the only father that Linus remembers. In fact, Linus doesn’t even know about his biological father, Emil.

Things get more complicated when the family is on their annual holiday on the beautiful Swedish coast and Emil demands that he gets to spend time with his son. He threatens court action if he doesn’t get his way. So a very distressed boy has to go and live with someone that is a stranger to him. The only concession is that Bell can go with Linus to look after him. But Bell is soon drawn into a toxic web of family secrets and she unwittingly becomes part of the problem.


Karen Swan writes stories that sweep you away, with exotic locations and stories that are a great blend of romance and smart plots. The Hidden Beach is no exception – it’s a page turning, escapist read.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Macmillan Publishers

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