The Greek Escape by Karen Swan
Having recently finished The Hidden Beach by Karen Swan, I decided to treat myself to a couple of Karen Swan's backlist. These are the perfect summer reads, perfect for the beach or a summer holiday. Given that a holiday abroad is looking a bit tricky at the mo, I curled up with this on the sofa with an orangeade. (Keeping it classy me!).
Chloe Marston lives in New York and has the best job as support to a Lifestyle Manager, Poppy, also her best friend. A Lifestyle Manager caters to the outrageously rich, obtaining services and things not widely available. want real life Penguins at a party? or to lunch with the Brazilian Prime Minister at short notice? - A Lifestyle Manager will obtain this for you. Chloe is forced to take over Poppy's clients when a car ploughs into poor Poppy. Chloe's first task is to source a secluded home on a Greek Island with the darkly attractive Joe Lincoln. But news comes in that Poppy's accident was deliberate and complicated further when Chloe's ex and boss turn up and allegations arise about Joe. Who can Chloe trust? and is she in danger?
Well this is everything I come to expect from a Karen Swan novel, great escapist fun with glamorous locations. Karen Swan says she was inspired by childhood memories of donkeys during a Greek family holiday and her descriptions of the Aegean Sea and Greek landscape transport you there immediately. You can feel the sun on your shoulders and can almost taste an ice cold beer. It is a small glimpse into the lives of the rich staying in the the most exquisite hotels and wearing the most heavenly designer clothes.
There is always a hint of darkness in Karen Swan's novels and this is no different. Domestic abuse, financial irregularity and just general appalling behaviour dot this novel throughout. This gives the novel a bit more depth than the usual beach read.
Chloe and Poppy are very likeable. Joe is handsomely mysterious and the rotters in the novel are exactly that. You end up developing quite an irrational hatred for some of them. (Well I did anyway!).
The novel was everything I wanted (and needed!) in a great beach read and does not disappoint. It makes me want more holidays and a chance to visit the Greek Islands. The plot cantered along at a cracking pace and the characters are great. I'm looking forward to catching up with more of the backlist.