A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of a disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?Sweeping historical fiction perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Kathryn Hughes and Tracy Rees.
The Storm Girl is available in ebook now, for the amazing price of 99p and out in paperback on the 7th July 2022. You can purchase or pre-order your copy using the links below.
Katherine McGurl is one of my all time favourite dual timeline authors so I was very excited to be invited onto the blog tour for this book. Once again the author has written an extremely captivating and gripping read that I really enjoyed.
Firstly I’ve visited Dorset many times on holiday so the author’s vivid descriptions help me perfectly picture the setting in this book. I loved learning more about life in the 18th century and more about the smuggling trade which I didn’t know much about prior to reading this book. It was difficult to read about how hard life was for everyone, particularly the poor, in this time though and how dangerous some of the work they had to do was.
The story is told in two time lines one following Millie in the present day and the other following Esther as she helps in her dad’s smuggling business. If I had to be completely honest I did prefer the later timeline more as I enjoyed learning more about the time as there was so much danger and excitement in the story. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Millie’s story though as it was fun to follow her as she unravelled the mystery to her farm house. Plus she was renovating a farm house which is always a bit of a dream of mine.
Overall i really enjoyed this book. The gripping drama of the smugglers was fun to follow and I enjoyed trying to solve the mystery alongside Millie. I thought the two timelines complemented each other perfectly with some clues being dropped in one timeline to help the reader make sense of what happens in the other which I thought was very clever. The ending was brilliant and I especially liked reading the author’s notes at the end explaining more about her research. I was fascinated to discover that some of the characters were real people!
Huge thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my inviting me onto the blog tour and to HQ for my copy of this book via netgalley.
About The Author:
Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband. She has two sons who have both now left home. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has published several novels with HQ and self-published another. She has also sold dozens of short stories to women’s magazines, and written three How To books for writers. After a long career in the IT industry she became a full-time writer in 2019. When she’s not writing, she’s often out running, slowly.