Thrilled to host one of the stops on this blog tour
11 November 2020
My thanks to the publishers for my ecopy of this book
and to Rachel's Random Resources for the invitation to the tour
What would you do to protect the ones you love?
1861. George’s life changes forever the day he meets Lucy. She’s beautiful and charming, and he sees a future with her that his position as the second son in a wealthy family has never offered him. But when Lucy dies in a suspected poisoning days after rejecting George, he finds himself swept up into a murder investigation. George loved Lucy; he would never have harmed her. So who did?
Now. On the surface Cassie is happy with her life: a secure job, good friends, and a loving family. When a mysterious gift in a long-forgotten will leads her to a dark secret in her family’s history she’s desperate to learn more. But the secrets in Cassie’s family aren’t all hidden in the past, and her research will soon lead her to a revelation much closer to home – and which will turn everything she knows on its head…
What did I think about it...
This dual time family drama is packed full of mysterious elements and the puzzle which evolves in the past concerning a miscarriage of justice and the warm hearted story in the present which looks at the complications of family dynamics are each compelling in their own special way.
The story begins in Victorian England with that of George Bitten who becomes enamoured with one of the household servants, but all is not going to go smoothly in this one sided romance and pretty soon George is facing a devastating dilemma. In the present day we meet Cassie who loves researching her family genealogy and when she finds a link between herself and that of the Bitten family she is determined to discover the truth even if it means uncovering some deeply hidden secrets.
I loved how this novel moved effortlessly forwards and backwards in time as each time frame feels really authentic. There is a lovely contemporary feel to Cassie's story especially when something her own past threatens to shatter the cosy world she has so carefully made for herself. George's sad story, particularly of the Victorian penal system, is equally compelling and I enjoyed how the author made this seem all the more relevant by using the journal George tried so hard to complete.
The author has a lovely way of drawing the reader right into the very centre of the story so that emotional bonds are quickly made with all the characters, and even as one section ended I found myself eagerly anticipating what was coming next. Dual time narratives are notoriously difficult to write so that the transition between time frames seems effortless, however, this author has really captured this genre and does so in grand style and with a wonderful sense of both history and mystery.
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.