Posted in Book Review

The Daughters of Red Hill Hall – Kathleen McGurl -4* Review

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Historical Blurb

When Gemma discovers a pair of ancient duelling pistols encrusted with rubies in the basement of the local museum, she is immediately intrigued…

On a fateful night in 1838 two sisters were found shot in the cellars of Red Hill Hall. And when Gemma begins to delve deeper into their history she begins to realise that the secrets of that night are darker than anyone had ever imagined.

As the shocking events of the past begin to unravel, Gemma’s own life starts to fall apart. Loyalties are tested and suddenly it seems as if history is repeating itself, as Gemma learns that female friendships can be deadly…

Historical Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Historical My Review

The Daughters Of Red Hill Hall: A gripping novel of family, secrets and murderI enjoyed reading ‘The Pearl Locket’ and ‘The Emerald Comb’ and like those books, this story has both a historical and contemporary setting, which intertwine in an interesting way.
The historical story of Rebecca and Sarah, ‘The Daughters of Red Hill Hall’ is full of mystery, menace and is often poignant. The contemporary tale of Gemma and Nat curiously reflects the past, whilst revealing the secrets of ‘The Daughters of Red Hill Hall’.
The prologue of the story sets the scene for what is for the most part a tragedy but thankfully the ending of the historical tale is hopeful. There isn’t a fairytale happy ever after but definitely a realistic ‘let’s make the best of what we have.’
Weak male characters categorise both stories. I enjoyed the mystery and menace of the historical story, unfortunately not present in the contemporary tale. Overall it was an engaging read.
I received a copy of this book from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.


The Daughters Of Red Hill Hall: A gripping novel of family, secrets and murder
by Kathleen McGurl

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Daughters Of Red Hill Hall A gripping novel of family, secrets and murder by Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl

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5* Review: The Pearl Locket – Kathleen McGurl

23484425Historical BlurbWhen Ali inherits her great-aunt’s house she immediately moves her whole family in, despite the warnings that there is something strange about the place. Unfazed, Ali begins redecorating, going through the rooms, making each one her own with the help of her daughter, Kelly. But when under the wallpaper in Kelly’s new room they discover a scrawled message from 1944 Ali begins to question the history of the house as she knows it.

Her family has always seemed so picture perfect, not a blemish or a secret to be found. Yet, this discovery throws her into confusion and Ali begins to question exactly what she knows about her family and the mysteries they have kept.

Historical Buy Links
Amazon UK
Amazon
Historical My Review

The Pearl LocketThe Pearl Locket’ is another delightful time slip story, which connects England 2014 with war torn England in 1944, when Joan met Jack and for a little while they found true love.

Ali wants to sell the house she inherited from her great aunt, even though it’s close to the seaside and much bigger than the rented accommodation where they currently reside. Pete her husband has other ideas and persuades Ali he can renovate the house so they can enjoy living in it, or sell it at a profit if they decide to. Ali agrees, with some reservations and the family move in.

Ali doesn’t worry about her daughter Kelly’s current obsession with the 1940’s until the past impedes on the future and threatens their family unity.

Joan and Jack’s wartime romance is poignant and gentle a reminder of sad times and sacrifice. The story within a story unfolds seamlessly and informs the present dilemma Kelly and her great grandmother Margaret experiences.

Kelly is sensitive to the house and its echoes of the past but Ali and Pete don’t understand what she is going through, until she takes drastic action. Kelly’s life parallels Joan’s, in many instances carefully interwoven into the story. There are plenty of unexpected plot twists and the empathy you feel with Joan peaks when her world falls apart.

Like The Emerald Comb’‘ the relationship between the female lead and her husband is strained and he comes across as a selfish individual, through her eyes.

This is classy women’s fiction with vivid characters and imagery, which bring the story to life; both in the contemporary setting and the past. This absorbing tale got me reaching for the tissues close to the end but it’s worth the tears.

Tragedy tempered with hope, connects the past with present in a realistically satisfying way and makes a great ending.

I received a copy of this story from Carina UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Read my 5* Review of ‘The Emerald Comb’

The Pearl Locket by Kathleen McGurl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Pearl Locket by Kathleen McGurl
Kathleen McGurl

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