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…
I have not read any of Kathleen McGurl’s previous novel’s so I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but the blurb had me intrigued and I was keen to find out more. As I started reading I was drawn into a book telling two parallel stories, generations apart, but with eerily similar paths.
We see Gemma, a museum curator, who discovers to beautiful duelling pistols with a mysterious note attached. As she starts to investigate the history of the pistols and their origin at Red Hill Hall her own life starts to spiral with problems in her relationship and with her best friend.
Meanwhile we start to see the story she is investigating unfold, the story of Red Hill Hall and the sisters who lived there and how they ended up with the duelling pistols. Their story mirrors Gemma’s own story so closely it becomes almost unbearable to read at times wondering if the past is going to truly repeat itself.
I read this book in two sittings, I read it into the early hours one night then didn’t put it down until I had finished the next day. It was so compelling and had that pull of needing to know what was going to happen next. The novel is carefully woven with each chapter switching time so we never get far behind with each storyline.
The characters are carefully developed and fit perfectly into place. Gemma is at times truly frustrating and there were moments I warned to tell her so, but then someone else would tell her she was too soft and I would be glad she was hearing it! My favourite characters were the bad one’s they were so well written, so nasty, so two-faced, and conniving, they were a real pleasure to read and it was actually really interesting to see what they would come up with next.
I’m definitely going to check out Kathleen’s back catalogue and I highly recommend this as an enjoyable and gripping read.
Thank you to Kathleen McGurl and Carina UK for the ARC via NetGalley so that I could review this book; and for Neverland Blog Tours for inviting me onto this tour.
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
About Kathleen McGurl:
Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, with her husband, sons and cats. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present., and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.
When not writing or working at her full-time job in IT, she likes to go out running or swimming, both of which she does rather slowly. She is definitely quicker at writing.
You can find out more at her website, , or follow her on Twitter @KathMcGurl .
Title: The Daughters of Red Hill Hall
Author: Kathleen McGurl
Genre: Mystery, History, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Carina UK
Publication Date: 14 April 2016
Review Format: eBook
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