Book review: Kathleen McGurl, The Storm Girl

The Storm Girl

The gripping new historical novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Bletchley Park and The Forgotten Secret.

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.

Purchase Links

UK –

US –


There’s always the worry with dual time-line stories that you’ll want to spend more time in one part of the story than the other, hurrying through the ‘wrong’ chapters to get ‘back’ to whichever you prefer, whether that’s the past or present. Thankfully, not here! Although as a hist-fic nerd I’ll always feel more comfortable there, but I thoroughly enjoyed both sides here. As a coast-dweller too, there’s always been something fascinating about smugglers and smuggling for me, all secret passageways, hidden entrances, double-dealing and mistrust.

When Millie makes a discovery in her recently-purchased 18th century home (and who doesn’t dream of THAT!!!), it sets her off on a journey of historical discovery. Esther too, back in the 1700s, has a journey and a half to deal with, with the ever-present danger of being a smuggler being just one amongst many!

Throughout, the romance, suspense and mystery are perfectly interwoven in both the past and present, with everything falling into place perfectly as the two elements come together. Another cracking story from Kathleen McGurl!

Author Bio –

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe but home is Mudeford, where this novel is set.

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