The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution. Donna Thorland. Penguin Group (USA). March 2013. 432 pp. hbk. ISBN #: 9780451415394.
Kate Grey is living quietly as a Quaker in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War in the American colonies in the 1700s when in one night her whole world undergoes an indescribable change. The British soldiers who invade her home, headed by Major Peter Tremayne, are aggressive and frightening. Tremayne forces a kiss upon this reluctant woman who reacts with awe to the senses awoken by his forceful, sensual kiss. But she also sees something that night that converts her from the stereotypical Quaker pacifist to a fierce, determined Patriot who will do anything to see the “Red Coats” defeated!
A mysterious woman known as the “Widow” arrives and it is very clear that she is not a Quaker and is really a spy. She will undertake Kate’s training in skills to be used against the enemy, a formidable task that will earn Kate death if she is caught. At the same time, their activity results in the court martial of Peter Tremayne, the man who loses everything but cannot forget Kate Grey, the woman who possesses his mind and heart from that first but brief encounter and kiss.
The novel will continue and bring the reader into enemy plans, battles, other spies and Loyalists who will do anything to force the British to leave. Kate’s father is serving General Washington, two men who know far more than the British realize and whose network of spies enables advance action in the face of huge numbers of enemy soldiers. Philadelphia is a prize for the victor, one that demands multiple waves of devious strategy.
Peter and his cousin, “Bay Caide” hold a deep, dark secret that many seem to know but will not reveal. Tenderness, bitterness, stark cruelty, and sweetness fill these pages which are predictable in one sense but totally unpredictable as certain events test the will of both Peter and Kate. Love of country demands nothing less!
The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution is a realistic, harsh and sweet story to be relished – a fine piece of historical fiction!!!