The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution by Donna Thorland

Source: Borrowed from Diary of an Eccentric
Paperback, 432 pages
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The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution by Donna Thorland is a steamy novel of espionage, spies, and cover-ups. Quaker daughter Kate Grey is swept up in a plot against the British by Mrs. Ferrars, who is tasked with watching over her while her father rides off with supplies for The Continental Army.  Riding away from the only home she’s known, she’s forced to hear and see the darker side of war as it comes to her neighbor’s farm.  From that moment of helplessness on, she’s made up her mind to fight against the British who have plundered her home and its women.  She establishes herself in Philadelphia as an heiress, with the help of Ferrars, and embarks on a journey she never expects would lead her back to the British officer, Peter Tremayne, whom Ferrars duped at the Grey farm.

“Only the barest sliver of light entered beneath the batten door, which was reinforced on both sides with iron plates.  He took care not to look directly at it; in this blackness it would blind him like the sun.  He stood soaking up the darkness, breathing in the chemical smells of old powder and fresh mold, and reining in the panic that threatened to overwhelm him.  It was like being underground, being buried.  The unseen vault must be at least three stories above him, and the emptiness held all the childhood terrors of the night, and the decidedly adult terror that came with the knowledge of all the ways a man might die in such a place.”  (page 207)

Secrets twist in on themselves as Kate becomes engaged to one of the most terrifying British soldiers campaigning with General Howe from Philadelphia.  Although Kate flourishes in her new role as beautiful spy, turning heads, she is ill prepared for the emotional attachment she feels for her mark and still has for the man she never expected to see again, Peter Tremayne.  The emotions that she keeps hidden driver her actions more than she realizes, and at times, they are what breaks down her facade, makes her stumble, and leaves her lying in traps set by more emotionally detached foes.

Thorland weaves fact with fiction seamlessly in this historical novel about the American Revolution, and readers will see the strategy and battle scenes play out with gruesome consequences.  She captivates her readers through the building of strong and flawed characters whose lives are not only torn apart by war, but also the loyalty they feel to their families and countries even as they see hope in the enemy.  Trust and loyalty are tested over and over again, but Kate is committed to her duty and risks everything she wants, especially with Peter, to save General Washington and the Rebel cause.  The Turncoat: Renegades of the Revolution by Donna Thorland is gripping and offers a more exciting look at the American Revolution from both the Rebel and Crown’s point of views.


About the Author:

Graduating from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History, Donna Thorland managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem for several years. She then earned an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She has been a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow and a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, and has written for the TV shows Cupid and Tron: Uprising. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project aired on WNET Channel 13. Her fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Donna is married with one cat and splits her time between Salem and Los Angeles.

This is my 56th book for the 2013 New Authors Challenge.




This is my 3rd book for the American Revolution Reading Challenge 2013


  1. Sounds very interesting!

  2. I’m glad you liked this one, too. I wasn’t expecting it to be so sexy, but that certainly made it more readable. 😉

  3. I’m not drawn to that period in history for some reason but do have a friend who would probably love this book.

  4. Like the sound of this one. The period in history is also new to me.

    • Anna and I are hosting the American Revolution reading challenge at War Through the Generations…if you’re interested, there’s still time to join.