Monday, 16 September 2019

Two Tides To Turn by R R Gall + #Giveaway

Two Tides To Turn by R R Gall
Self published on the 15th February 2019.

One of my 2019 New Release Challenge reads

Add Two Tides To Turn to your Goodreads

A family ripped asunder.
A terrible secret lurks in a thrilling novel of love, grief, and mystery.

Patrick thought his grandfather, John, died before he was born. In later life, he finds out that it wasn't true. For the first five years of Patrick's life, they stayed in the same small village. So why were they kept apart?

Patrick wishes to search the past to find the reason - but only if he can be united with his young daughter first. And that means bringing her home to Scotland. It means journeying to France to take her away from the care of her mother, Patrick's ex-wife. 

In 1915, with the war raging in Europe, John is a young man working on the family farm. Not yet old enough to enlist but aware of its looming threat, he meets Catherine. But his attempts at courtship end suddenly when an accident rips his life apart.

Told in alternate chapters, set, mainly, in South-West Scotland, this is the dramatic story of Patrick, interwoven with John's traumatic life.

Two Tides To Turn is an ingenious dual timeline novel where the narratives have a link, but do not end up resolving each other which I appreciated as that overly convenient device can often end up ruining a book for me! Instead, here, we have a present day story of Patrick who is trying to get his life back on track after having split up from his French wife, Maria. I couldn't in any way sympathise with the solution he chooses but, after I discovered just how unreliable a narrator Patrick is, this storyline really took off for me. It is wonderfully confusing!

Alternating chapters with Patrick's story is that of his grandfather, John, a young Scottish dairy farmer during the First World War. John's life is defined by a brief meeting with a girl riding a bicycle. She is Catherine and we are encouraged to believe that his determined pursuit of her and its aftermath will have serious repercussions on both his life and that of his descendants. On the face of it, this storyline is beautiful romantic historical fiction and I did very much enjoy Gall's portrayal of 1910s and 1920s Dumfries life, especially his inclusion of lots of authentic details of the farming lifestyle. Across both storylines, Gall's poetic prose is a real treat for the reader. My uncertainty came from the female characterisations though which did seem to fall mostly into the saintly virgin or evil witch trope. John himself is a complicated and nuanced creation so I was a little disappointed that the significant women in his life, Catherine and Renee, didn't feel to have been given the same depth.

That said though, Two Tides To Turn kept me absolutely engrossed from start to finish. It often takes unexpected turns, but always in a plausible manner and I liked the alternating chapter jumps most of the time. Only occasionally had I become so involved in one family that the appearance of the other took me by surprise! I would highly recommend this novel for readers interested in mysteries, twentieth century historical fiction, and stories which aren't exactly as they seem.

Meet the author

RR Gall lives in Scotland and is the author of:
The Case of the Pig in the Evening Suit,
The Case of Colourful Clothes and Kilts,
The Case of the Hermit's Guest Bedroom
Two Tides To Turn,
A Different Place to Die,
Only the Living Can Die.

Author links: 

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

The prize is 1 of 2 ebook copies of Two Tides To Turn by R R Gall. There will be 2 winners.
This giveaway is open Internationally.

Two Tides To Turn by R R Gall ebook giveaway

The giveaway closes at midnight (UK time) on the 30th September and I will pick 2 winners on the 1st October. These winners will have three days to respond to my email otherwise their prize will be forfeit. And, yes, I Will be checking that the winning entrant actually completed the winning task!

Etsy Find!

by Happy Green Shop in
Dublin, Ireland

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by R R Gall / Mystery fiction / Books from Scotland


  1. I've realized I enjoy dual timeline stories! And you are right! They are not easy to execute well! wonderfully confusing sounds great to me :) I'm so into HF in the winter! :)

    1. I went into this book without having read the author before and was impressed with the book

  2. I'm curious about the disconnect in their family. I like unreliable narration and split time lines so I'd give this one a go.

  3. Replies
    1. I'd definitely recommend it if you like historical fiction :-)

  4. Congrats to Donna T & Adrian B who've each won an ebook of Two Tides To Turn by R R Gall!
    If that's not you, there's lots more book giveaways to enter here