The Hostage of Glenorchy

Written by Kristin Gleeson
Review by Richard Tearle

Gabrielle – Abby – is an eighteen-year-old widow and an accomplished musician under the tutelage of her father in Paris when she overhears a plot to assassinate the young Mary Stuart. Her father immediately sends her away to his homeland of Scotland where, through an old friend, he has arranged for her to be a companion of a noble lady. But Abby decides she would rather be a musician and disguises herself as a young boy, as a woman would be unlikely to achieve such a position. So Abby becomes Gabriel. Of course, her attempts at disguise lead her into many awkward situations, not the least of which is the handsome and enigmatic Iain, son of a neighbouring laird who is in a quarrel over land with Abby’s master. Iain, it seems is being held hostage.

The overall plot was a little thin, with the deception not really essential: the ‘goodies’ saw through the disguise, while the ‘baddies’ were somewhat blind, which was a little bizarre and hindered the believability of the novel. The ending tails off, leaving loose ends, but this is the first in a proposed series, so no doubt both plot and characters will develop further. A light read for those who enjoy this period, but maybe some more experienced editorial guidance for further novels would be worthwhile, as the author does show potential.