Wartime secrets threaten one woman's life in the latest thrilling drama from the author of The Gunner Girl and The English Agent.
World-renowned war artist Dame Laura Knight is commissioned to paint propaganda portraits of factory girls and is sent to the ordnance factories in her hometown of Nottingham. At first she relishes the opportunity for a nostalgia trip, but when she starts work on a portrait of two particular women, Violet Smith, and her co-worker Zelah Fitzlord, memories begin to resurface that she has spent half a lifetime trying to forget.
Violet is an industrial conscript, and her wages help support a sprawling family back home in Kent. But working in munitions also meant freedom from a small-town mentality, and the disappointment of a first love turned sour. For Zelah, too, working in the gun factory meant escape: her dreams of the future were dashed in the carnage of the Plymouth Blitz, and she found refuge in the numbing repetition of manual work.
But, just like war artist Laura, Violet and Zelah have something hidden, mistakes that they have tried to leave behind with their old selves.
Will the night shift keep these women’s secrets, or will the past explode into the present and change all of their lives forever?
Clare Harvey is an ex-army wife. The Gunner Girl, her debut novel, was inspired by her mother-in-law's experience during WWII and written while her husband was on active service in Afghanistan. It won the Exeter Novel Prize in 2015 and the RNA Joan Hessayon Prize in 2016. She has since written The English Agent and The Night Raid. She lives in Nottingham with her family. Find out more on facebook - facebook.com/clareharvey13 - her website www.clareharvey.net or on twitter @clareharveyauth.
'Will delight all those who love a good wartime story'
– Dilly Court, author of The River Maid, on The Gunner Girl
'An irresistible tale of friendship, love and heartache during WW2 that had me enthralled'
– Kate Furnivall, author of The Betrayal, on The Gunner Girl
'Heart-warming, enjoyable and full of surprises, I loved it'
– Elizabeth Chadwick, author of Templar Silks, on The Gunner Girl
'Clare Harvey is an exceptional new talent. The Gunner Girl offers a stunningly realistic vision of the WW2 era, through the intertwined lives and loves of three very different women. The story is brought to life by razor sharp dialogue, an eye for period details and a taut plot which never becomes sentimental'
– Kate Rhodes, author of Hell Bay, on The Gunner Girl
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