The Girl at the Hanging Tree
by Mary Gray
Gemma Louise Coldiron has two personalities. One is herself—easygoing, curious, and travel-hungry. The other is a dictatorial other half named Tansy, who only lets Gemma come out of their Victorian mansion to do the shopping every two weeks.
Gemma also has amnesia, and Tansy’s too busy painting macabre art to be forthcoming about their past. The town speaks to Gemma about a “Mr. Hardin,” and it doesn’t take her long to learn she was married to the oil tycoon before he mysteriously went missing.
While Gemma begs Tansy to tell her more about their life with the handsome stranger, Gemma soon learns that the town harbors a secret society. And Mr. Hardin? He was the leader.
If Gemma can’t figure out what happened while maintaining her volatile relationship with Tansy, the town will assume Gemma killed Mr. Hardin—and even more alters will take root in Gemma’s already crowded mind.
An acutely observed modern-day psychological thriller that plunges into the daunting abyss of mental illness, community indoctrination, and cult group-mind.
"Exquisite tension between the two experiences is well-crafted in a story which delicately walks the line between a psychological exploration and a thriller. ... Compellingly realistic." - D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
"Gray successfully wove a narrative around a sensitive social justice topic from a perspective we don't often see. ... In my humble opinion, this book would make a great movie." - Stephany, Goodreads
"Buckle your seatbelts, this book is a wild ride! Never have I read a story where the main character has a split personality and Gray handles each "person" with finesse. I was never confused as to who was speaking or what they were doing. I applaud the author for tackling so many difficult topics in this story. Though they were different, each topic was fleshed out and written with compassion and understanding." - V. Romas Burton, author of Heartmender
"This is an epic book!!! I admire Gemma's strength to keep going when a lot would not have. She found a way." - Toni, Facebook Review
"I truly loved and enjoyed The Girl at the Hanging Tree. ... The author handles some very sensitive topics quite well in this book. She takes on racism, secret societies, white supremacy, mental illness, violence, murder, and death. It is not a light thriller, it is dark and heavy but the twist was shocking and I didn’t see it fully playing out the way it did." Erica, @whimsicalyme, Instagram
"This book immediately draws you and holds you captive, much like Tansy does to Gemma. Gray delivers a chilling, spine-tingling tale that will haunt you for months to come." - ALW, Amazon
"Mary Gray has blown me away with this dark, twisted psychological thriller ... very atmospheric." - Nathaniel, @hecticreadinglife, Instagram
"Its chilly and frightened me to the very core. I loved the way Mary Gray tied up the loose ends in the climax, giving proper respect to Gemma’s character. I read this book within couple of hours because nothing could take my eyes and mind off of it." - @bookhuntwithus, Instagram
"In a heavily written genre where it can be difficult to innovate, The Girl at the Hanging Tree by Mary Gray is a rewarding change of pace." - Jennifer Jackson, Indies Today
Release date: October 6, 2020
Page count: 292
Genre: Psychological thriller
Tropes: Mental illness, Small town, Amnesia, Racism
SELECT FEATURED REVIEWS
★★★★★ By Readers' Favorite
You can definitely tell that the author did her research on personality disorders ... both personalities are well-thought-out and written distinctively. Very gripping and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
★★★★★ By Lynn, 2 Girls & A Book
I am stating here and now that The Girl at the Hanging Tree by Mary Gray is my Top Read of 2020. I finished the book last night and I am still reeling from it this morning. Gray boldly takes on abuse, mental health, the small town hive mind, and racism. So many taboo topics in one story. Gray delivers a profound story with grace and dignity. I cannot accurately articulate the emotions invoked in me by this story. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about Gemma Louise and all that she endured. It is understandable that she retreated within herself and allowed Tansy to live her life for her most of the time.
★★★★★ By Crystal, 2 Girls & A Book
Holy book hangover! Here I am 10 days days later and I am still thinking about this book. I can't even put my thoughts into words. There are so many thought provoking scenarios. Mary sure hit the nail on the head with this one.
This quote is everything.
The discomfort of this group is so palpable, I wish I could scoop it up and place it in a jar for them to feel every time they're tempted to sweep something wrong under the rug. But we have to hold up a mirror to our history. It's how we sow the seeds of change.
This story has all the feels!
★★★★★ By AJ, Goodreads
Wow. Just, wow. This is the second book of Mary Gray's that I've read, and this one packs a wallop. She has a beautifully haunting style that lends itself perfectly to a complex story and a complex character. The way Gray handles her main character, who has a split personality, and reveals the plot through the complicated eyes of her protagonist, is nothing short of genius.
I loved the little snippets of the story that were revealed as the main character found herself and her voice and revealed the bigger picture through her own reconciliation with the broken parts of her life.
I highly recommend.