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The Hanging Tree by Bryan Gruley
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I was really happy most of the way through this book but was disappointed in the ending. The motive became too convoluted and what I did understand of it didn't make sense. But I like the characters and writing enough to look forward to the next in the series. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
This is the second of the Gus Carpenter and Starvation Lake mystery series, and it's every bit as good as the first outing. The eponymous tree is the place just outside of town where lovers of all types express their commitment by pairing off shoes and boots and skates and whatnot and hanging them from various branches. And then, one night, a woman is found hanging along with the footwear. A woman who grew up in the area and who fled her checkered past, only to return to Starvation Lake shortly before she ends up in the tree. Is it murder or suicide? Gus, the reporter for the small local newspaper, sets out to find the answers and, as was the case the last time around, has to do battle with people and special interests whose other concerns and priorities often clash with Gus's. I really, really like this series already, but I can't help but wonder how many stories Gruley can find in this small Michigan town. I suppose if half of Cabot Cove could be killed off during J.B. Fletcher's run, it's possible to imagine that there could be a long series here, as well; but while I would like to see that happen, I don't know how it can be done realistically. (And really, who *doesn't* laugh at the body count in Cabot Cove?) Beyond that, kudos to Gruley, as well, for making serious inroads into making me a hockey fan. I'm a baseball-football-hoops guy for the most part, and while I've been to a few hockey games over the years, they were more of an excuse on my part to drink beer, and my sheer ignorance of the game kept me from enjoying them very much on anything other than the most basic level. But Gruley's love of hockey is once again evident here and is interwoven into the story in a way that is very appealing. So if I ever find myself at a hockey game and see Bryan in the stands, I'll have to buy him a beer. :) ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
Hockey, suicide, kinky sex, hockey, Michigan, hockey. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
For local reporter Gus Carpenter, the apparent suicide of Gracie McBride is more than just a news story that shakes up his sleepy hometown of Starvation Lake, MI. Gracie was Gus' second cousin, and while she had a wild past, and their relationship was fractious, she appeared to be on the verge of pulling her life together. But even many of those closest to Gracie think it could have been suicide, and Gus is dissuaded from pursuing the truth. Overall, the book was flat to me. No real climatic moment, nothing that really stood out as a redemption moment that would have made the whole reading experience worthwhile. Very much a disappointment. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
A well-written mystery with a good plot and character development. Set in a small Michigan rural lake front community called Starvation Lake, the town wild girl has returned after an 18-year abscence. Working at the local hockey rink, she lives in a small back room, sparsely decorated, sleeping on a cot. Her life seems to have come to a grinding halt and she has paid a very high price for some of her not-so-wise decision.

As the book opens, her body is found hanging from a tree. High up on the limb, rope twisted around her neck, with no ladder in sight, foul play is suspected.

Gus Carpenter is a journalist working at the local paper. His stories expose and question some seedy happenings regarding a prominent lawyer who promises to build a multi-million dollar hockey rink to replace the old one, with the hope of bringing money and increased property values.

As one story unfolds, both the murder/suicide of the woman, and the business man seem to have a lot of twists and connections.

While I know nothing of hockey, and there were plenty of descriptions of games and how to play it, I was a little bored with this part of the book, but it was not enough of a distraction to recommend the book for the intrigue and unfolding facts about the underbelly of a rural community.

Three Stars.
  Whisper1 | May 5, 2015 |
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for c and goo and in memory of my mother
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I have learned that you can be too grateful for love.

She stood in front of the window across the kitchen, backlit from the glow of the streetlamp outside of her apartment window. 

"Darlene," I said.
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In the aftermath of an apparent suicide in Starvation Lake, local newspaper editor Gus teams up with girlfriend and sheriff's deputy Darlene in an investigation that reveals evidence of foul play.

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