The Girl at the Hanging Tree


Tansy is Gemma’s alter ego. Somewhere in time, this paranoid, agoraphobic personality takes over and allows Gemma to emerge for a few hours to do errands away from the house. Gemma herself has amnesia and is puzzled when Olly at the store says she should be in the slammer. Tansy is the keeper of their memories and she steadfastly refuses to tell Gemma what is going on. Gemma finally deduces she is married to WT Hardin and the townspeople believe she has killed him, but a body has not been found. Gemma starts rifling through the Hardin mansion where she lives, looking for clues to tell her who she is, and where WT may have gone. She makes a chilling discovery, causing her to question what little she does know.

“The Girl at the Hanging Tree” deeply examines the recesses of the mind and explores the complexity of the dual personality. Both Tansy and Gemma are strong heroines, each in her own way. Tansy refuses to give control to Gemma, and at the same time, protects her from the memories of heinous crimes she has been forced to observe. Tansy is determined to solve the puzzle of what happened to her husband, even at the cost of splintering into another personality. However, there is little complexity to the secondary characters. The story starts off slowly, gaining momentum as it progresses. The plot is convoluted and keeps the reader engaged as they try to determine what is going to happen next. Ms. Gray creates a chilling microcosm of a time in history filled with dark secrets. An excellent thriller! 

Belinda Wilson