Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl. It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late.
The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. The first book that I read by Eileen Cook was With Malice, and I enjoyed it so much that I quickly went out and bought several of her other books. So when I was given the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and read an ARC of The Hanging Girl, Cook’s latest book, I was pretty excited. For those of you that don’t know what a blog tour is I’ll explain. Instead of having the author tour around to various cities, or sometimes in addition to that, publishers will arrange a blog tour. A blog tour is just that, a virtual “tour” where the author will “visit” each blog. Sometimes the author will write a guest post, sometimes the author will do a Q&A, it all depends on the publisher and the blog tour. For this particular blog tour I’ll be posting my review as well a question I got to ask Cook and her answer. There are several blogs participating in this blog tour, and to see Cooks answers to the other questions that were asked you’ll need to visit those blogs. I’ll post the tour information at the end.
Now onto the actual review! It shouldn’t come as any shock, since I’m already a fan of Eileen Cook’s books, that I really enjoyed this one. It’s a great read for this time of year especially; it’s a thriller and a mystery –perfect for Halloween. Part of the fun with reading this book is the different twists throughout it. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t say what the twists are, but I will say that the plot keeps you guessing until the very last page.
Skye, the main character, is incredibly engaging. Her narrative was funny and she was incredibly likeable -which is pretty incredible given some of the choices that she makes throughout the novel. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but Skye is a character that is questionable at best. She does some pretty manipulative and morally grey things but her motivations are so very relatable, and her personality is so engaging, that you can’t not like her.
There are a lot of interesting character’s in this book, but it is impossible to talk about them and really give my opinions on them without spoiling the plot in a major way. Skye’s mom in particular really threw me for a loop, her character went in a direction I really wasn’t expecting. The most shocking part of the entire novel was the ending; it was twisted and completely unexpected. Seriously, the ending was something else, and I wish I could say more about it without spoiling it.
Overall I read this book in a single sitting, I really enjoyed it! It was dark, fast paced, and twisted. I loved everything about it, including the completely (I know I’ve used this word a lot but it’s the only one that really fits) twisted ending. This one was a solid 4/5 stars for me, if you’re looking for a book to read for Halloween you should definitely check this one out.
Now onto my part of the Q&A
Psychic ability (or lack thereof) played a big role in The Hanging Girl. What is your relationship with, or opinion on, psychic ability or phenomena?
I want to believe, but I’m skeptical. Part of the research for this book led me to The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. This is group of people who use science to investigate various things— including psychics. They had a lot of articles and a conference workshop showing how psychic skills can be faked. The discussed the way our brains work that can make us susceptible to what people say.
No one has ever been able to demonstrate psychic skills under scientific conditions. This despite the fact, that there is a million dollar offer for anyone who can do it. A lot of what makes for a good fake psychic is like being a counsellor. Counsellors are always listening, not just to what you say, but also what you don’t say. We’re paying attention to body language. For example, if you nod and lean forward as I’m talking, I know that I am on the right track. A psychic is often doing the same thing—paying attention to how you react and moving their reading in that direction. It is easier than you might think to have people believe you’re psychic—especially as Skye points out—when you’re telling them what they want to hear.
Having said all that—I love the idea of magic existing in the world so I will always leave that door open. Many people have also told me stories of experiences that they’ve had that I haven’t been able to explain—so who knows!