Title: The Hanging Girl
Author: Eileen Cook
Page Count: 320 pages
Genre: Mystery // Thriller // Young Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Publisher: HMH Teen, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
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.
Last year a book called With Malice was released and I kept meaning to grab it and kept meaning to read it and I just kept meaning to. After reading The Hanging Girl I am definitely picking up With Malice ASAP!
From the first chapter with The Hanging Girl I was hooked! Cook’s writing is fantastic and makes your eyes flow rapidly from page to page needing to know what’s coming next. Along with the quick pace I found the main character likeable even though her decisions should make you dislike her! She’s quirky and strange but ultimately you find yourself rooting for her.
Let me just say this quickly before you read on for my Q&A with Eileen. THE PLOT TWISTS. I really didn’t see them coming, so many twists and turns and tumbles and hooks. Get ready for this one, YA thrillers are my new jam thanks to The Hanging Girl. 4/5 stars from me for The Hanging Girl! I wish it had ended a bit differently but that is purely preference on my part otherwise I would’ve given it 5 stars!
Q&A WITH EILEEN COOK
Q: I myself have had my cards read once and it was a really fun experience. I loved the moody room the psychic worked in. I loved how when the curtain dropped as she came in the entire mood in the room shifted. Have you ever had your cards read? If yes, what was the experience like? If no, would you want to?
A: I have had my cards read. I’ve always been interested in psychics. All through high school Ouija boards were standard fare at a slumber party and I’ve had my cards read a few times by different people (with very different levels of ability!) I love the idea of this type of magic existing in the world. I had some things predicted that were bang on and others that were wildly wrong.
The initial inspiration for The Hanging Girl came after I went to a conference put on by The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. They’re a group of people who use science to investigate various topics—including psychics. The session I went to covered how easy it is to fool someone into believing you have psychic ability. I found that fascinating and filed away the information knowing it would be useful for a character and because I hadn’t realized how easy it could be to take advantage of someone who wants to believe.
I’m much more of a skeptic than I used to be with what I’ve learned. I wouldn’t say I don’t believe—perhaps the future isn’t supposed to be known.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eileen Cook grew up in a small town in Michigan, but would go on to live in Boston and Belgium before settling in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two very naughty dogs.
In second grade Eileen’s teacher wrote on a homework assignment “I am sure someday you will be an author” which is a tribute to the psychic abilities of elementary school teachers, as well as Eileen penchant for making things up. While she would go on to fill endless notebooks with really bad poetry, short stories, and the occasional start to a novel, she would first go on to pursue a career as a counsellor working with individuals with catastrophic injuries and illness.
Eileen quickly discovered that the challenge of working with real people is that they have real problems and she returned to writing where she could make her characters do what she wanted. Her first novel was published in 2008. Entertainment Weekly called her novel WITH MALICE a “seriously creepy thriller” which pretty much made her entire year.
When not planning murder and mayhem on the computer, Eileen enjoys reading, knitting, yelling at her dogs to stop digging holes and watching hockey (which she is required to do as a new Canadian.)
Eileen is a popular speaker at conferences both in the US and in Canada, provides writing/editorial coaching, and is a mentor/instructor for the Simon Fraser University The Writer’s Studio.
Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.