In the dead of a Michigan winter, pieces of a snowmobile wash up near the crumbling, small town of Starvation Lake—the same snowmobile that went down with Starvation's legendary hockey coach years earlier. But everybody knows Coach Blackburn's accident happened five miles away on a different lake. As rumors buzz about mysterious underground tunnels, the evidence from the snowmobile says one thing: murder.
Gus Carpenter, editor of the local newspaper, has recently returned to Starvation after a failed attempt to make it big at the Detroit Times. In his youth, Gus was the goalie who let a state championship get away, crushing Coach's dreams and earning the town's enmity. Now he's investigating the murder of his former coach. But even more unsettling to Gus are the holes in the town's past and the gnawing suspicion that those holes may conceal some dark and disturbing secrets secrets that some of the people closest to him may have killed to keep.
The Hanging Tree
When Gracie McBride, the wild girl who had vanished for fifteen years, is found dead in an apparent suicide shortly after her homecoming, it sends shockwaves through her native Starvation Lake.
Gus Carpenter, executive editor of the Pine County Pilot, sets out to solve the mystery with the help of his old flame and now girlfriend, Pine County Sheriff’s Deputy Darlene Esper. As Gus and Darlene investigate, they can’t help but question if Gracie’s troubled life really ended in suicide or if the suspicious crime scene evidence—a missing shoe, a pair of handcuffs, and traces of blood on the snow beneath her—adds up to murder.
The second book in Bryan Gruley’s irresistible Starvation Lake series, The Hanging Tree is a compelling story about family and friendship, sex and violence, and of love falling short of making everything right.