Monday, February 27, 2012

The Gallows Tree

Title: The Gallows Tree
Author: RJ Scott
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 9781614953883
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Suspense
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

After surviving an abusive relationship that ended with his lover going to prison, Cody Garret is still struggling to put his painful past behind him. Fearful and prone to panic attacks, he finally moves to England in order to restore a rundown cottage and mill that his mother inherited. In the place of his ancestors, he hopes to heal the part of himself that’s been broken. 

Cody’s goal is simple, to find a reputable contractor able to get the property into shape so it can be sold, and then go home. He doesn’t expect to find a countryside he loves, two ghosts or meeting Sebastian Toulson-Brown and finding real love. 

The Gallows Tree is the newest novel by RJ Scott. It’s another entertaining read but it certainly isn’t lighthearted because it deals with the dark subject of surviving domestic abuse. Cody is a rather sad character, filled with fear and a deep emotional pain he can’t shake. The vivid descriptions of his turbulent feelings are very nicely done, allowing a good insight into the workings of his mind and how his abuse and near-death have scarred him.  

The history of the town, mill property and surrounding area makes for an interesting story backdrop. There’s also a nice bit of history regarding Cody’s family, as well as that of Sebastian and the two ghosts haunting the countryside. There are several twists and turns to keep your attention as Cody learns how to live again with the help of Sebastian. Ah, Seb. This man is tender, caring, loving and just what Cody needs. A man with two wonderfully funny brothers… and there are some very humorous moments when all three siblings get together.  

The extent of the paranormal aspect of the story surprised me, as did Cody’s response, his need to help the trapped spirits. This leads the story off in a variety of directions, pulling Cody and Seb closer together and sending them in search of clues. The plot is a bit complicated at times, tragic…and filled with angst. The ghosts do take the story out of the sphere of reality but the personal story…that of Cody and what happened to him and what he’s still dealing with is nothing but reality. So, if you can enjoy a story that melds these two plot components together, then I think you’ll enjoy this one. I did.

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