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The Hanging Tree

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  65 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Palaeontologist Kathryn Widd is called to the Kenyan wilderness to investigate a set of hominid skull fragments. As she studies the ancient fossils, she becomes intrigued by the tale of a 1908 safari and the British nobleman who died mysteriously near the site of her dig. The further she probes, the more deeply she is drawn into past lives and a world turned upside down by ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Counterpoint (first published 1995)
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Sara
Sep 09, 2014 Sara rated it it was amazing
I read this book years ago and sadly lost my copy. I have been wanting to re-read it ever since. I find the subject of paleo-anthropology fascinating, so throw in love and murder and you have an enthralling read. That much I do remember.
I found the characters believable and layered enough to provide depth to the story. I think what I liked the most about the story was that I could to some level identify with Kathryn Widd - especially as I was in Johannesburg when I reading the story and had just
...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Jun 11, 2011 Elizabeth (Alaska) rated it it was ok
I would not have finished this but for the love I have of the recommender and her high praise.

I consider myself one who possesses a fairly decent vocabulary. I decided early to overlook the frequent use of scientific words. I still havent gotten around to looking up Miocene and Plistocene, or whatever words are close to those that are geologic time frames. But there were other descriptive words that I couldn't be bothered looking up - the word used repeatedly in the last 50 pages was contrapunt
...more
Jim Dooley
Aug 04, 2013 Jim Dooley rated it liked it
This is one of the most unique books I've ever read, and something of an enigma. I've read it twice. The first time was several years ago, and I recalled it being one of the best books I'd read. Since it had been so long, I re-read it...and found to my surprise that I was much less impressed. It is still an intriguing premise, but the execution deflects involvement.

THE HEART OF DARKNESS readily came to mind as I was reflecting on it. The story centers around a paleontologist who has discovered p
...more
Edward Crawford
Dec 14, 2014 Edward Crawford rated it did not like it
The worst thing is the book's dishonesty: it's as cliché ridden as any Wilbur Smith book, but filled with pretentious academic claptrap. So bad that I stopped halfway and didn't touch a novel for three years.
Margaret
Aug 18, 2011 Margaret added it
Shelves: 2006
Honestly I have to say I feel rather lukewarm about this book. The plot had a couple of layers of mysteries but I just didn't feel very compelled by any of them. The author generated some suspense but gave too many hints about the ending so when I got there I wasn't surprised. I loved the African setting and I would love to go on a photo-safari some day but I think you'd have to have an interest in anthropology, palentology and hunting (unlike me) to really like this story. Ah well, I know someo ...more
JoBeth
Jun 23, 2012 JoBeth rated it liked it
I have a hard time rating/recommending this book. It was a compelling read, layered love stories/mysteries across 3 time periods, a fascinating look at an archeological dig, and vivid description of parts of Africa. It has the stain of colonialism - some AFrican characters are not even given the dignity of names - however that keeps me from recommending it more highly.
Sue
Apr 11, 2009 Sue rated it it was amazing
An incredible book of over 400 pages that I could not put down. It took me a day and a half to read. He cleverly interweaves stories in a way that ensures that the reader is never confused. A masterpiece Lambkin.
Nora Black
Nov 02, 2011 Nora Black rated it it was amazing
Darkly, seductive, narrative. The writer pulls you into Africa, in a manner very few authors can muster. In this book you can hear, smell and taste the Land in all its heartbreaking beauty
Lynnea
May 13, 2009 Lynnea rated it it was amazing
One of my all time favorite thrillers--science, the origen of man, Africa, eroticism, cruelty, and the fragility of life
Mary Newcomb
Two stories combine for a most intriguing tale of paleontology, love and adventure in the African desert.
Amanda
Jan 30, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really visual...really interesting. appeals to all five senses.
Roniq
Jan 23, 2011 Roniq rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I loved the mystery set in South Africa. Very good.
Polly
Sep 19, 2007 Polly rated it really liked it
most unusual book I have picked up in a long time
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