In the Press
Hanson deftly conveys how celebrity fandom becomes its own sort of grotesquerie for all involved; the twists are many and fun, but there's a real darkness here that sticks with the reader after the book is finished.
The author excels at acclimating the reader to the logic of her characters, which is effectively deployed for moments of both repulsion and humor.
Gail Lynn Hanson demonstrates an exceptional ability to immerse the reader n the minds of her characters.
Hanson effectively captures the absurdity of celebrity fandom but also delves into the darker aspects of the phenomenon.
Overall, the book is a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns that is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers.
Midwest Book Review
Hanson debuts with an impressive and suspenseful tale of the thorny relationship between two unusual women... Hanson keeps readers guessing at each woman’s intentions, gradually ratcheting up the tension until the stakes become truly dangerous. Ruth and Dorothy are remarkably well-drawn characters, nasty and endearing in equal measure, and Hanson provides them with a satisfyingly unpredictable plot. This is a discomfiting good time.
Hanson’s literary novel skillfully holds a mirror to the darker aspects of the human psyche. Both
Dorothy and Ruth are held hostage by their disappointments and painful regrets. At face value,
neither are “likable” characters. Dorothy is unapologetically judgmental, classist, and racist.
Ruth’s distressing personal history evokes sympathy, but she’s also manipulative and
untrustworthy; after droves of patients died under her watch, Ruth was fired from her job at a
state-run nursing home. Yet Hanson ably crafts an emotionally rich narrative that builds on the
tension simmering between Dorothy and Ruth.
Anchored by Hanson’s deft character construction, this compelling story holds all the appeal of
a Hitchcockian psychological thriller, and the cinematic ending will hit readers like a punch to the
Gail Lynn Hanson has lived in Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Ohio. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two children. She holds a BA in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Master’s in Liberal Studies/Creative Writing from the University of Denver. Gail is a long-time member of the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop in Denver. She founded a kitchen design firm, Studio H, where she currently works to create beautiful culinary spaces. Gail enjoys gardening, baking, and traveling to rural places when she is not arranging cabinetry or words.
The Palisades is a hypnotic page-turner that provokes uneasiness and bouts of remorse for deeds undone. It is a book that is painstaking about detailing the minutiae of consumerism, ownership, and superficiality. A psych-horror undercurrent ripples through the story, twisting sentence fragments into moments of profound insight, only to scupper the self-reflection by drowning it beneath a multiverse of internal psychoses. It’s a brilliant peek at the bejeweled ghosts of Hollywood who always keep their secrets hidden.
Rating: 5 out of 5
"This is a fantastic novel, beautifully written. Dark in places, amusing in others, part family drama, part murder-mystery, the characters are perfectly interwoven. I enjoyed the references to Judy Garland and Angela Lansbury. The descriptions of the jewellery were lovely. It reminded me in part of ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ with the tales of Hollywood in its heyday. A really enjoyable read and highly recommended."
Love Reading Reviewer
"The Palisades is an unusual story, and not entirely what I expected - which is not always a bad thing. Particularly not in this instance! This novel is a beautifully written tale of Hollywood glamour and perfectly imperfect characters."
Love Reading Reviewer
I was also impressed with Hanson's ability to play with information, offering it bit by bit at the opportune time. A riveting book I will gladly recommend.
I loved how Hanson highlighted the uglier side of (the characters') personalities. Rather than making me hate them, this perspective kept me glued to the pages.
This author brought back my love of psychological thrillers. Bravo!
The laser-like focus on a particularly nuanced and emotionally dynamic relationship immediately makes this book stand out... Hanson demonstrates a quite profound gift for human observation...
The intricate dance that the two (characters) perform throughout the book tingles with electricity...the lines between honesty and manipulation get ever more blurred. Overall, The Palisades is an unmissable character study that will stay with readers for a long time after the final page is turned. I recommend it highly.