Gabriel Ross Series: The Hanged Man Chapters 13, 14, 15

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Chapter Thirteen–The Seven of Wands

A scene from the perspective of Ethan Nelson. Nelson has been summoned (no other word fits) to a manse in Westchester County to explain himself to a man who is clearly a big deal in a secret society. Another man, from a European branch of this society, is also present. The two grill Nelson on his handling of Raymond Booth.

Nelson, although properly deferential, is scornful internally about the society and anxious to  move up in responsibility. He has a very high opinion of himself and his abilities. Jacobs, the Westchester contact, is not so sure. He knows where Nelson is useful, but doesn’t trust him completely. Still, he lets Nelson go on as planned.

Chapter Fourteen–The Five of Wands

Gabriel has plans to see Dr. Kelly Cole. Gabriel has taken Joel up on his offer to help with Gabriel’s cases. Gabriel is feeling pressure from Jim and Danny in addition to the Booth case. Joel is glad to be there as support. Gabriel and Joel discuss the case, and how Nelson is the primary suspect.

Gabriel visits Dr. Kelly Cole. Gabriel is surprised Cole agreed to the meeting, since he was so nasty to Gabriel at Raymond’s funeral. He’s not much better during the interview–clearly disdainful of Gabriel’s profession and angry that Gabriel brings up Nazis. And yet…something in what Gabriel says gets to Cole. Something going on in the Foundation bothers Cole, and he has to agree with some Gabriel’s conclusions. As Nelson attempted to throw suspicion on Cole, Cole feels that Raymond’s boyfriend is a better suspect than himself.

Speaking of boyfriends, Gabriel has a date with Alex. They have an evening of getting-to-know-you, and plan to continue this soon. Alex has to get back to work, and Gabriel just heads to Washington Square Park to wind down. But then he feels something is off. This is confirmed when Joel texts Gabriel to tell him he’s being followed. They meet up at a Starbucks to talk about it. Gabriel is highly annoyed, feeling Joel is following him unnecessarily–and this is awkward considering Joel must have been around when Gabriel was with Alex. The feelings between them continue to be contentious.

Chapter Fifteen–The Five of Cups

John Harrison has agreed to talk to Gabriel, who visits him at St. Simeon’s hospital. Although suspicious at first, John lets his guard down and confides much to Gabriel, including that Toni absolutely disapproved of his and Raymond’s relationship. He is adamant that Raymond was not into BDSM, and Gabriel works on getting him to commit that on paper. John does have one interesting fact–Raymond had ordered an old set of occult encyclopedias for some reason related to the Foundation matter. John is good with Gabriel borrowing them.

Between the Pages:

  • So at this point, you know that Raymond Booth was indeed murdered, and that Nelson is responsible. Nelson does not feel Gabriel is that much of a problem. Of course, we know that Gabriel is more aware of what he’s doing than Nelson realizes, but we can also see how much of a danger Nelson is to Gabriel.
  • Just like Gabriel, my own favorite persons from the British Isles are Eddie Izzard (whom I saw on Broadway in Race) and David Gray (whom I saw live in Madison Square Garden). Eddie Izzard has gotten more acclaim since 2012 when I published THM (especially on Hannibal, how great was that), but David Gray needs more appreciation.
  • There is always a Starbucks on Broadway. I have actually tried to meet people at one Starbucks when they were at another Starbucks down the block or around the corner.

Beyond the Pages:

  • More on the case of Steven Truscott .
  • The encyclopedias. My mom was good with me reading anything I wanted from a pretty early age. Really, she should have been a librarian like Gabriel’s mom was. In any case, she was big into the occult as a reading topic (not in practice) and we both enjoyed series like Man, Myth and Magic, which was first a magazine and then later a hardcover series. MMM was edited by Richard Cavendish, who also authored… A couple other encyclopedias were The Supernatural by Danbury Press, Mysteries of the Unknown by Time-Life, and A New Library of the Supernatural by Doubleday (the great Colin Wilson is an editorial consultant).
  • This was the Seventies, after a US occult interest revival but before the backlash in the Eighties (Satanic Panic) and now the explosion of info on the Internet. I would still recommend a few books from the Seventies and later, as being particularly good:

John Godwin: Occult America, Unsolved: The World of the Unknown
Dennis Wheatley: The Devil and All His Works
Colin Wilson: The Occult
Richard Cavendish: The Black Arts
Douglas Hill and Pat Williams: The Supernatural
John Parker: At the Heart of Darkness

Questions for Readers:

I would hope you all are book lovers–reading was the way I had to escape in a rough childhood. I mentioned above the outre books I shared with my mom. What fond book memories do you have from childhood? What books do you recommend?


Gin Blossoms: Til I Hear it from You. A band with a real Nineties sound; not quite grunge but not pop either. Kind of angsty, like Gabriel. The confusion in the Gin Blossoms lyrics applies to the mixed-up emotions going around.

Page updated 3/5/2023