Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Release Date – May 8, 2012
Publisher Website – Harper Collins
Pages - 400 pages
My Rating- 4.5/5
**obtained from the publisher for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.
Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
A town filled with people fearing werewolves, a girl fiercely determined to get to the bottom of her best friend’s murder, and new romances blossoming. Kathleen Peacock draws you in with her well plotted mystery and makes you fall for her characters in the process.
I enjoyed Mackenzie a lot. A typical girl who has gone through a lot. She’s just trying to pick herself up after her friend’s murder. A murder that is, quite literally, haunting her. She’s much stronger than she thinks she is, and constantly shows that strength. She’s not the strongest physically, and does get into a little trouble, but she is doing it for honourable reasons.
The two boys in Mackenzie’s life are Jason and Kyle. I loved both of these boys for different reasons.
Jason is spiralling after Amy’s death. He is angry, hostile and full of regret and guilt. Kyle is hurting in his own way and is dealing with his own guilt. Each boy is hiding something, and each secret gets Mac deeper into a world that caused Amy to get killed.
I loved the political aspects of the novel. The whole “pro” and “anti’ werewolf campaign and agendas kept the action and suspense taunt. It also made the werewolf part of the story much more realistic than it could have been. You have people who are so blinded they won’t listen to reason, and you have people who are not sure what side of the debate they fall on. The entire premise of werewolf rights is one of the most compelling parts of the novel.
Hemlock is a city filled with secrets, lies, manipulations and political and personal agendas. The complex and intricate murder mystery is developed slowly against a backdrop of political platforms. This adds an element to the story that keeps the mystery fresh and not easy to figure out. You are constantly second guessing motives, and hidden agendas. I did not guess who the killer was until just before Mac realizes it. The question of what happened to Amy is one that provides a dark and dangerous answer.
While the closure you expect does happen before the end of the novel, and the murderer is uncovered, the novel ends with Mac’s story just beginning. She is moving forward, while all too aware that the past could come back to bite her. It’s a thrilling starting point for the next instalment in this addictive series.
Hemlock is dangerous, beautifully heartbreaking and lushly romantic. It takes the classic werewolf tale and offers up a modern take on them. You defiantly haven’t seen werewolves like this before.