Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

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Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

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Category: Teens
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: A string of werewolf attacks attracts vigilante group the Trackers to the town of Hemlock. But Mac intends on beating them to solving the murder of her best friend Amy. For fans of the paranormal genre, this is an enjoyable lycanthropic whodunnit with a nice bit of romance for good measure.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: July 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 0857072110

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Mackenzie's best friend Amy was the final victim in a string of werewolf killings in the town of Hemlock. Lupine syndrome is spreading and the government has set up internment camps for all those infected. But Amy's killer was never caught. When the vigilante Trackers turn up in town, determined to hunt down the culprit, Mac is uneasy. The Trackers are extremists and often act outside the law. So Mac sets out on her own investigation of Amy's death. And what she discovers will change her life forever...

There were two aspects of this book that I particularly liked. Firstly, there isn't some secret supernatural subculture going on under the noses of all the unsuspecting civilians. Werewolves were outed by the government some years previously and are now shunned and interned or even killed. So they're not glamorous. They're a minority subject to discrimination, leading the reader to all sorts of parallels in non-paranormal society. How do we - how should we - treat the other?

I also liked Mac's dreams in which Amy appears. They're suitably creepy and they give sneaky titbits of clues to the plot and they just appear without notice. Is Amy's ghost really talking to Mac? Or is she a product of her friend's subconscious? This avatar of a dead girl is gloriously unpredictable and ambiguous.

Otherwise, Deadly Hemlock is a relatively predictable paranormal story. There's a whodunnit which isn't very difficult to solve - if I managed it early on, most readers will too as I'm not known for my cleverness with such things. There's a main love triangle and a secondary one. And there's a Mills & Boon of a heroine who described as tough and feisty, but who is actually a secret-keeping twit who'd be toast if the big strong boys didn't keep coming to her rescue. Familiar these aspects may be, but they are what fans of the genre enjoy and expect, and Peacock delivers just what she says on the tin.

If you like werewolves, you'll love Deadly Hemlock.

Why not try a Sicilian setting for your next excursion into paranormal fantasy? Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer has some wonderful scene-setting. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake has ghosts, not werewolves, but is told from a boy's point of view, which makes a change.

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Buy Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock at


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