Deadly Hemlock, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


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 - 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 and the Trackers are determined to stop those with Lupine Syndrome, at any cost.

Unwilling to work with the brutal Trackers, but desperately wanting to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself.

But the deeper she delves into the mystery behind Amy's death, the more secrets she discovers lurking in the shadows of Hemlock.

Secrets that should have been left untold. Secrets that will change her life forever.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780857072115



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Deadly Hemlock is the first in a new series featuring werewolves and this paranormal young adult novel reeled me in with a heart pounding opening sequence and managed to keep my interest the whole way through.In an alternate contemporary society, victims of the Lupine Virus are segregated from the human population and confined to government controlled camps in a bid to slow the transmission of the disease. Werewolves inspire fear amongst the majority of the population and understandably an infected person is loathe to reveal their status. When Amy is fatally mauled during a series of werewolf attacks in the small town of Hemlock, her best friends Mackenzie, Jason and Kyle blame themselves for her death. They are still struggling to deal with their grief when The Trackers arrive, a vicious vigilante group whose agenda reaches far beyond the hunt for werewolves amongst the populace.Deadly Hemlock doesn't stray far from the familiar cliches of YA fiction but nevertheless it is an enjoyable read. Underlying the paranormal guise is an exploration of prejudice, bullying, class warfare and politics. Nothing too heavy handed but enough to give the story some depth. A little darker than some YA novels, there are quite explicit descriptions of violence that provide plenty of action. In Peacock's world, werewolves are acknowledged though feared but I liked the authors take on werewolf lore in that werewolves can shift at will (though strong emotion can force a shift) and remain mostly sentient.Determining the identity of the werewolf that murdered Amy is the main mystery element of the story which Peacock cleverly twists part way through. I have to admit though, I doubted that the werewolf's human self would have been so accomplished at remaining under the radar for so long.Mac is likeable as a heroine, not the brightest, but she is determined and loyal (if to a fault). As with most YA protagonists, Mac has little self esteem, and is a touch too naive to be completely credible. The author does provide some back story in an attempt to justify Mac's more foolish decisions but I am not sure she was entirely successful. Mac's dream sequences, starring a cryptic Amy, left me cold and I think they were unnecessary. I can only assume they tie into Peacocks plans for further installments.The ubiquitous YA love triangle veers slightly from the norm, Mac knows who she wants so she isn't torn between the bad boy with a heart of gold and the golden boy with a heart of, well, bad. Kyle is the tortured, brooding type who has been in love with Mac forever but denies it to protect her. Jason is pretty much a jerk though I did feel some sympathy for him and Peacock allows him to redeem himself, at least partially.I did enjoy Deadly Hemlock for its fast paced action and paranormal element. It's a quick, entertaining read and a solid debut for a new series which has a lot of potential to grow.

Also by Kathleen Peacock