Review: Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock #1

Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock, UK edition cover.

Title: Deadly Hemlock (Hemlock #1)
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher:  SimonPulse (5th July 2012)

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends.
Until Amy was brutally murdered.
But Amy wasn’t killed by a human . . .
she was killed by a werewolf.

Lupine Syndrome – the werewolf virus – is spreading and werewolf attacks are increasing as those infected struggle to control their bloodlust. Amy’s death has turned Mac’s life upside down: her dreams are haunted by Amy, and the Trackers, an extremist group determined to stop those with Lupine Syndrome, have come to her hometown of Hemlock to promote their cause by hunting down Amy’s killer.

Unwilling to work with the brutal Trackers, but desperate to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate the murder herself. But the deeper she delves into the mystery of Amy’s death, the more secrets she discovers lurking in the shadows of Hemlock. Secrets that should have been left untold. Secrets that will chance her life forever.

Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Source: Won on competition on authors website/Facebook with signed book-plate and bookmark.


Deadly Hemlock is Kathleen Peacock’s debut novel and the first book in her Hemlock Trilogy. It was published as Hemlock in the US. In it we are introduced to Mackenzie, whose best friend Amy was brutally murdered by a werewolf. Amy’s death has shattered Mac, and as the book takes off six weeks after the event she is still picking up the pieces.

Deadly Hemlock is a fantastic debut novel. I was hooked from the first page. I really liked the way Peacock handles all the different and interwoven plot threads in this book – she has just enough to keep you wanting to turn the page to find out what is going to happen next, but not so many that you get lost and stumble over them. The thing I most enjoyed about this book though was how Peacock portrays Lupine Syndrome, and people’s reaction to it – it was spot on the most realistic that I have encountered. Humanity as a whole tends to want to destroy that which it feels threatened by or fears, and that idea was captured brilliantly in this book. I also thought her concept of werewolves was interesting, and I’m hoping it’ll be explored in a little more detail in later books – just how in control is the human part of the werewolf when it is shifted?

There are four main characters in this book: Amy, Mac, Kyle, and Jason. They are best friends, and they all play a major part in the book. Mac is the main protagonist and the narrator. Although Amy is dead by the time the book starts, she haunts the narrative. Peacock does a brilliant job showing us Amy and Mac’s friendship, and how devastated Mac is by her friend’s death. Kyle and Jason are fleshed out brilliantly, although their motives are something of a mystery but that is due to the fact that Mac is the narrator. The secondary characters were brilliantly done too; just enough detail added to them to make them real, without taking away from the story.

The detective/mystery aspect of the book I really enjoyed. The twists along the way surprised me, and I really liked that. I also loved the fact that although this is the first book in a trilogy, it is a complete and whole story. There is enough foreshadowing that I am eager to read the second book, but I don’t feel like the story is held for ransom.

If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, or werewolves then you should definitely check this book out. Especially if you like werewolves. This is a brilliant start to what promises to be an amazing trilogy, I cannot wait to get my hands on book two.

One thought on “Review: Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Please leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.