3.89 (10,159 ratings by Goodreads)
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Fans of Maggie Stiefvater and the hit television show True Blood will flock to this first book in the supernatural mystery series set in a town where werewolves live in plain sight.

Mackenzie Dobson's life has been turned upside down since she vowed to hunt her best friend Amy's killer: a white werewolf. Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country, and bloodlust is not easy to control. But it soon becomes clear that dangerous secrets are lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, Mac's hometown--and she is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her in grave danger.

Kathleen Peacock's thrilling debut novel provides readers with a mystery that Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder, calls clever and frightening, while Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight, raves: Forget every werewolf book you've ever read. This one breaks the mold.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 150 x 217 x 39mm | 481g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0062048651
  • 9780062048653
  • 354,382

Back cover copy

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.
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Review quote

"Seamless writing and plenty of action mark this intelligent, dark paranormal debut. Older teen paranormal fans will likely clamor for the next book in this planned series."--Booklist
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Rating details

10,159 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 35% (3,530)
4 32% (3,297)
3 23% (2,318)
2 7% (705)
1 3% (309)

Our customer reviews

HEMLOCK is a dark, twisty tale of secrets and betrayals. Mackenzie has lost her best friend, Amy to a vicious werewolf attack. Her two other best friends, Jason and Kyle, are acting more peculiar by the day. The Trackers have taken over the town of Hemlock, determined to rid the town of werewolves. But when the secrets and lies begin to unravel, Mac learns that everything she knows is a lie. I'm not sure that I would have picked up HEMLOCK if I hadn't received an ARC from the publisher. There are a few series with werewolves that I truly enjoy, but after reading so many, I was burned out on the notion. What piqued my interest with HEMLOCK and set it apart was the fact werewolves are out in the open. Well, they're not "out", because they are treated cruelly by the government and general population (think internment camps), but they are known to exist. The Lupine Syndrome is an identified affliction. Those identified as werewolves are rounded up and taken to camps where they are treated as the animals some believe they are. The fear they cause, because of a string of werewolf-murders, is used for political gain. So I guess what I'm trying to say here is: HEMLOCK provides a relevant social statement regarding humane treatment and political deception. But don't think that this is strictly a book with a strong message. There are BOYS in HEMLOCK!! And even better, they're cute, complicated boys with secrets. Jason, Amy's boyfriend has become hostile, withdrawn and drinks way too much since she died. Kyle is obviously tormented, quiet, and protective of Mac. It took me a while to truly warm up to Kyle and Jason. Much of the book is spent in Mac's head as she tries to sort through what's happening. But when I really got to know them, I was hooked. And although I have my favorite (I'm not telling!), both guys have serious appeal. The swoon-factor was topping out throughout the last half of the book! Oh wow. I haven't even began to talk about the mc, Mac. She has a troubled family history, which leads her to shut others out. She works to keep what's left of her group together after Amy's death. Mac is conscientious and caring, striving to do what's right and just, even when it puts her at risk. While I was reading HEMLOCK, I was constantly reminded of a movie. I couldn't place it for a while, but finally the light bulbs came on and I realized: Red Riding Hood. Although many details were different, such as the setting and time period, the overall idea was very similar. Personally, I consider that a good thing, as I really enjoyed the movie. My only criticism is that I felt the story lagged a bit throughout the middle, and there were a few scenes that felt detail-heavy. Overall, though I really enjoyed HEMLOCK. The ending was so heart-wrenching and for some reason, I didn't see it coming. But I loved those "hurt so good" endings and the epilogue has me dying to read book two. Favorite Quote(s): "Kyle took a deep breath, like he had picked up on the question I hadn't asked. That was one of the differences between him and Jason: Kyle always gave just as much weight and consideration to the things I didn't say as to the things I did." (pg. 137, ARC) "Because I did love him. I was certain of it. It was in the way I felt when I looked at him and the taste of his name on my lips and how three years of history had brought us to this point. I was sure." (pg.269, ARC)show more
by Andrea Thompson
Taken from my original review on my blog: www.gothicangelbookreviews.blogspot.com Lupine Syndrome - also known as 'the werewolf virus' - has been on the rise across the country. Attacks in Hemlock have also been on the rise. Amy is not the first death in town... will she be the last? Recently werewolves have been outed, no longer are they something of fiction or nightmares. No, they really exist. A fact that Senator John Walsh is in support of. Right up until one kills his grand-daughter, that is. Amy was a beautiful young girl with her whole life ahead of her. She had her loving boyfriend Jason, her best friend Mackenzie - all until that day her life was cut unnecessarily short by the white werewolf. Mac's life was turned upside down that day. Little did she know things could get a whole lot worse. I know, you're thinking "what could be worse" Right?! But trust me, things got decidedly worse when the Trackers came to town. The Trackers are an extremist group, called into town to hunt for the werewolf. They are working alongside the police, hoping to bring Amy's killer to justice. I'm just not so sure their brand of justice is the same as mine. Mac knows that the Trackers have come to find Amy's killer. She just can't help but not trust them. There's something about them and their leader, Derby, that hits a nerve. So, wanting to put an end to her dreams where she is haunted by visions of Amy, Mac decides to investigate for herself. Little does she know that the circumstances surrounding Amy's murder would up-end her life even further. She uncovers secrets about the people she loves and holds dear. Secrets that throw her into a maelstrom of violence and bitter betrayal that will see her own life put in harms way. I loved this story for many reasons. Mac was just the kind of MC that I love. She's feisty, she's tough and when confronted with an amassing amount of evidence that all is not what it seems, she is like a dog with a bone and she will not let it go until she uncovers the truth. Throughout the whole story, I couldn't help but admire Mac's strength, loyalty and hard-headed attitude. She may have been a little naive in some instances, and she may have been kept in the dark by those closest to her. But that doesn't stop her from being one of the best female leads I have seen in YA. In fact her foibles endear me to her just as much as anything. Along with a great MC and a gritty storyline, there were also some other little bonuses in HEMLOCK. For instance, Kyle. *Swoons* I heart Kyle. Big time! He was the kind of guy you'd be happy to call your best friend. The kind of guy you'd want backing you in a fight. I absolutely fell head over heels in love with him from pretty much first sight. There's other characters to like, some to hate and some that trip you up when you least expect it. I knew who the killer was before it was revealed, but even then, there was another surprise in store that shocked me to the core. I finished HEMLOCK with a lump in my throat and tear tracks down my face, so I warn you now - have tissues at the ready. Being Kathleen Peacock's first novel, I didn't know what to expect from her as an author. What I found was she has a unique style all her own - making her sky-rocket straight onto my favourite authors list. The writing was fast-paced with an elegant fluidity to it that meant I was absolutely swept away and easily lost chunks of time whilst I was reading. I'd pick it up and upon putting it down I would wonder how on earth it had got to that time when it felt like I had only been reading for 5 minutes. Sometimes I find stumbling blocks within books that it takes me a while to get my head around. But HEMLOCK wasn't one of those books. There was nothing that needing explaining, no barrage of information that attacked you from on high. It was a provocative storyline that prompted questions about love, trust, lies and prejudice. All in all, it was a beautiful story that left me sated yet all at once thirsty for the next installment in the trilogy. For anyone who likes a good supernatural mystery - this book is a MUST read.show more
by Keren Kiesslinger
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