Author: Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock, #1
In Kathleen Peacock’s Hemlock, Mackenzie Dobson discovered the truth behind her best friend’s murder and the secret her friend Kyle’s been keeping. Kyle is a werewolf and an unregistered one at that. In an effort to protect Mac, he leaves Hemlock. In Peacock’s sequel, Thornhill, Mac is not ready to let Kyle go. She, along with the troublesome Jason, head for Denver to find the boy she loves. But Mac is in for even more surprises when she crosses paths with the father who abandoned her and finds herself on the wrong side of Thornhill, a rehabilitation camp for werewolves. Bringing Kyle home is harder than Mac anticipated and she soon discovers that the warden of the camp is hiding secrets that may get her and those she cares about killed.
“We’re going to die.” The voice was young and male and it cracked around the edges.
“We are, aren’t we?” No one answered and the silence seemed to push him over some invisible line. “Aren’t we?”
Mac continues to be a strong-willed protagonist whose fear of losing those she cares about drives her to extremes. Mac is also a vulnerable character, Kyle’s departure brings up issues of abandonment, aggravated even more when her father makes a surprise appearance. She struggles to reconcile the man who left her years ago with the one who has embraced responsibility. One part of Mac that I wish had matured is her inflated sense of responsibility and the guilt that follows, something I hope she can overcome in the final installment.
Mac isn’t the only one willing to go to great lengths to protect those she loves. Kyle and Jason both care about Mac and would do anything to keep her out of harm’s way. And I might be bias, but I never worried that Kyle’s need to protect Mac, unlike Jason, would jeopardize other people. This is the problem I have with Jason because even though there is a shift in his ideology regarding werewolves, I felt that it was too subtle and am not convinced the headway he made is enough to redeem him as a character.
Where Thornhill came up short is its lack of resolutions regarding several story lines introduced in the first installment. Considering there is only one more book in the series, Peacock has a lot of loose ends to tie up. For me, the most important is Kyle and Jason finally being able to make amends; these are two best friends whose relationship has been strained throughout the series and at this point the friction and it’s cause feel drawn out. Despite this, I still really enjoyed Thornhill and look forward to the next chapter in the series.