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Hemlock Grove    by Brian McGreevy order for
Hemlock Grove
by Brian McGreevy
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The town of Hemlock Grove sits in the shadow of the Godfrey steel mill. It had once been the main local employer until the family decided to invest their vast fortune into the biotech industry. The White Tower reminds everyone of just how successful the Godfreys are, but doesn't quell the whispers that something ghastly is going on in the facility.

When a young girl is murdered, her body all but torn apart as if by a wild beast, the townspeople suspect a crazed escapee from the White Tower. Some of the high school kids suspect the culprit is Peter Rumancek, a gypsy boy who recently moved into his uncle's trailer and who’s told a select few he's a werewolf.

Still others believe the murderer might be Roman Godfrey, who flaunts his status and family fortune, but is fiercely protective of his freakish sister Shelley. Then there's his overly controlling mother Olivia, who's a strange entity unto herself.

When a second girl is murdered in the same gruesome manner, the action ramps up as does the weirdness factor as the reader is taken on a journey through gypsy lore and the convoluted world of the Godfrey family.

The tone, the mood, and the creepy atmosphere presented in Hemlock Grove are exemplary and McGreevy's plotting puts an atypical twist on vampire and werewolf myths. What I found often difficult to get through, however, was the over the top gothic style in which it is written. The word clash between modern and gothic didn't always mesh or truly make sense until the end of the story.

Even so, I enjoyed Hemlock Grove and hope that I'll soon find the time to binge watch the series on Netflix.

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