I thought the Hode’s Hill series would be a little out of my usual reading pattern, but with its mix of mystery and suspense, plus a goodly dollop of the supernatural, it soon had me hooked.
Here is my review of the first instalment, CUSP OF NIGHT.
I’ve just finished the second, and started the third. That says a lot about how much I’m enjoying them. I checked, but only three in the series so far. Pity. Just saying…
The truth hides in dark places . . .
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.
Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .
Cusp of Night by Mae Clair
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Opening with a grisly murder in the 19th century, first victim of the serial killer dubbed ‘the Fiend’, this entrancing tale then skips to the present day to introduce us to Maya Sinclair, a young woman seeking a fresh start following a traumatic accident that left her dead for over 2 minutes before being revived. Her first social engagement in her new town of Hode’s Hill finds her at the annual Fiend Festival, which takes an unsettling turn when she discovers a man who has been attacked by a gruesome-looking figure.
The two tales are told alongside each other, the historical one jumping back to start at the beginning with the origin and rise of the renowned medium, Lucinda Glass, and the strange events that unfold in Maya’s life when it transpires her new home was where Lucinda apparently met her end. And Lucinda isn’t quite finished with life yet…
This is the first of Clair’s books for me, but it won’t be the last. Her writing is exquisitely detailed, bringing fresh visuals to every scene. Her characters are so well drawn you feel you could walk up to them in the street and hold a conversation with them. The intertwining stories keep that edge-of-the-seat need to continue reading, even when you know you should really get on with your working day, and the conclusion is satisfying and complete.
I was a little reluctant to read this at the beginning because of the horror tag I’d seen attached to it, but nothing was too horrific or frightening, merely suspenseful, and I’m very glad I gave into my friends’ encouragement. I have already purchased and begun book #2 in the series.
Highly recommended for fans of suspense and mystery, with a fairly hefty dose of ghosts/paranormal thrown in.
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Connect with the author at https://maeclair.net/
And now I’m off to continue reading.