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Hemlock Grove : or. the wise wolf
2012
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Peter Rumancek (Male), Student, Werewolf, High school senior; searches for a serial killer;
Genre
Fiction
Suspense
Fantasy
Topics
Violence
Murder
Manhunts
Biotechnology
Family secrets
Goth culture
Setting
Pennsylvania - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Peter Rumancek is a new student at the high school in Hemlock Grove, PA. Being the new kid at school is enough to turn heads, but Peter is of gypsy blood, and word gets out he might be a werewolf as well. When the mutilated bodies of young girls begin showing up, Peter becomes a suspect. He teams with local bad boy Roman Godfrey, whose family essentially owns the small town, to investigate the murders. There are plenty of suspects in Hemlock Grove, which houses a looming biotechnology facility called the White Tower where human and animal experiments take place. Verdict Screenwriter McGreevy makes a stunning literary debut with this gothic, paranormal thriller. He plays on gothic themes with misfits and mobsters inhabiting his story, but he grounds his plot with plenty of authentic angst-ridden teenage turmoil. Though the writing can be stilted at times, this novel keeps you guessing until the very end. Any fans of paranormal or horror genres will be delighted by this novel. The ending leaves an opening for a sequel, and McGreevy has signed on to produce an adaption of the book for Netflix. [Library marketing; the author is also working on an adaption of Dracula for Leonardo DiCaprio's production company.-Ed.]-Brooke Bolton, North Manchester P.L., IN (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

In screenwriter McGreevy's smartly constructed debut novel, a former mill town is swept with fear when the corpse of a local teen is discovered. The crime scene lacks the usual clues, though the wounds point to an unidentifiable animal. At Hemlock Grove High School, eyes immediately turn to Peter Rumancek, a new senior rumored to be a werewolf. Peter is grudgingly persuaded by Roman Godfrey-heir to an old family fortune whose assets lie in the Godfrey Institute for Biomedical Technologies-to find the real killer. Meanwhile, Roman must deal with his bizarre family-his cousin, Letha, who insists she was impregnated by an angel; his younger sister, Shelley, whose preternatural intelligence is housed in a grotesque body; and his mother, Olivia, an icy beauty with a tendency to faint. Propelled by the clockwork appearance of bodies, Roman and Peter follow a trail of clues that lead them to dig up a victim's grave and to a mysterious project headed by slick genius Dr. Pryce at the Godfrey Institute. Not only does their investigation reveal the killer, it also uncovers many Godfrey family secrets in the process. McGreevy cleverly contemporizes the gothic novel, underlining the isolations of modern-day technology and adolescence in this engaging, though occasionally affected, literary horror novel. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p> An exhilarating reinvention of the gothic novel, inspired by the iconic characters of our greatest myths and nightmares. </p> <p>The body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues--though the authorities aren't sure if it's a man they should be looking for.</p> <p>Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family--their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel--where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he's a werewolf. Or perhaps it's Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.</p> <p>At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right--and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.</p>
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