The setting for Hemlock Island is an ominous one. Steeped in Native American legends, Lake Superior is the largest and coldest of the Great Lakes. Hemlock House is located on a small, private island in the middle of the lake and lacks any internet, cell, or landline phone access. For author, Laney, it’s a dream come true — a place to write without interruption, a place of inspiration. However, following the Covid pandemic, Laney and her techie husband, Kit, split and he leaves the island and house they built on it to her. However, it’s expensive to maintain and, following the death of her sister, Laney has become guardian for her niece, Madison, and must rent out Hemlock House in order to make ends meet. Sounds like a plan, but someone is messing with Laney — leaving hex signs on the property to frighten the renters. When her current renters call in the middle of the night saying they’re leaving because of blood in one of the spare bedroom closets, Laney knows she must take action.

Laney, with Madison in tow, travels to Fox Bay where her boat is moored and are surprised when they find Kit, his sister (Jayla) and another former high school friend (Sadie) and her brother (Garrett) on the wharf planning to go with them. It’s obvious that there are secrets amongst this motley crew — secrets that go back to their high school days together. Secrets that could prove deadly.

Hemlock Island is a scary read and I, for one, couldn’t help but keep turning those pages wanting to discover who or what was behind all the mayhem and madness that takes place. Secrets are finally revealed and someone will have to die. But who? And, why?

I really enjoyed this novel. It gets a little hokey at the end, but it still kept me up late at night wanting to find out what was going to happen. Highly recommended for those who love Gothic mysteries, horror stories, and stories rooted in the malevolent forces of nature.