Cusp of Night, (A Hode’s Hill Novel),
by Mae Clair
Publication: Lyrical Underground; June 12, 2018
About the book:
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.
I cannot even begin to attempt my excitement in bringing you my review for the upcoming release by Mae Clair, Cusp of Night. This marks the beginning of her Hode’s Hill Series and when I found out about this I was jumping up and down! If you recall in previous reviews, I became addicted to her Point Pleasant series about the Mothman, therefore, I couldn’t wait to dive into this one.
Cusp of Night is the story of a young woman named Maya Sinclair who moves into an old Brownstone in the small town of Hode’s Hill to accept a librarian position. Adjusting to smalltown life and enjoying being reunited with one of her closest friends, Maya quickly becomes interested in the town’s urban legend of the Fiend. Soon after arriving in Hode’s Hill and attending the annual “Fiend Fest,” attacks begin and people go missing. In the meantime, Maya begins experiencing strange phenomena within her home leading her to an investigation that uncovers the journal of Lucinda Glass who was at times, a sought-out medium, and at other times, a societal outcast. Eventually, the investigations regarding the attacks occurring in Hode’s Hill begin coinciding with events in Lucinda’s journal, leading Maya and local businessman Collin Hode down a path of discovery and secrets.
Wow, this was fantastic! Having already been a huge fan of Mae, I admit I went into this with tremendous expectations, all of which were exceeded. However, I must admit that in the beginning, I did get a little confused about who was who regarding the names of various family members and their roles in the community – but my confusion did not last long. As typical with Mae Clair, after introductions were made and a small bit of backstory was provided, a roller-coaster ride of mystery, suspense, paranormal activity, questions, doubts, and revelations began. Blended within this story are legends of a blue-skinned and enormous monster, a blue-skinned fraud of a medium, the death of a newborn, missing people, murdered people, ghosts, creepy rocking chairs, and so much more. I assure you that after reading this, you will dread the idea of seeing the time 2:22 on a clock, especially if it’s a cold night!
I instantly liked and connected with main character Maya, although I quickly determined that she should have a side-job as a private investigator/detective along with her librarian position. Collin Hode had me guessing initially, but I soon came to adore him also, especially when I felt like the friendship between him and Maya was strengthening. But, as typical with Mae Clair, romance is the least of her worries in her novels and instead, she focuses on slowly unwrapping a package for her readers that is full of questions, surprises, moments where you think you have it all figured out, but then brings on another twist.
Cusp of Night is a unique mystery/suspense/paranormal novel in that it has a set of main characters in present day, as well as, main characters from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. However, don’t worry about any confusion because these different characters from different time periods simply increase the depth of this story. All of the unique elements and stories within the story are relevant and not overly embellished, but instead, they are unique, addictive, and creepy. If you are already familiar with Mae’s masterful storytelling, then I assure you that Cusp of Night will not disappoint. If you have not yet had the pleasure of being sucked into one of Mae’s novels, then you are missing out! I simply cannot find enough words of praise for this novel, this new series, and Mae Clair as an author.
**Many thanks to Mae Clair, NetGalley, and the publisher for providing a copy of this ARC in exchange for my honest review!