What Amazon says
Generations of Jillian Cley’s family have been tasked with a strange duty—tending the burial plot of Gabriel Vane, whose body was the first to be interred in the Hode’s Hill cemetery. Jillian faithfully continues the long-standing tradition—until one October night, Vane’s body is stolen from its resting place. Is it a Halloween prank? Or something more sinister?
As the descendants of those buried in the church yard begin to experience bizarre “accidents,” Jillian tries to uncover the cause. Deeply empathic, she does not make friends easily, or lightly. But to fend off the terror taking over her town, she must join forces with artist Dante DeLuca, whose sensitivity to the spirit world has been both a blessing and a curse. The two soon realize Jillian’s murky family history is entwined with a tragic legacy tracing back to the founding of Hode’s Hill. To set matters right, an ancient wrong must be avenged…or Jillian, Dante, and everyone in town will forever be at the mercy of a vengeful spirit.
This is the second book in the Hode’s Hill series of books by Mae Clair. I read and thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series so I had high expectations for this new book. These were certainly met in End of Day which I enjoyed even more than the first book.
End of Day is a fairly dark and compelling reading, told on two timelines separated by over two hundred years. Gabriel Vane is an orphan, who is becoming a successful farmer in his small community, through hard work and determination. He has fallen in love with his best friend, Jasper’s sister, Dinah, and is hoping to win her hand in marriage. In order to increase his chances of a successful outcome to his courtship of Dinah, he undertakes to seek out and kill a savage beast that is stalking their community and killing livestock. The beast has struck terror into the hearts of the villagers and people living in the surrounding area. Following Gabriel’s brave gesture, Jasper and another unmarried farmer in their community, Hiram, volunteer to accompany him on his quest.
In the present day, we are reintroduced to Jillian, a minor character from book one, who has strong empathetic abilities. Her sister, Maddy, shares her gift and, after witnessing the brutal murder of her husband, Boyd, has withdrawn from the world and is living in a care home as she is unable to look after herself. Boyd’s murdered has never been found and Jillian spends a great deal of time, visiting her sister in the hope that she will emerge from her catatonic state. I really liked the character of Jillian and enjoyed her portrayal as a strong woman who is able to overcome her own fears and take the steps necessary to prevent her home town and its inhabitants from succumbing to catastrophe. I also liked the role played by Jillian’s care dog, it is always nice to have a relationship between a human and a dog in a story.
Dante DeLuca also plays a much bigger role in this book than in book one. I wasn’t that keen on his character previously but grew very fond of him while reading End of Day. A lot more information about his father’s death and the last haunted years of his life comes out and it provides more background and texture to Dante’s character. His psychic abilities and experience with seances come to the fore once more. I enjoyed the development of Dante’s character and the subtle hints at a future romance between him and Jillian. Dante had a psychic experience as a young boy which ended with one of his best friends being killed in a car accident. This incident is inextricable tied to the turbulent set of circumstances that he, Jillian and his young nephew, Elliott, find themselves involved in.
End of Hill is exciting and fast paced with lots of mystery and mystic. The supernatural element is dark and frightening but these parts are written tastefully and are not unduly graphic. I recommend End of Day to lovers of supernatural and action paced stories with interesting and believable characters. You do not need to have read book one in order to enjoy book one, but it adds to your appreciation of the character development if you do.