I’ve been a Mae Clair fan for some time now, and Book 2 of her Hode’s Hill series has been on my TBR pile for quite a while. I’m so glad I waited until I wasn’t rushed to read it, as I was able to take my time and thoroughly enjoy Ms. Clair’s latest offering.
To my mind, End of Day has a distinctly darker flavour than other Clair books – something I personally loved – and it delivers the usual tense, tightly-paced story and excellent writing I’ve come to expect from Clair. An example of Clair’s exquisite way with words is;
“The chapel was small, newly built, the smell of sawdust as heavy as the twin augers of anger and fear boring through the heart of every man in the gathering.” (from “End of Day (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 2)” by Mae Clair)
While I sometimes struggle with “sequel” books that are set in the same environment but are about different main characters, I warmed quickly enough to Clair’s newest heroine – Jillian Cley – and became rather enamoured with her secondary main character (and repeat player), Dante DeLuca. DeLuca’s character has a whiff of anti-hero about him that I adore, and I was thrilled to see him take on a larger role this book around.
All that said, like in Book 1 of the Hode’s Hill series – Cusp of Night – to me, it was in the flashback sequences of End of Day where Clair’s talent really shines. She has a knack for instantly sucking the reader into the distant past and is able to truly ‘sell’ a scene through description, dialect, and dialogue. I simply adore Clair’s historical chapters, and found myself wanting to flick ahead to find out just how Gabriel and Atticus’ stories unfolded. But isn’t that the mark of good writing?
In summary – End of Day is an excellent read and one well-worth your time. Helps to have read the first book (Cusp of Night) first, but probably not strictly necessary.