For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart.
INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD WINNER AND BARRY AWARD NOMINEE FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGE
The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. Lucy’s family has deep roots in the Ozarks, part of a community that is fiercely protective of its own. Yet despite her close ties to the land, and despite her family’s influence, Lucy—darkly beautiful as her mother was—is always thought of by those around her as her mother’s daughter. When Cheri disappears, Lucy is haunted by the two lost girls—the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t save—and sets out with the help of a local boy, Daniel, to uncover the mystery behind Cheri’s death.
What Lucy discovers is a secret that pervades the secluded Missouri hills, and beyond that horrific revelation is a more personal one concerning what happened to her mother more than a decade earlier.
The Weight of Blood is an urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace. Laura McHugh proves herself a masterly storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love.
Praise for The Weight of Blood
“[An] expertly crafted thriller.”—Entertainment Weekly, “The Must List”
“Haunting . . . [a] riveting debut.”—Los Angeles Times
“Laura McHugh’s atmospheric debut . . . conjures a menacingly beautiful Ozark setting and a nest of poisonous family secrets reminiscent of Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone.”—Vogue
“Fantastic . . . a mile-a-minute thriller.”—The Dallas Morning News
Customer ReviewsSee All
One of my friends recommended this book. It was a bit slow to start and the content throughout was more country than I'm used to, but by chapter 3 I was hooked. Author did a great job of weaving together multiple character lines and pulling it all together at the end. I also liked how she ultimately left Lila'a disappearance still somewhat of a mystery. I really liked it! Great summer read!
The weight of blood
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Laura McHugh is a Sharon McCrumb wannabe
...wrapping the lore and legends of mountain folk in modern mysteries. She fails.
The story seems intriguing at first--a girl with questions about a long-gone mother, the murder of another young girl, sexual enslavement, etc.--but the temporal anachronisms are too glaring. This seems to set in contemporary America, yet there's no cell phone, no internet, no Facebook, not even cable TV. I live in backwoods Florida, and we have all these. We also have worldly kids who know all about crime and sexual predators and who to call when. They watch crime TV, for heaven's sakes. This story wants to be set in a Twilight-like zone where none of these exist and everyone lives in an intellectual vacuum.