Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Review: The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

For fans of Gillian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell, a dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense about two mysterious disappearances, a generation apart, and the meaning of family-the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

The Dane family's roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn't keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy's few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri's necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri's death could be linked to her mother's disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 11th 2014 by Spiegel & Grau (first published February 26th 2014) 
Genre: Mystery/Thriller  

Kristine's Thoughts:  

* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

The Weight of Blood had me hooked from the very beginning. The story revolves around two missing girls from two different decades that both have a connection to Lucy Dane. One was her mother who disappeared when she was just a baby who the entire town assumed committed suicide and the other was her friend who disappeared only to be found a year later cut into pieces and shoved in a tree.

The first part of the book goes back and forth between Lucy in present day and Lila (her mother) when she first came to Henbane. The second and third part of the book introduces the narrative of most of the key players in the mystery. I've said it many times before that this is one of my favourite styles of writing because you get the story from all angles and perspectives which leaves less questions or holes in the story. Although it is a very easy book to read you do have to pay attention or it could get confusing as each new narrative is introduced. With the multiple narratives there are some things that the reader knows before Lucy does but there is also enough left out to keep you guessing and wondering how it will all play out.

As the story unfolds, Lucy discovers things that leave her questioning whether or not she wants the truth. Is the family that she knows and loves really who she thinks they are? What really happened to her mother?

This book has the perfect balance of mystery with a cast of unique and interesting characters and an attention grabbing plot. It does not read like a debut novel which has me anxious to see what McHugh comes out with next. I finished it in just a few short hours and thoroughly enjoyed it.

About the Author

Laura McHugh's debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD, will be published March 11th, 2014.

McHugh lives in Missouri with her husband, children, and large furry dog. She is currently at work on her second novel.  




  1. This sounds really good-another book going on my tbr list :)

  2. Very interesting concept there. Sounds really a nice read. It's hard enough that rumors would come from people not related to you, but from your relatives... definitely would let you think that there's something is really going on. Nice review!

    Bheiy @My Book Cushion
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