The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood

Book - 2014
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A gripping debut psychological crime novel about family lies and dark secrets in an isolated community as a series of women go missing.

People still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother who vanished years ago from the town of Henbane, deep in the Ozark mountains.

When one of Lucy's friends is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost women: by the mother she never knew, and the friend she couldn't protect.

But her search for answers, in a place where secrets are easily concealed, leads her to a chilling discovery.

And with this revelation, she must grapple with the meaning of family, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

Publisher: London : Hutchinson, 2014.
ISBN: 9780091954161
Characteristics: 308 p. ; 24 cm.


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Nov 29, 2017

This book literally had me on the edge of my seat! The imagery provided by Laura McHugh's words created a vivid picture in my mind of both the characters and the scenery. I could absolutely read this book a hundred times and never get tire of it. Kudos to the author I was truly drawn into Henbane, MO. and couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next in this multi-layered thriller of family, lies, secrets and death.

JCLHelenH Jun 12, 2017

In this twisted and disturbing portrait of a family with deep, dark secrets Lucy discovers a clue in the disappearance of her friend, and her long-dead mother after she starts working at the family store.

May 31, 2017

This book was a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the boonies and I could not put it down. Lucy had a loving mother who disappeared. Her doting father and uncle are not what they seem and she is determined to find out the truth, starting with the disappearance of her mentally challenged high school friend.

The book is aptly named as Lucy feels the weight of her loyalty to family as she begins to uncover details about her family that she was blissfully unaware of. McHugh has written the book from multiple POV so you can watch Lucy's mother Lila first encounter the Dane family as you watch Lucy do her investigation. I like this even more than Arrowood myself.

Highly recommended for Missouri folks especially!

athompson10 Dec 29, 2016

It was OK, a little predictable and at times read more like a YA novel. What does stand out is the author's love of the Ozarks landscape, and her realistic portrayal of poor girls without roots or family stability, and how limited their choices and opportunities are.

Jul 31, 2016

pretty good but it had some type
of crude stuck to it on the pages

Jun 26, 2016

From start to finish, this was a compelling book. Lila's life cut down far too soon, and her daughter, Lucy, searching for the truth that would connect the tragedies in this Ozark community. Definitely worth reading.

Marlowe Jan 08, 2016

The Weight of Blood is a fitting title for a heavy family drama that spans generations and clans in the Ozark Mountains. Told from multiple perspectives, in both time and character, consequences are both being revealed and changing as the novel progresses. Slow but purposefully, and definitely worth a chance.

Jan 26, 2015

This was a disturbing book, and it felt surprisingly real. I don't have much experience with the area in which the book takes place, but the descriptions made Henbane believable.

I liked ALL the female characters. There was a little good and little bad/mystery in each one. The male characters seemed flat.

The angular storytelling (each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character) seemed disjointed at times. Several characters were strongly featured in a few chapters, but only one or two chapters were from their point of view.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Gone Girl. I enjoyed it more than that one, and I found this book to be an easier, more intriguing read.

Jan 02, 2015

The novel is billed as a mix of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" and Daniel Woodrell's "Winter's Bone." I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that myself. The novel is set in the Missouri Ozarks and there is some mystery. I don't think it as as tantalizing of a read as Flynn's novel (perhaps because it lacks the twists and turns of her dark storytelling) and it felt a bit like a cleaned up version of the backwoods world created by Woodrell.

But all-in-all, I think McHugh did a good job and has some great potential as a novelist. I look forward to her future books.

Dec 10, 2014

I thought this book was very well-written, and I do hope she'll write more. I found the characters well described; some were appealing, and others, not.


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