Book Review: The Weight of Blood – Laura McHugh

The Weight of Blood coverTitle: The Weight of Blood
Author: Laura McHugh
ISBN: 9780812995206
Pages: 320
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Genre: Literary Mystery
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Lucy Dane, not a young girl but not quite grown up at seventeen, lives in a small town in Mississippi Missouri. Her mother disappeared when she was young, so it’s just her and her father, with her powerful uncle checking in on Lucy from time to time. When Lucy’s friend Cheri, a slow girl with a good heart, disappears, Lucy begins looking into her disappearance, but Lucy has no idea that what she finds along the way will change everything she thought she knew.

Snapshot Review:

An atmospheric mystery with a well-written small town setting, and characters that leap off the page The Weight of Blood is a literary mystery that people will definitely be talking about.

Full Review:

The Weight of Blood is a debut novel that has been getting a lot of buzz in the literary world, and for good reason: it’s engaging, well-written, and compulsively readable. Lucy, the main character, is smart, but she quickly gets in over her head with this investigation into Cheri’s disappearance. Readers will appreciate her determination while also cringing on her behalf, as it rapidly becomes clear that the answers to Lucy’s questions are ones she doesn’t want to hear. McHugh does a great job with the tension; while you know the answers are bad, it’s not entirely apparent what they might be. This keeps the novel from being predictable.

Lucy is well-written, yes, but what’s remarkable about The Weight of Blood is that all the characters leap off the page. McHugh has done a great job portraying a small, rural town in this novel. Readers will feel the claustrophic nature of the small town atmosphere, closing in around them as they read. There are sinister things lurking behind every page, and it’s up to the reader to discover what they are.

McHugh makes sure there are surprises with every twist and turn of The Weight of Blood; the town hides dark secrets, and it’s up to Lucy to uncover them. The ending is a bit anticlimactic, but it’s also unconventional, which can be refreshing. If you’re looking for a pulse-pounding read that’s beautifully written and well-executed, McHugh’s literary mystery should absolutely be at the top of your list.

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  1. I’m reading this book now and I’m completely captivated! Just a small correction, Lucy lives in Missouri, in the Ozark Mountains. :). I skimmed your review…hoping to finish this one soon.

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