The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood
Genre : Fiction
Published : 3 Jul 2014 - Hutchinson
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.


It is a long time since I have read a debut as impressive as Laura McHugh's The Weight of Blood. It is a chilling portrait of a small town in the Ozarks where violent men are protected and young women vanish.

Joan Smith, Sunday Times Books of the Year

A fantastic novel rich in character and atmosphere. This is one you won't want to miss.

Karin Slaughter

I was bewitched by the enchanting Ozark landscape and the haunting murder mystery at the heart of McHugh's masterful debut. The Weight of Blood is the kind of novel that leaves the reader wanting more. I can't wait to read what's next from this gifted new writer.

Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot

An elegant time-bomb of a novel, a coming-of-age story that holds you captive from the first sentence as McHugh skillfully tips the scales back and forth in this mesmeric mystery where two generations of women struggle to find a balance between loyalty to family and self preservation, with dire consequences. A thrilling debut!

Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds

An excellent story, told with well-fleshed, warmblooded characters that give colour and authenticity to the Ozark backdrop. It was a compelling read ... Marvellous. There is lip-licking anticipation for more from this first time author.

Mean Streets

Her prose will not only keep readers turning the pages but also paints a real and believable portrait of the connections, alliances, and sacrifices that underpin rural, small-town life in Henbane.

Library Journal (starred review)

The Weight of Blood is a tense, taut novel and a truly remarkable debut... The pacing is swift, the writing redolent, and McHugh is not afraid to burrow into some very dark territory—readers will gasp in a mixture of surprise, horror and delight as pieces of her gruesome puzzle begin to slide into place. The Weight of Blood rewards its readers with a suspenseful thrill ride that satisfies in all the right ways.


This is an outstanding first novel, replete with suspense, crisp dialogue, and vivid Ozarks color and atmosphere.

Publishers Weekly

McHugh has crafted a sharp, haunting tale of blood in the Ozarks, as substantial as it is pleasurable to read." <br />

LA Times’s superb. Sentence after sentence reads like a gem. The dialogue is masterful. The characters are believable. The plotting is gripping.

Kansas City Star

An outstanding debut.

The Sunday Times

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