Published by Spiegel & Grau on January 6, 2015
Genres/Lists: Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
I don’t read a lot of crime fiction, but something about the cover of The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh drew me in (despite the fact that it’s compared to Gone Girl). Plus, the synopsis reminded me of The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon, which I loved, so I decided to give it a go. In short, this is a novel about two missing women, decades apart, and the precocious teenager that links the two. Set deep in the Ozark mountains where you’re as likely to get lost as be eaten by a bear, McHugh creates a setting that is just dying for a mystery to take place in it.
When Lucy Dane was an infant, her mother disappeared. An oddity who was already an outsider, there was speculation about whether she took off of her own accord or befell a tragic fate. At 17, Lucy suffers the loss of a schoolmate, whose body was displayed for all the town to see. It’s these two converging events that set Lucy off on a mission to find out what happened to her friend, leading her to stumble upon some shocking secrets about her mother that were long buried by her family and the town she called home.
The book takes off from the first pages, with each chapter ending in a way that left me eager for more and tearing through the pages into the wee hours of the morning. Lucy is fiercely independent, but also fiercely loyal to her father, and much of her investigating hinges upon balancing these two traits. Convinced that solving one crime will solve the other, Lucy puts everything at risk to seek the truth.Looking for a great mystery to read? Check out The Weight of Blood by @LauraSMcHugh Click To Tweet
Told predominantly by Lucy, the book is also told in the voices of those who knew her mother, offering the reader a glimpse into the past that is unknown to Lucy. Typically, this type of narration leaves nothing to the imagination for the reader, who is simply left watching a story unfold rather than experiencing it, but McHugh has crafted a plot that plunks the reader right into the thick of it. While the reader knows more than Lucy, he/she certainly doesn’t know everything, and it adds a dimension to the book that gives it its punch.
The Weight of Blood is a relatively quick read and a great mystery for those who are not avid readers of the genre. It’s not over the top, nor is it formulaic, and I loved every bit of it.
Recommended for: Casual mystery readers looking for a great weekend pick that are nothing like Gone Girl!
Are you a mystery fan reader? What’s your favorite?