A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, July 29, 2021

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh -Feature and Review



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.



The Weight of BloodThe Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh is a 2014 by Spiegel & Grau publication.

Sixteen- year -old, Lucy Dane, has lived in the shadow of Lila, her beautiful mother, who disappeared when she was a child. Many folks in Henbane, believed Lila was a witch, and those rumors are still whispered about behind Lucy’s back. If her mother’s disappearance wasn’t enough to cope with, years later, her friend Cheri also disappeared.

When Cheri’s body was found, Lucy stumbles across a startling discovery that could be a clue to Cheri’s murder. This prompts Lucy to start asking questions, and do a little investigating on her own. Her unwanted snooping uncovers disturbing information about her mother, leading Lucy to believe the two cases could be connected…

This, believe it or not, is McHugh’s debut novel!! I was impressed by her other books, and knew I needed to circle back and read this one too.

McHugh has an amazing gift of creating a taut atmosphere. This story grabbed me right from the start and I had a really hard time putting it down.

The story develops across two timelines and dual first-person narratives, gradually piecing together the events of the past and connecting them to the present. The suspense is gripping, the story is both riveting and heart wrenching.

Overall, McHugh’s debut is every bit as riveting as her follow up novels. If you like dark, compelling thrillers written with a literary tone, this is a book, and an author, you’ll want to try.

4+ stars



Laura McHugh is the author of The Weight of Blood, winner of an International Thriller Writers Award and a Silver Falchion Award for Best First Novel, and the Missouri Author Award for Fiction. The Weight of Blood was named a Best Book of the Year by BookPage, the Kansas City Star, and the Sunday Times (UK), and was also nominated for an Alex Award, Barry Award, and GoodReads Choice Award (Best Mystery and Best Debut). Her novel Arrowood was a finalist for the 2017 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel, and The Wolf Wants In was named one of the best books of 2019 by Library Journal. What's Done in Darkness will be published June 22nd, 2021.

A lifelong Midwesterner, McHugh lives in Missouri with her husband and children.

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