The Weight of Blood: A Novel by Laura McHugh

Published: Mar 11, 2014 by Spiegel & Grau

Find in the Library

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Scott Smith, and Daniel Woodrell comes a gripping, suspenseful novel about two mysterious disappearances a generation apart.

The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. Lucy’s family has deep roots in the Ozarks, part of a community that is fiercely protective of its own. Yet despite her close ties to the land, and despite her family’s influence, Lucy—darkly beautiful as her mother was—is always thought of by those around her as her mother’s daughter. When Cheri disappears, Lucy is haunted by the two lost girls—the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t save—and sets out with the help of a local boy, Daniel, to uncover the mystery behind Cheri’s death.

What Lucy discovers is a secret that pervades the secluded Missouri hills, and beyond that horrific revelation is a more personal one concerning what happened to her mother more than a decade earlier.

The Weight of Blood is an urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace. Laura McHugh proves herself a masterly storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love.

It might be a bit strange to write a book focusing on a question without an answer but that is precisely what author Lee Billings has done with his new book Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars. Billings, who spent several years researching the topic and interviewing leading experts in the search for extraterrestrial life profiles several personalities whose contributions have played key rolls in the ongoing search.

Tantor Audio have a sample MP3 available here.

PloS’s NeuroTribe blog has an interview with the author here.

Science and technology website Ars Technica has a detailed review.

The audiobook of this title can be placed on hold here.

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