I admit, I requested The Weight of Blood purely based on its title. Well, okay, not purely – its title coupled with the fact that it’s set in the Ozarks, a nearby region that’s always intrigued me. What do people do out there, anyway?
Apparently, a whole lot of nothing good. That’s not to say it’s all bad, but the meth and other trafficking are rampant among those that have too much control in the communities. The Weight of Blood is a powerful debut novel by Laura McHugh, a self-described insider-outsider. Those from the Ozarks don’t like outsiders, and outsiders can never understand native Ozarkians, not really. Lucy, the main character is also a little bit of an insider-outsider herself, having been born to a mother from Iowa (might as well be France) and a father native to Henbane, the small town in which Lucy grows up after her mother disappears mysteriously when Lucy is only a year old.
The novel opens with another mystery, the murder of one of Lucy’s high school friend/acquaintances, a girl that had disappeared a year earlier. What follows is intense like a hot, humid Midwestern summer – slow, lurid and burning.
You should pick up this novel this summer if:
- You’re looking for an atypical read perfect for the waning heat of summer.
- You like well-paced and -plotted reads.
- You like mysteries but are not necessarily a fan of the crime fiction genre.
- Your have been listening to “Cruel Summer” on repeat for days.
You may want to skip this if:
- You have some trigger issues (trigger warning).
- You can only be pulled in by Dan Brown pacing.
- You prefer to remain blissfully unaware of what might be happening outside your urban fortress.
- Your soundtrack to Grease is stuck on “Summer Nights.”
*Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for a complimentary ebook in exchange for an honest review.