Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood

Laura McHugh


            I was privileged to win an Advanced Reader’s Copy for Laura McHugh’s debut novel, The Weight of Blood, which will hit stands in March 2014.  It was different than the books that I said that I would normally review because it is not a romance novel.  It’s a murder mystery.

Every character in the story plays a vital role: Lucy, Lila, Crete, Carl, Bess, Gabby, Ransome, Birdie, Daniel, Sarah, Jamie, and Cheri.  Even though many of these characters are mentioned only a handful of times, they get to shine in their own one or two chapters that McHugh gives them.  I’m going to try my best to be organized in this review because I know how important it is to understand who the story and the characters without giving anything away.

The story is about a girl named Lucy.  Lucy was told that her mother, Lila, left her and her father, Carl, when Lucy was a baby but hardly anyone really believed that story.  Lucy who, throughout the entire book, is approximately 17 years old, is really the main character in the story.  Not only has her mother disappeared, but her friend, a girl named Cheri, had gone missing until her body shows up mutilated in a hole of a tree.  Lucy is entangled in a web of secrets and in her determination to find out what really happened to Cheri, she also unveils the secrets surrounding her mother.

For the first part of the novel, odd chapters are focused on the present in Lucy’s point of view and even chapters are focused on the past, in Lila’s point of view.  It took me a while to realize it, but that’s what happens when you’re in a loud room.

The Weight of Blood was a promising read and a very haunting story.  It would’ve taken me a day to read it, if I didn’t have to put it down to spend time with my family.  But over a stretch of two and a half days I was done.  I’ll be honest, I started it as soon as I received it and got 73 pages in on the first day but school work took me out of it.  On January 1, I skimmed through it, caught myself up and began to read again.  January 2, I read from around noon to two in the morning reading it, trying to put the pieces together myself.  January 3, today, I read from 11am to 4:40pm and I finished it with satisfaction.

I can tell you that this book is riveting, you become Lucy and you find yourself looking at the evidence with her and deducing ti possible explanations of just what her town of Henbane is.  REMEMBER:  EVERY CHARACTER IS IMPORTANT.  DO NOT DISMISS THEM.  If this is a book that you pick up in March, drop of a comment and let us know your take!




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