The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
Lucy lives in Henbane, nestled in the Ozark Mountains. Her mother disappeared when she was young and was never heard from again. Now a teenager, Lucy lives with her father and is watched over by her neighbor when he is away from town. Lucy’s falling in love, getting her first job and missing her friend Cheri who disappeared a year ago. But now Cheri’s body has been found and there is no question that someone killed her. Where has Cheri been? And did Lucy just find evidence to tie someone she loves to the crime?
This book keeps you guessing. You wonder if the disappearances of Lucy’s mother and Cheri are connected and how they could be after such a long period of time between them. And you also wonder if Lucy is safe since her story seems to parallel her mother’s in so many subtle ways.
The storytelling is engrossing. It is told in alternating points of view between Lucy and her mother at Lucy’s age, so you get two time periods and two perspectives of Henbane. Then, after the second part of the story starts, you begin to get other points of view. This gradual introduction of other voices works well because you have already “met” these characters and want to know what they have to say. More than a murder mystery, and more than a thriller, this is also the story of a town and how small towns can hide huge secrets.
I know it is only February, but I’m pretty confident that this book, along with the book I blogged recently, The Winter People, will be on my best of 2014 list at the end of the year. Reserve your copy now — it is released on March 11th.