Guest Post By Laura McHugh: The Inspiration Behind The Weight of Blood

Friday 4 July 2014

Today I am excited to share with you a piece written by Laura McHugh about the inspiration behind her debut novel The Weight of Blood. I will be posting my review sometime next week but was struck by the blurb of the novel, and how different and intriguing the story sounded, and it turns out there is an incredible story behind the book. Read on to discover what that story is...

Inspiration for The Weight of Blood

"I wanted to write a novel set in the Ozarks, where I had lived as a child, because I was still haunted by memories of the place twenty years after I’d moved away. I’d been an outsider in an isolated mountain community that always felt a bit sinister beneath the surface. Soon after we moved into our ramshackle house in the hills, I met the elderly woman who lived down the dirt road from us. “If you see a grave in the woods,” she said, “keep walking.” As a kid with an active imagination, I was both frightened and curious, wondering who might be buried underfoot, and how they had died. I began my novel with the discovery of Cheri Stoddard’s dismembered body, though initially I wasn’t sure how the young girl had met such a gruesome end. As I was writing, I came across a news article about a shocking crime that took place in one of the small, rural towns where I’d grown up. The crime itself was disturbing, but what really struck me was that it had taken place over several years, with multiple people involved, in a small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business—and yet no one said a word. They had all kept this terrible secret. That crime inspired Cheri’s story and changed the course of the novel."

With thanks to Laura McHugh for this guest post  

The Weight of Blood is out now and is published by Hutchinson at £14.99.

A gripping debut psychological crime novel about family lies and dark secrets in an isolated community as a series of women go missing.

People still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother who vanished years ago from the town of Henbane, deep in the Ozark mountains. 

When one of Lucy’s friends is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost women: by the mother she never knew, and the friend she couldn’t protect. 

But her search for answers, in a place where secrets are easily concealed, leads her to a chilling discovery. 

And with this revelation, she must grapple with the meaning of family, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

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