Told in alternating perspectives of members of the Dane family from both the past and the present, McHugh builds a twisted and disturbing portrait of a family with deep, dark secrets.
Lucy never knew her mother; she walked into a cave when Lucy was one and never came out. Then, at sixteen, Lucy’s developmentally disabled friend, Cheri, goes missing, leaving Lucy wondering what part her lack of enthusiasm for the friendship played in the disappearance. When Lucy starts working at the family store, she discovers a clue that puts her on the trail of not just Cheri’s final moments, but her long-dead mother’s as well.
The measured reveals--you see what’s happening to Lila, Lucy’s mom, in the past, as Lucy is discovering things in the present--keep the tension evenly paced until the culmination of Lucy’s investigations. There are horrific scenes, but the horror is doled out in pieces, making The Weight of Blood manageable for those of us who like our thrillers less, well, thrilling.