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Laura McHugh - book author

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Laura McHugh's debut novel, The Weight of Blood, won an International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel, a Silver Falchion Award for Best First Novel: Literary Suspense, and the Missouri Author Award for Fiction. It was also nominated for an Alex Award, Barry Award, and GoodReads Choice Award (Best Mystery and Best Debut). Her second novel, Arrowood, was an international bestseller and a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Hardcover Novel. Her story "Endgame" has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

McHugh lives in Missouri with her husband and children.

Laura McHugh is the author of books: The Weight of Blood, Arrowood, The Wolf Wants In, The Wolf Wants in, City Baker's Guide to Country Living / Hostage Taker / Billy and Me / Arrowood (Reader's Digest Select Editions, Volume 6, 2016)

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01
For fans of Gillian Flynn and Daniel Woodrell, a dark, gripping debut novel of literary suspense about two mysterious disappearances, a generation apart, and the meaning of family-the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

The Dane family's roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn't keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy's few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn't protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri's necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri's death could be linked to her mother's disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.
02

A haunting novel from the author of The Weight of Blood about a young woman's return to her childhood home--and her encounter with the memories and family secrets it holds

ITW THRILLER AWARD FINALIST

Arrowood is the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. But the house has a mystery it has never revealed: It's where Arden Arrowood's younger twin sisters vanished on her watch twenty years ago--never to be seen again. After the twins' disappearance, Arden's parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. And Arden's own life has fallen apart: She can't finish her master's thesis, and a misguided love affair has ended badly. She has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can't move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer.

Arden's return to the town of Keokuk--and the now infamous house that bears her name--is greeted with curiosity. But she is welcomed back by her old neighbor and first love, Ben Ferris, whose family, she slowly learns, knows more about the Arrowoods' secrets and their small, closed community than she ever realized. With the help of a young amateur investigator, Arden tracks down the man who was the prime suspect in the kidnapping. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close--and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined.

Arrowood is a powerful and resonant novel that examines the ways in which our lives are shaped by memory. As with her award-winning debut novel, The Weight of Blood, Laura McHugh has written a thrilling novel in which nothing is as it seems, and in which our longing for the past can take hold of the present in insidious and haunting ways.
03
In a small town ravaged by the opioid crisis, a woman confronts a dark secret about her brother's shocking death--a gripping novel of suspense for fans of Sharp Objects and S-Town.

Sadie Keller is determined to find out how her brother died, even if no one else thinks it's worth investigating. Untimely deaths are all too common in rural Blackwater, Kansas, where crime and overdoses are on the rise, and the small-town police force is consumed with the recent discovery of a child's skull in the woods. Sadie is on her own, delving into the dark corners of a life her brother kept hidden and unearthing more questions than answers.

Eighteen-year-old Henley Pettit knows more than she'd like to about the seedy side of Blackwater, and she's desperate to escape before she's irreparably entangled in her family's crimes. She dreams of disappearing and leaving her old life behind, but shedding the past is never easy, and getting out of town will be far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

As more bones are found in the woods, time is running out for Sadie to uncover the truth and for Henley to make her escape. Both women are torn between family loyalties and the weight of the secrets they carry, knowing full well that while some secrets are hard to live with, others will get you killed.

Like Laura McHugh's previous award-winning thrillers, The Weight of Blood and Arrowood, The Wolf Wants In is an atmospheric, beautifully told novel that barrels toward a twisting, chilling end and keeps us turning the page to find out how these small-town secrets will unravel--and who will survive.
04
"Calling all fans of Sharp Objects and the third season of True Detective: You need to read Laura McHugh."--Refinery29

"A perfect thriller . . . a thoughtful commentary on America's opioid crisis and an utterly satisfying mystery."--Janelle Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LIBRARY JOURNAL

Sadie Keller is determined to find out how her brother died, even if no one else thinks it's worth investigating. Untimely deaths are all too common in rural Blackwater, Kansas, where crime and overdoses are on the rise, and the small-town police force is consumed with the recent discovery of a child's skull in the woods. Sadie is on her own, delving into the dark corners of a life her brother kept hidden and unearthing more questions than answers.

Eighteen-year-old Henley Pettit knows more than she'd like to about the seedy side of Blackwater, and she's desperate to escape before she's irreparably entangled in her family's crimes. She dreams of disappearing and leaving her old life behind, but shedding the past is never easy, and getting out of town will be far more dangerous than she ever imagined.

As more bones are found in the woods, time is running out for Sadie to uncover the truth and for Henley to make her escape. Both women are torn between family loyalties and the weight of the secrets they carry, knowing full well that while some secrets are hard to live with, others will get you killed.

Like Laura McHugh's previous award-winning thrillers, The Weight of Blood and Arrowood, The Wolf Wants In is an atmospheric, beautifully told novel that barrels toward a twisting, chilling end and keeps us turning the page to find out how these small-town secrets will unravel--and who will survive.

Praise for The Wolf Wants In

"The Wolf Wants In perfectly balances gripping suspense with stunning, lyrical prose--a rare combination, but one that seems to be McHugh's signature gift. Atmospheric and chilling, this novel takes place in the twisted, destructive wake of the opioid crisis as one woman struggles for justice and another for redemption. A truly thrilling read."--Jill Orr, author of the Riley Ellison mysteries
05
CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING: Introducing a famous pastry chef, an endearing small town, and some delicious pies.

HOSTAGE TAKER: When a madman is in control of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the right team for the job of freeing the victims is the wrong team for anything else.

BILLY AND ME: A shy, quiet girl and an up-and-coming actor - they are almost a fairy-tale couple. But fairy tales don't always end happily ever after.

ARROWOOD: A spooky old house on the Mississippi and an unresolved crime - what secrets does Arrowood hold about that terrible day so many years ago?