Guest Post: Laura McHugh author of The Weight of Blood

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, published in hardback by Hutchinson at £14.99

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh, published in hardback by Hutchinson at £14.99

Laura McHugh’s debut psychological crime novel came out earlier this month and is gathering rave reviews. Today I’m pleased to welcome Laura to the CTG blog to tell us a bit about the true crime small town justice that inspired her to write the book …

In The Weight of Blood, the people of Henbane are more likely to cover up crimes than report them to the law, and that’s a common occurrence in some of the small, tight-knit, rural Ozark communities where everyone knows—or is related to—everyone else.

One well-known example took place in the nearby town of Skidmore, Missouri. Ken McElroy was the town bully, and he’d gotten away with a number of serious crimes, including assault, arson, burglary, and shooting the elderly town grocer. The townspeople had had enough, and they decided to take action. They gathered on the main street with their guns, and McElroy was murdered in broad daylight in the middle of town, in front of dozens of witnesses.

No one called an ambulance. Not a single person ever spoke up to say who had killed him. Every witness claimed that they did not see anything, and no one has ever been charged in connection with McElroy’s death.

A huge thank you to Laura for dropping by the blog to talk about the shocking real-life event that influenced her to write The Weight of Blood and create the fictional small town of Henbane where the story is set.

The Weight of Blood is out now. It’s gripping, packed with suspense and set in an isolated community where family lies and dark secrets hide.

Here’s the blurb: “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 feel 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.”

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh is published in hardback by Hutchinson, priced £14.99.

To find out more about Laura, pop on over to her website at

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