Thrillers: The Weight of Blood
Laura McHugh Arrow, pbk, 320 pages, e6.99
Henbane, Missouri, population 707, is a claustrophobic, introverted small town in a remote area of the Ozark mountains. It is home to Lucy Dane, a spirited 18-year-old whose life has been turned upside down by two major events; the mysterious disappearance of her mother Lila when she was a toddler and the recent discovery of the mutilated body of her slow-witted friend Cherie.
Working for her Uncle Crete during the summer before she leaves for college, Lucy discovers in an old cottage she is cleaning for Crete a butterfly necklace that she had given to Cherie. What was it doing there, she wonders. Determined to seek justice for her dead friend, she sets about uncovering the mystery of the young woman's horrifying death. An outstanding debut novel.
The Killing Lessons
Valerie Hart, a San Francisco homicide detective with a chaotic personal life, is reaching the end of her tether as she seeks to solve a string of deaths she is convinced are the work of a serial killer who seizes the victims in one State and brings them to another to torture and kill before dumping them.
Meanwhile, in Colorado, a single mother and her son are violently murdered, but one of the family, 10 year-old Nell, escapes into the forest. Can she survive to tell her tale? Can Hart join up the dotted lines? These questions make for a tense and thrilling read from British author Saul Black.
Orion, eBook, e9.49