Another wonderful book to add to McHugh s canon The Wolf Wants In delves into the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States, even small towns like Blackwater in the Midwest While not a beach read, this book will hook readers from all genres with its mysterious characters, clever plot turns, and realistic setting Being a Midwesterner myself, the setting is very well done McHugh adds in details that most of us in the area know and silently judge , which adds credibility to her plot The ending achieves what her previous books do, too Readers will understand the nuances and mysteries of the beginning and middle by the time the book closes, a satisfying end to an otherwise flummoxing puzzle The Wolf Wants In is unsolvable until the end and in the best way possible A highly recommended read for any mystery and suspense reader, especially those who want a very realistic depiction of an actual, everyday issue. McHugh fuels her tale with the sort of stark bleakness that charged Springsteen s Nebraska album Blackwater is a country town somewhere outside of Kansas City and the teens don t know what they want but they want out It s a desolate country filled with opioid addicts, debt lenders, broken marriages, and broken people Told through narrative voices of a woman Sadie and a teenage girl whose paths meander near each other Sadie s brother died from a seeming heart attack but she s suspicious of his wife and her kin who are of the backwoods sort The brother s possessions are being divvied up and sold off and there never was any autopsy Henley is from a broken home, no father, and her mom on a good week has stayed off the drugs On a bad week, Missy is off making like a bad version of Matt Dillon in Drugstore Cowboy Henley has dreams but knows she s never escaping and not even a romantic fling with the town s rich kid will get her out of dead end poverty This is a powerful novel about these two characters and the small desperate world they struggle through If you ever want to see rich complex characters developed, you ll find it here The only negative is that it s a bit depressing and there s only a tiny glimmer of hope, but maybe that tiny glimmer is all you need to spark something better.Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review. 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 TownSadie 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 Questions Than AnswersEighteen Year Old Henley Pettit Knows 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 Dangerous Than She Ever ImaginedAs 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 KilledLike 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 Andkeeps Us Turning The Page To Find Out How These Small Town Secrets Will Unravel And Who Will Survive Not quite as much of a thriller as I thoughtI don t think gripping novel of suspense or thriller are totally accurate descriptions of The Wolf Wants In These words were included in the publisher s blurb as of 6 19 2019 These elements didn t appear much until roughly the 60% mark Around then, we finally buckle down on trying to solve the murders in this town.Because McHugh focuses on weaving the characters stories together and explaining how they are connected, The Wolf Wants In is of a small town drama While it doesn t fit its intended genre particularly well, the novel does stand out in some respects McHugh vividly portrays the suffocating nature of life in a small, failing town that struggles with opioid addiction The writing is very character focused, so the two narrators are well developed and complex Other than my questions about categorization, my only major issue was with the novel s ending, which was a bit of a letdown It seemed rushed, as the events happened nearly all at once instead of over time Things also wrapped up too perfectly.3.5 stars it s a dark but decent read Just don t go into it expecting a traditional thriller Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a DRC of this novel, which will be available for purchase on August 6th. The rural town of Blackwater, Kansas is in crisis with few job prospects, the kids will do anything to get out and those who don t usually meet an untimely end at the bottom of a pill bottle.Sadie Keller refuses to believe her brother Shane, only in his thirties, died of natural causes Crystle, Shane s wife of one year, doesn t seem too devastated over her husband s death and isn t interested in looking further into his death.The town is consumed by the discovery of the remains of a missing child and her father, previously thought to have been a child abduction Sadie is on her own to uncover the truth about Shane s final days.At the same time, eighteen year old Henley Pettit is desperate to leave Blackwater Her mom has relapsed again, she suspects her uncles are involved in several crimes, and now she needs to escape the suffocating affection of Jason Sullivan, son of the town s wealthiest resident.Alternating between the stories of Sadie and Henley, The Wolf Wants In is a slow burn mystery that reveals family secrets and connections in its own time While some pieces of the mystery are predictable, the fates of Sadie and Henley eventually become woven together for an overall unexpected conclusion The Wolf Wants In is a heavy and for the most part bleak read due to the subject matter It s an honest look at grief, poverty, and family in rural America and at the center are several mysteries that eventually connect.If you enjoy small town mysteries and country noir, this is definitely one to stack Thanks to Spiegel Grau Random House for sending me an advanced reader s copy for review The Wolf Wants In is scheduled for release on August 6, 2019.For reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com First off, I won this as a goodreads giveaway Thank you Penguin Random House and Spiegel Grau for sending it to me.This book was a trill ride from the get go I wanted to finish it in one sitting, but had to do it in three.It is a family drama chock full of the unexpected This one is sure to hit big and hopefully win some awards. When Sadie s brother, Shane, dies of a opioid overdose, Sadie s family is both confused and suspicious Shane would never have committed suicide, which is what the police think, and Shane s wife is acting oddly So Sadie starts looking around Haley is a part of the Pettit family, a long line of petty criminals and drug addicts She s so eager to leave the small town of Blackwater, Kansas, where everyone knows exactly who her family is and her mother has drifted back into addiction She just needs to save enough money to leave She s cleaning the house of the local bigwig and spending time with his son, who is directionless and eager to spend time with her The setting is the draw of this novel, a small rural community where the only available jobs are manual and low paying, where the opioid epidemic rages and anyone who has the means leaves And the plot is well developed, with alternating chapters switching between Sadie and Haley The Haley chapters take place several months earlier and Laura McHugh does a fine job of raising the levels of tension equally in each of the timelines I was set to rate this book very highly, but there s an abrupt end where the mystery is wrapped up in an odd sort of outline, all the bad guys confessing and all the good guys, who had previously been struggling with some serious issues, all received happy endings I would have much preferred a longer book, better pacing and and an ending in keeping with the tone of the rest of the novel. The Wolf Wants In is a powerful read The opioid crisis is only one part of the story It s also about grief, hopelessness, poverty and family ties Honesty, it s sad and a bit depressing, but it s still a worthwhile investment of your time Just know that the material in this story is heavy and relevant Told in two perspectives, these eventually tie together for a dramatic ending that will stay with you for days It s thought provoking and chilling in the best way to engage readers with the narrative You will feel for these characters and their struggles Excellent read Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 starsThis is not the type of book you read when you are looking for something light and easy It s a pretty depressing read which isn t surprising because it deals with tough issues like grief, addiction, and divorce to name a few It s almost like the town constantly has a cloud over it and the only way to get some sun is to hitch a ride out of there So much sadness and pain Life isn t all sunshine and roses though and this book does a good job in reflecting that reality The story takes place in the rural community of Blackwater, Kansas and alternates between the characters of Sadie and Henley Sadie is grieving the death of her brother and also looking for answers Henley is eighteen years old and knows the only way she can have a decent future is if she gets away from her family and her godforsaken hometown But with so many secrets hidden in this town, these two women might never get what they want.While I liked both of the female main characters, I was drawn towards Henley and her story Henley s relationship with her mother was pretty heartbreaking and you could really identify with her longing to seek out a better life In my opinion she was the heart of the story I can t quite put my finger on it but there seemed to be something missing in this story and that s the reason it didn t reach great status and sits just at good level I guess I was left with a feeling of wanting , even if I m not really sure what that is in this case The only small criticism I can really articulate is I thought the character of Jason was not fully developed Overall, a solid read and I do think there is potential for many readers to be able to connect with certain characters or storylines As grim as the story can be, it is true to life than many other novels out there.Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review Instagram Twitter Facebook PinterestWow, I don t think I ve been on a good book streak that lasted this long in a while When I picked this up I had my doubts, because so many thrillers try to play the just like Gillian Flynn card and fail to measure up 9 times out of 10 Lucky for me, THE WOLF WANTS IN is the 1 book out of 10 that reaches the bar.Told in dual POVs, THE WOLF WANTS IN is about two women Sadie is a middle aged mom, divorced, whose brother Shane has just died under mysterious circumstances His wife, Crystle, doesn t seem as upset as a loving wife should, and the local police officer refuses to investigate Henley is a young eighteen year old, and the daughter of an addict who cleans the house of the richest family in town when she s sober Henley is currently dating the son of the rich guy, and she s also the cousin of Crystle, the wife who doesn t give two snips.The book is about how their stories intertwine as we learn about a town riddled with drug problems, secrets, and maybe murder In addition to Shane, a local man and his daughter were both found dead in the woods, and Sadie gets and concerned as she finds links between all of these incidents, even as she struggles to maintain control over the shambles of her own life.I saw some people saying that this book was pretty depressing and I will be the first to agree this is so It s a little like J.K Rowling s CASUAL VACANCY in the sense that it shows people at their worst and nobody is completely good I personally like books that show realistic portrayals of the sometimes toxic environment that small towns can breed Humans are capable of a lot of good, but sometimes they do some pretty horrible things, too I was impressed by the spectrum of the emotions portrayed in THE WOLF WANTS IN, and how it addresses grief, greed, and ambition.Both POVs were well done and I liked how they began to intertwine Around page 200, I did find myself wondering how the story would wrap up when it still seemed so unfinished, but the ending didn t disappoint me I actually thought it ended on a note of hope all of our endings are inevitable, but if we re lucky, we get to hold the pen as we decide how the last chapter finishes Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 4 stars
Laura McHughLaura 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.
- 272 pages
- The Wolf Wants In
- Laura McHugh
- 28 January 2019 Laura McHugh