cover image The Wolf Wants In

The Wolf Wants In

Laura McHugh. Spiegal & Grau, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-399-59028-3

In this intelligent thriller set in the opioid-ravaged town of Blackwater, Kans., from McHugh (Arrowood), Sadie Keller and her sister, Becca, are desperate to know why their normally healthy brother, Shane, suddenly died. They suspect Shane’s new wife, Crystle, and her relatives, the drug-dealing Pettits, are to blame. The Blackwater police have closed the case and are now preoccupied with a missing girl whose skull may have been found in the woods. Across town, 18-year-old Henley Pettit knows she will always be tainted by the “knotted threads of her family’s misdeeds” if she stays in Blackwater. She worries her clandestine relationship with the scion of Blackwater’s wealthiest man will further trap her. Henley desperately wants to start a new life anywhere else, away from her often-missing opioid-addicted mother and the crimes of her uncles. Elegant plotting, finely honed character studies, and lyrical prose draw the women’s lives closer as Sadie and Henley deal with their own small-town ennui. This emotionally resonant tale will also appeal to literary-fiction readers. [em]Agent: Sally Wofford-Girand, Union Literary. (Aug.) [/em]