The Wolf Wants In

A Novel
Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"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 best-selling 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 listening 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)

©2019 Laura McHugh (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“[An] intelligent thriller...elegant plotting, finely honed character studies, and lyrical prose.... This emotionally resonant tale will also appeal to literary-fiction readers.” (Publishers Weekly starred review)

“In a small, dead-end Kansas community devastated by the opioid epidemic, two young women grapple with dark family secrets.... Readers will become invested in the struggles of the well-drawn lead protagonists; the stoic and resourceful Henley will especially remind Daniel Woodrell fans of Ree Dolly, the heroine of Winter’s Bone. Inspired by the still-unresolved sudden death of McHugh’s brother, this third novel is atmospheric grit lit with emotional depth.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“If you’re looking for a writer who understands Midwestern life from the grand scales of economic and social contracts down to its tiniest customs and stoic beauty, look no further. Laura McHugh is the queen of the haunted heartland. Every scene simmers with hope and dread, making it impossible to rest until I knew these characters’ fates. An absolute must-read.” (Mindy Mejia, author of Leave No Trace)

What listeners say about The Wolf Wants In

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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Great Narration

Excellent. I throughly enjoyed the audio narration of The Wolf Wants In. I fell for Henley Pettit and still long to know more about her and her life. I would like a sequel, please! Tara Turnbull’s voice came as a fresh and pleasant surprise after having been introduced to Suzanne Freeman's Sadie Keller. I particularly enjoyed Henley's perspective every time she came in, and found myself missing her when other characters were foregrounded. She was my favorite character. I really felt myself wanting to hear more from her. Tara Turnbull gives a strong reading, has a special soothing way of delivering a chilling, thrilling, dark story. Whether she was communicating Charlie, Dex, Earl, etc, I appreciated her clear delivery. She kept me interested. This was superior to reading the book myself as the momentum of the voices brought more to the reality than I could have by reading it myself. Sadie also stayed with me. She was not giving up on finding out about what happened to her brother. Laura McHugh gives us vivid images and memorable characters. I have enjoyed getting lost in the reality of Blackwater and everything the residents of this small town were dealing with. I would like to hear more of these two. I love this audiobook.

3 people found this helpful

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Tara turnbull

Very well read. Her diction is perfect and her voice is very nice to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved this book

I absolutely loved this book from beginning to the VERY end. It kept me hooked right up to the last minutes. I just couldn't believe 4 people were murdered. The last one was hard for me as I was invested in her, since she had a HUGE role in the book. Don't want to give too much away, if you are looking to read this for the first time. Get it, I promise you will LOVE it!

2 people found this helpful

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Refreshing Story, Touching, Nuanced Performance

Memorable characters throughout, realistic and sensuous description. McHugh shares a world with us, teaches us how to take pleasure in it, is generous with ever more detailed slices of it. As a listener, Sadie’s frustrations and curiosities become mine. Through her we live out a rogue detective fantasy. McHugh’s intimate portrait of Henley becomes deliciously illuminated as the story unfolds. We get to be part of the story, also part voyeur. The dual narrations capture the atmospheres, impart each characters’ respective precarities and unique worldviews. The Wolf Wants In strikes its own balance. This mysterious journey satisfies, does not let its satisfactions lull us into forgetful complacency, but manages, skillfully, to leave us with some of its longings

2 people found this helpful

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Poor Narration

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, as I have all other Laura McHugh novels, but the narration really put me off. The voice of Sadie sounded weak and whining while Henley was almost incomprehensible and inaudible. Sadie was a strong character in the book, pressing forward with her investigation, with very little support from family or law enforcement, but the plaintive voice was off-putting and incongruous. When Henley began to speak, I had to crank up the volume and rewind several times to catch the words she swallowed in her poorly enunciated, quiet speech. Next to a good story, the narration is paramount for a successful audio book. The narration in this book fell short and made the book difficult to fully enjoy.

1 person found this helpful