Cover Image: The Fields

The Fields

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This is a debut novel so I can understand how the story got messy with all the different plot lines going on. They do all converge toward the end but there was more than a few things that could have been edited out to give a cleaner story. For instance, the political angle of the story could have just been hinted at through Riley and not a random person thrown into the story that didn’t do anything other than prove how shady the man running for reelection is. I also didn’t understand the whole dynamic between Riley and her fellow police officer. I understood that he treated her badly because he didn’t get the promotion but the further motivations between them were not needed. I also had an issue with the backstory between Riley, her high school friends, and her brother. I thought it made a lot of sense but I didn’t understand why Young kept it such a secret and only revealed parts of it at a time. It only further complicated an already overstuffed plot and could have been handled much better.

It might seem based on all the complaints that I didn’t love this book but there were moments that I really enjoyed. I thought Young did a really great job with the actual investigation part and the pressure being put on Riley to solve the case. I enjoyed Riley and the investigative team she put together to solve the murders. I hope in future books in this series that we get to see them work together more and Young focuses more on them and not so much on things that take away from the story.

If you love crime fiction then I still do recommend this one because I’m hoping that Young will come back with a stronger second novel in this series. All the bones of a good detective novel were present and if you can overlook all the unnecessary extras in the story, I think you will find that it is a compelling mystery.
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I had no idea until now that Erin Young is actually a pseudonym for a historical fiction author, but I could definitely tell while reading The Fields that it wasn't her first rodeo. I am from Minnesota and can tell you she did a really great job of bringing Iowa to life, which is pretty impressive when you consider she lives in England. There is a procedural and political aspect to the book, but it is also pure crime fiction. Newly made Sergeant, Riley Fisher is out to prove herself, and there is much hinting done that she has a past she doesn't want anyone to know about. I really liked her as a character, and I am excited to get some more characterization in upcoming books. There is some very dark and disturbing content in this book, and I don't recommend eating while reading!

I really enjoyed the audiobook as well which is narrated by Soneela Nankani. She is actually a new-to-me narrator, but I would most definitely listen to her again. I thought she was great to voice this book and she fit Riley as a character very well. I will say that The Fields is a pretty slow roller which makes me equally happy that I decided to listen to it. As slow as it could be at times, I was still sucked into the story and Young's writing ability really shone through. I was thrown by the conclusion, and I guess while I could have potentially figured it out, I'm happy I didn't. I would say this could be compared to Karin Slaughter's writing, but with a slower pace, and I am definitely interested to see where book 2 will take us!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This was one of my most anticipated of the year and it did not disappoint. Very similar to Karin Slaughter
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I had a little trouble following the multiple characters in this book, and the GMO/agriculture debate was a bit too on the nose for me. Very atmospheric, though.
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This was wild. For a good portion of this book, I had no clue what was happening. Then, I was able to start piecing it together as the detective was. I felt like I needed the crime wall to make sense of it all! Very expertly written! I will say some parts dragged for me, but I definitely got sucked into the mystery!

Thank you NetGalley and FlatIron Books for this advanced copy!
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A bit more grim than I anticipated but overall a good book. I think i would give this author another try in the future!
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Riley Fisher may be back in her hometown, the newest investigations sergeant, but she's done all she can to ensure her past won't catch up to her. At least, she thought so, until her former best friend, Chloe, is found dead in a field and whispers of a serial killer begin spreading around. It hits too close to home, Riley's past begins to seep into the present and as she investigates the death she finds herself and her team tied up in a political scandal associated with the corn fields. The same corn fields Chloe's body was found in.

Maybe it's my farm life history that made me love this, maybe it's the small town everyone knows everyone, or maybe it was just badass Riley Fisher that did it for me, but I found myself really enjoying The Fields. No, I didn't really expect to get super deep into crops and the politics associated with them, some of it definitely went over my head, but I enjoyed how something that should be so mundane could be so sinister. Erin Young gives us a lot of detail, enough that anyone can understand what's going on in Iowa politics and how this small town impacts it all. It's quite a grizzly police procedural, the details are stark, but it made me feel like I was watching an episode, almost like Law and Order, rather than just reading through the motions. There's a lot happening in The Fields and I felt like I was there for every scene.

The Fields can feel a bit long, it's easy to skim the political parts, but they do add to the story. I did figure out some of it early on, but there were still some great surprises. I only wish it hadn't been wrapped up so quickly, so simply. Something so gruesome impacted an entire town, yet we resolve it within a matter of pages. I needed more. I know, I'm a fan of the detailed, gruesome books, it's who I am, but I also really like a book tied up with a bow. There are some loose ends with this one, but we get a sequel so we shall see what it brings.

The Fields is readers' introduction to Sergeant Riley Fisher and the Black Hawk County's Sheriff Department. A police procedural series with a female in the lead and multiple POVs to keep readers wondering just what might happen next and how it all ties together.
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The Fields was such a well-written and captivating read. I don't typically gravitate to procedurals, but I found myself totally engrossed in the stories and the familiar, yet not cliche characters. Looking forward to reading more from this author. 
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
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A pretty solid debut novel by Erin Young. 
It's probably not for everyone because it's grimmer than I thought it would be. It's pretty graphic so be careful of the trigger things before you pick this book up. 
Thanks Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for the ARC!
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Great thriller! Nicely paced with well rounded characters. Our heroine wasn’t my favorite; however as more of her backstory emerged, I realized where her fears started.

Overall solid police mystery! Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review.
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The first in a planned series, Erin Young's crime-writing debut The Fields introduces readers to Sergeant Riley Fisher from Black Hawk County, Iowa: a place where the corn fields are knee high way before the Fourth of July, where family farms are barely managing to compete with Big Ag establishments. It is in one of these fields on one of these farms where a woman's mangled body is found, and when Riley arrives at the scene, she discovers that the victim is a childhood friend -- a woman irrevocably linked to Riley by a shocking event they experienced as teenagers. Before Riley can even begin to process this, another woman's body is discovered, and Riley finds herself enmeshed in an investigation with far-reaching implications.

The Fields is a gritty police procedural, and while that is not my favorite genre (I tend to lose interest in a book when the police become involved), something about this book appealed to me right away and kept me hooked throughout. Despite that fact that Riley is, in many ways, this genre's typical tortured detective, I still found her to be a compelling, thoughtfully-crafted character. I've never read a book quite like this, a crime thriller with environmental and political issues so central to the mystery. While agricultural espionage and corrupt politics are not two topics I am especially interested in, Young weaves them so successfully into the murder investigation aspect of the story that it all just worked for me. The plot of this book is incredibly complex, and I give Young credit for tying all of the threads of her plot together so well.

The Fields also has an incredibly strong sense of place and feels intensely atmospheric. Not just the fields of corn themselves (Stephen King already taught us how creepy corn can be), but the entire town of Cedar Falls comes vibrantly alive in Young's rich, descriptive writing. That descriptive writing also lends itself to graphic imagery of dead bodies, so potential readers should be aware of that.

Overall, The Fields really worked for me, and especially since the ending gave us a hint of where we're headed next, I'll definitely continue with the series.
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Sergeant Riley Fisher is the newly appointed head of the Field Investigations division of the sheriff's office in Black Hawk County. She is shocked and devastated to learn the identity of a murder victim discovered in a local corn field.  The victim is Chloe Miller, a childhood friend which stirs both good and bad memories in Riley.  Chloe's family is part of the area's notorious Zephyr cooperative.

Riley and the small town sheriff's office are out of their league as this murder investigation quickly becomes complicated and intertwined with area corporations and their dominance over small town family farmers. Riley's intentions are good, and she leads the investigation to the best of her ability and experience. Her own personal issues threaten to spill over into the investigation giving the story an air of authenticity. The setting takes over as a character on its own as it plays critically into the plot line.  Much of the focus is on agricultural issues and the takeover of family farms that have been passed down over the ages.  For the most part, I feel the author does a good job with content and setting although at times it feels a bit overwhelming.

The Fields is a great debut from an obviously talented new author.  I enjoyed the way she controls the flow of this story as it plays out and look forward to reading more.  Recommended to fans of mystery and suspense.
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I received a copy of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review. 

I hate to say it but I DNF'd this at about 40%. It was sold as similar to Karin Slaughter but to me it felt like it was trying to be just like it rather than it's own thing. I don't have an issue with the graphic depictions and violence. My qualm is that it felt like it was trying to pack in every trigger warning possible for shock value. The plot dragged a bit and at times it felt really fast paced but then it slowed waaaay down. To me it was just the inconsistencies that made me put it down. Perhaps I'll pick it up to finish it in the future but for now I'm taking a break.
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This book was right up my alley, crime and procedural.  It was graphic, perhaps a bit too much so for some people, but I did enjoy it and thought it brought a lot to the book.  

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this copy.
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So I read this while I was in Iowa visiting my in laws and Erin Young had no right to take a hold of my brain like that while I was in an area VERY similar to what was described in the book. It was delicious and terrifying. I loved it!
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This book was great lots of twists and turns read in 24 hours! I will definitely be picking this author up again.
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DNF @ 25%

I have been trying to push through this one for about a week now, and I think it's me and not the book. Clearly the author is talented, but I'm lost amongst a plethora of characters who don't seem to play a major role in the book, alongside the politics of Iowa farming and agriculture. Definitely give this one a try if you like gory police procedurals!
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New Breakout Series!! 4-4.5 stars

Sergeant Riley Fisher has been put lead on a case involving a victim that she was previously connected too, however it doesn’t stop there. More victims show up and it appears they are dealing with a cannibal serial killer. There is so many details on this book and I can understand why it has been called a mashup of The Pelican Brief and Silence of the Lambs. 

If you are looking for an intriguing, make you think, mystery/thriller involving cannibalism with a potential twist on how this could possibly involve a Governor…this is for you!! 

I am definitely looking forward to seeing where Riley goes in the future.

Thank you Flatiron books and NetGalley for my gifted copy.
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It starts with a body—a young woman found dead in an Iowa cornfield, on one of the few family farms still managing to compete with the giants of Big Agriculture.

When Sergeant Riley Fisher, newly promoted to head of investigations for the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, arrives on the scene, an already horrific crime becomes personal when she discovers the victim was a childhood friend, connected to a dark past she thought she’d left behind. I really liked her sometimes cop partner, Logan and I very much enjoyed the parts where Riley and Logan were working together on the case. They worked like a well-oiled machine, rather than two people who had just started working together.

The investigation grows complicated as more victims are found. Drawn deeper in, Riley soon discovers implications far beyond her Midwest town.

I have to admit, The Fields was not a top read for me. The books features a storyline of corruption within the agricultural industry and murder. The novel is somewhat graphic and there are a lot of characters to keep track of. Overall, the ending is not predictable and is worth a read by anyone looking for a police procedural-style book.
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**3.5-stars**

It all begins with a body in a corn field...

Before we get started, can I just say that I find corn fields to be terrifying. There's just something about them. I can't. Who knows what is lurking in there. Seeing one mentioned in the synopsis for The Fields, I knew that I wanted to read this debut Crime Thriller.

Sergeant Riley Fisher, the head of investigations for Black Hawk County Sheriff's office is shocked, upon arriving on scene, when she discovers she knows the victim. Even though Riley and Chloe went their separate ways in their teen years, Riley is still rattled to the core by her estranged friend's tragic death.

The corn field is owned by a local co-op, Zephyr Farms, one of the very few to survive the crushing presence of Big Agriculture. Does Chloe have a connection to this place? How did she end up here and who would have wanted to harm her?

Riley dives deep into this investigation. After all, it's personal and soon finds herself in a dangerous world of politics and very big business. Not a comfortable place to be by any means. As more bodies start dropping, the pressure increases, with Riley pushing herself to her limits in order to get to the bottom of these cases before more innocent lives are loss.

While parts of this intrigued me, mostly the murdery bits, I felt like the structure of the story lost me at times. There were certain aspects, or sections, ((I'm not quite sure how to best explain what I mean)) that felt out of place and it would kick me out of the story. Along a similar vein, for me the pace was off, with my interest coming and going in waves. There was a solid mystery here, but at times it felt overshadowed by other things; namely politics, which personally, I could have done without.

With all of this being said, please don't take this the wrong way. I did enjoy this book. I see a lot of promise in Young's writing and would pick up the next book in the Riley Fisher series. This is a good start to series. I liked Riley a lot and look forward to learning more about her in the next installment. 

She has a dark cloud hanging over her, a bit of a secret history, and I really want to know what that's all about. I'm hoping in the next book she'll spill it. So yeah, this wasn't a perfect read for me, or the most memorable, but I did enjoy it enough to continue on with the series. I'm actually looking forward to it.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate it!!
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