Cover Image: The Fields

The Fields

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Member Reviews

This one wasn’t for me but I did share a spotlight as part of the blog tour and appreciate the chance to do that!
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Sergeant Riley Fisher is the recently promoted head of the Field Investigations unit of the Sheriff’s Office in Black Hawk County, Iowa. When she’s called to the scene of a murder victim in the corn fields of one of the families who are part of the Zephyr cooperative, she was completely unprepared for knowing the woman’s identity. She was Chloe Miller, one of her two best friends when she was a young teen. It brings back a flood of wonderful and terrible memories of a time that changed her destiny. 

One of the things that worked about this story was the fallibility of Riley and the small town department of deputies. This wasn’t a simple murder and there were lots of tentacles that led to complex issues and circumstances. Riley had good instincts but her inexperience as a leader led to some crucial mistakes. It felt realistic, no matter how frustrated I got with her because these were explosive issues well above the skill set of her team. Yes, they made mistakes but they were methodical and competent in their approach. 

There was a lot of focus on agricultural issues related to big corporations and their dominance over small farmers who have family legacies and histories. I learned a lot about those issues and am grateful my hubby, who spent twenty years supporting them, was able to help on background. While the author may have shown some bias, she got the issues right. It was an education I didn’t know I wanted. Riley was also hampered by her own personal baggage that threatened to negatively interfere with the investigation but it just reflected her humanity. The story also has a strong sense of place, almost overly so as the descriptions often bogged down the mystery elements. But, it still made for an intriguing story that kept me interested. This is the first of a new series and while some things about Riley’s past were resolved, there was quite a bit more that left me hanging. It’s a strong start to promising series and I’m committed to the next book. 3.5 stars
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I enjoyed The Fields as a whole, but at times it felt like there was too much going on. Agricultural science, murder,  theft of ideas, and you were flashing between character views. I found it a little hard to follow and couldn't remember what had happened earlier in the book. I did love the ending and appreciated that everything was wrapped up in one book, rather than having some questions left unanswered.
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If you love Tana French’s detective duos or Jane Harpers THE DRY but are looking for something with less expository prose, you will enjoy this crafty, atmospheric read. 

Set in Iowa, somehow making corn 🌽 a thrilling proposition, it will remind readers of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and leave you saying…

“This would make a great series”

Guess what, it is!!

A splashing of autopsy jargon, a deep, dark atmosphere, a sprinkling of small town, big politics, all contribute to this wonderful little nugget of a book that no one is talking about. 

So many of the elements of this book were really good. There were a couple times where I felt a bit confused maybe more bogged downed by tying all of the elements together.

Overall, this was a solid debut and I am looking forward to the follow-up!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to Flatiron Books and Netgalley for the advanced copies!

Out 1.25.22
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Who knew corn could be so thrilling? THE FIELDS starts with a grisly bang and doesn't take its foot off of the gas from then until the heart-pounding conclusion. Sergeant Riley Fisher is surprised when a woman's brutalized corpse is found in a local cornfield--she's even more startled when the victim turns out to be her teenage best friend and again when other bodies begin piling up. What unravels is a thrilling mystery with an ever-expanding cast of suspects and ever-increasing stakes. A taught domestic thriller and tense political thriller rolled into one, THE FIELDS is the very promising start to a possible series of Riley Fisher novels. I'm sure I'm not the only one excited to see Riley tackle the darkness of her past!
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Sergeant Riley Fisher finds herself facing an old secret when her childhood friend Chloe is murdered.  This procedural set in the corn fields is also a look at Big Ag and know that Young has strong feelings about it.  Focus instead on the bones of the novel- Riley, Chloe, and the next woman murdered.  Know also that this is graphic and grotesque in spots (more than I would have liked).  It's told from multiple points of view, with Riley's voice being the strongest and most compelling.  The atmospherics of a small town, a farming community, struggling with economic pressures come through loud and clear.  No spoilers from me.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  I'm looking forward to more from Riley (and Young).
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Release Date: January 25, 2022 (thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!)

Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis: Riley Fisher, newly promoted police sergeant in a rural Iowa county, becomes embroiled in a murder investigation when her childhood friend is found dead in a corn field, bringing up memories of dark secrets in Riley’s past. But things aren’t what they seem and soon one brutal murder turns into what may well be a serial killer on the hunt…

My Thoughts: I’m a big fan of police procedurals and an even bigger fan of Criminal Minds/anything involving behavioral analysis or serial killers. Because of this, for the first half of THE FIELDS I was completely engrossed and already contemplating the four-to-five-star review I would give, with minor dings for writing that occasionally came off as cheesy and a pretty painful lack of diversity (to be honest, this book was so white it actually felt like Young was TRYING not to have a single character of color and I strongly encourage her not to repeat that mistake when the series continues).

But then, the ending. I’m usually very willing to suspend my belief for a somewhat bizarre storyline, but this one went a couple bridges (or cornfields) too far. I don’t believe in spoilers in reviews, but I found the entire thing unbelievable, in the literal sense, and it made the entire book feel like science fiction (and not in a good way). This is the first entry in a planned series and I’ll still be giving the second one a try because I really enjoyed the characters and the setting, but I badly hope Young irons out the debut thriller issues (and crafts a more believable resolution) for her next installment.

Recommended if you like: gritty police procedurals; serial killer stories; rural farm drama.

CW: Gore/death/mutilation; rape/sexual assault; drugs, including addiction; mentions of suicide.
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The Fields is a solid crime thriller set against the backdrop of the Iowa agricultural industry. This combination of police procedural and local politics made for a compelling and bingeable read that was also supported by Erin Young’s fantastic writing and character development. As the clues come together about Chloe’s death, we also see how layered Riley’s character is and that she may have some long-held secrets of her own. 

This book is the first in a new series and I’m excited to see where it goes from here. 

Many thanks to Flatiron/MacMillan, NetGalley and the author for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book should have some trigger warnings on it for rape, gore, cannibalism. It was a slow start and went into a lot of detail about agriculture , which the author clearly well-researched. However, it did make for a full start to the story. There’s a bit too much of information regarding agriculture, farming, and seed. I liked Riley as a character and I’m excited to see where the author takes her in the next book. If you have a weak stomach, this is not the book for you. The author goes into great detail about the murders of the women as well as what the murdered are going through. It did seem a bit conspiracy to me with the governor and the seed. I was able to overlook some of the more boring parts and make it through. It was a good read, but would have been better without all the extra unnecessary information. 
3. 5 stars rounded up to 4
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There is a lot going on in this book -  A lot of elements to the story, a lot of character names to retain, and a lot of graphic details to digest. For some, this will keep things interesting all the way through. I, however, did not find this to be overly thrilling and my investment in it wavered from time to time. 

Let me clear - it’s a solid mystery with complexities the author developed well. Police procedural seems to be the perfect place for her writing talent and I could see this working well - perhaps even better - as a movie. Plus, the reveals were intriguing, unique, and frightening. It was simply that the winding road travelled to get there was sometimes inundated with scenery and, other times, bland to look at. 

I did enjoy that there was some added social commentary, although it wasn’t as mentally stimulating all the way through as I first believed it would be. 

As the beginning of a series, I do think too much may have been packed into the first book, but that could mean I’ll find future installments more enjoyable, if I continue on. 

I am immensely grateful to Flatiron Books for my digital review copy through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 

The Fields will be out on January 25!
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The summary of this book captured my interest and I enjoy stories with strong female lead characters, especially those involved with the military or law enforcement. That said, the beginning was confusing to me and unfortunately the remainder of the book was as well. A woman was savagely murdered in a corn field, a woman that Sergeant Riley Fisher recognized as someone that she had once known in college. When Riley questioned the husband, he seemed distraught, but admitted that he thought his wife was having an affair. Throughout the story, Riley had a difficult time getting answers as the story seemed to flounder back and forth from the murdered woman, to Riley’s own family situation, the production of corn seeds and big agriculture trying to take over the smaller farms. When another body is found (the condition of the body was especially graphic) does this have anything to do with her case? I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
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Unfortunately, this one was not for me...this was unexpectedly graphic and overly political, which really took away from the overall story for me. The writing itself? It's clear that Ms. Young is a talented writer, but the subject matter wasn't my jam.
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Super creepy and atmospheric with lots of suspense and build up. It was a decent thriller. Easy to read too.
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The Fields by Erin Young is a dark and compelling police procedural set in Black Hawk County, Iowa and centres around the investigation into a series of brutal murders. The deaths are curious, with the first woman being found with a number of curious and puzzling wounds, deep in a cornfield. The person in charge of the investigation is recently promoted Sergeant Riley Fisher, a woman born and bred in Black Hawk County.

Set against a backdrop of acres of cornfields, agricultural businesses competing over corn and seeds , there is much more to The Fields than a murder mystery. Riley is the grandaughter of a well respected former Chief of Black Hawk County Police and the first woman to be promoted to Sergeant. Some colleagues are unhappy with her promotion and she feels the pressure of her position daily. Throw in the fact that the murdered woman is a childhood friend of hers and things are a little messy for Riley.

Young explores the weight of responsibility upon Riley. In her personal life she is tasked with keeping her erstwhile brother on the straight and narrow and she seems to be the only person making sure that her niece is happy and healthy in the midst of a messy divorce. Professionally, she knows that all eyes are upon her and she is being pressured for quick results from her superiors. Her life is complex and ticking away in the background, is the weight of a terrible secret which she has kept locked away in a box inside her head for many years.

The book does go to some dark and macabre places which I suspect some readers won’t enjoy, and I have to admit that it did make blanch on occasion but I didn’t feel it was unnecessary. There are a number of malevolent forces at play which interweave building a pressure cooker of tension and threat. It’s really well plotted and the overall feel reminded me of early Grisham in some ways. The depictions of a hot and sultry Iowa seep from the pages and provide a contrast against the dark deeds at play.

I’m not usually a fan of police procedurals as they can be a little too heavy on the procedural side for my liking, but this has a sufficient balance between the minutiae of a murder investigation and an intriguing plot to support it. It just feels like a good old fashioned crime novel. There’s big business, a political agenda, a small town, secrets, intrigue and at its centre a great protagonist. If dark crime books with a lot of layers are your thing, then The Fields could be for you.
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The Fields is part procedural, part thriller featuring Sergeant Riley Fisher. The setting is what first caught my attention - I'm always on the lookout for books set in Iowa, even better if they're mysteries - and Young does a great job evoking a sense of place; I found this part of the book quite satisfying. I also like the idea of big ag having a central role in the plot - interesting and timely. 

Riley has a bunch of problems, personal and professional - past traumatic event that led to her making poor choices/self-loathing, deadbeat brother living with her in their family home, trying to live up to her grandfather's reputation, worries that she was promoted only to check a diversity box, tension at work because of said promotion and a one night stand - quite a lot going on/introduced just from this aspect for a first book in a series. This might draw readers to Riley, but I personally most enjoyed her partnership with Logan which is probably her only healthy relationship outside of her niece (also extremely troubled). 

As far as the mystery itself, this book is much more a thriller than a mystery you can follow the clues and solve yourself. The resolution is creative to say the least; some may roll their eyes, but I think fans of a certain type of thriller will love it. 

Recommended for fans of Karin Slaughter.
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I wanted to love this book, but was rather bored throughout. I kept waiting for something big to happen and I don't feel like it ever happened.
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A body of a woman is found in a cornfield in Iowa. Newly promoted, Sergeant Riley Fisher is the head of investigations of the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office. When she gets to the scene, she recognizes the victim as Chloe Miller, a childhood friend. Some would feel that this hits too close to home, but this is Riley's first case as Sergeant, and she wants to proceed. As she investigates, another woman is horrifically murdered. A prostitute has been killed and her body left on the outskirts of town. Are these two murders connected? What do they have in common? Where were both women killed? When more bodies are found, Riley believes this is the work of a serial killer.

In Iowa, farming is the name of the game. Unfortunately, there are those in big agriculture who want to win the game and smaller family farms are having difficulty competing. This is a police procedural that also looks at farming and the agriculture industry. Things get political and Riley must deal with some political roadblocks in this book as well.

Riley is an interesting character. She is flawed and the book hints at her past and Riley does not want it to come out. The is the first book in the series and I believe there will be more character development and growth in future books.

As other reviewers have mentioned, there are a lot of characters in this book. Were they all necessary? I believe this story could have been told with less.

This book is dubbed as a debut crime thriller for the author, but please note that she also writes under Robyn Young and has written quite a few historical fiction books. It is no wonder that the writing is very polished and well done in this book. Young has honed her craft and it shows.

Book #1 is off to a good start, and I am curious what she will have Riley investigating in future books. I just hope the next book has fewer characters.

Thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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"Never tell.
It was an oath she had broken first, many months later, the words heaved from her in sobs, her parents’ expressions frozen, Ethan stumbling from the room, his face ashen. The secret once shared—once detonated—had destroyed them. Not in the first blast, but slowly, inexorably. A sickness in the heart of their family. A poison that lived for years, quietly working in each of them."
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'It’s not heaven. It’s Iowa. "
----------Ray Kinsella in Shoeless Joe

Damn, did he have that right. The Iowa of Erin Young’s The Fields is a hell of a lot closer to The Children of the Corn than it is to any Field of Dreams. After spending some time in Cedar Falls and it’s larger sibling, agro-urban wasteland town, Waterloo, where the rust-belt meets the corn-belt, you might swear off dreaming altogether. Well, town might be down-playing it a bit. Between the two (both are real places) they total about 100,000 souls (not counting livestock), so maybe small cities rather than towns. Abba may have been on to something when they referred to Waterloo. (Couldn’t escape if I wanted to) Some truly can’t. One of those turns up dead in a cornfield.

If not for the University of Northern Iowa—where she’d majored in criminology—with its annual influx of students and money, Riley guessed Cedar Falls would have slumped into the same depression as Waterloo. There had been some brave attempts at regeneration in recent years—microbreweries sprouting on weed-covered lots, kayaks for hire on the Cedar River and an annual Pride festival, fulminated against by local churches. But they were fighting a strong downward pull.

"If not for the University of Northern Iowa—where she’d majored in criminology—with its annual influx of students and money, Riley guessed Cedar Falls would have slumped into the same depression as Waterloo. There had been some brave attempts at regeneration in recent years—microbreweries sprouting on weed-covered lots, kayaks for hire on the Cedar River and an annual Pride festival, fulminated against by local churches. But they were fighting a strong downward pull."

Riley Fisher is local, mid-thirties, single, grew up in Cedar Falls, her grandfather a former head of the Blackhawk County Sheriff’s Office. She knew early on that she wanted to follow in his footsteps. Now, after a detour or two along the way, she is head of investigations, to the consternation of others who had hoped for the promotion. The new-found body is in a field owned by the Zephyr Farms cooperative.

"Cooperatives were how some smaller Iowa farms had been able to survive the relentless advances of Big Ag. By dominating the market in hybrid seeds, fertilizer and pesticides—the holy trinity of crop production—through aggressive trademarking, swallowing up the competition and tactical lobbying at the highest levels of government, giants like Agri-Co had come to control much of the nation’s agricultural wealth."

Been out there for days, been ripped at in an unusual way, was maggoty, ripe, and unsettling. No problems with an ID, though, once Sergeant Fisher arrives on the scene. Chloe Miller (nee Clark) was one of Riley’s besties two decades back, in high school. But they’d gone their separate ways. Seeing Chloe brings back a terrible time from Riley’s youth, a time that had derailed her life, a time she could never forget. 

So, we are faced with two mysteries. What happened to Chloe in that field and why, and what is it about Chloe’s death that has brought Riley to such a state of emotional turmoil? Something happened back when they were still friends, something major. And the revived memories are not exactly a source of comfort. Both mysteries are peeled back like leaves on a lovely ear of you-of-what, bit by bit, the present-day crime via procedural investigation; the personal mystery through intermittent, mostly small recollections.

But wait, there’s more. The discovery of Chloe’s body is the spark that starts the action, but Young has a wider field of view in her sites. A writer of very successful (over two million sold) historical novels, she wanted to have a go at writing thrillers, finding inspiration in

"an article she read about the menacing power of Big Agriculture. A decision to set the novel in Iowa, corn-capital of the world, led her to make a fascinating journey across the state – from chance encounters with cops and farmers, and an audience with a local mayor, to shooting Glocks and getting caught in supercell storms."- from her website

A voice is given to concerns about the darker implications of increasing concentration in the age of the agro-industrial complex.

"A necessary evil, some called them. Progress, said more. But to those whose forefathers had farmed this land since the days of the first families from New York, Philadelphia, and Virginia, who’d settled here after the Black Hawk War when the Ioway had been driven west, these corporations were vultures, polluters and thieves."

(Entirely unlike the settlers who drove out the natives, I presume.) So, not exactly a tension-free relationship between local growers and the bigger side of the farming industry, personified here by the Agri-co corporation. We get a strong oppo position from an activist determined to head off even more governmental pro-corporation actions.

"Companies like Agri-Co only care about profit, not the soil and water they infect with their chemicals, or the wildlife they destroy. Cancer rates are rising from pesticides, and, still, their political allies and lobbyists help them sow their poison."

She blames the current governor, up for re-election, for his role in this. Concern with big-Ag concentrating power at the expense of smaller producers and fouling the environment in the process finds an echo in another part of the country.

"It was almost a year since Logan joined the department, moving with his folks from Flint. His father, niece, and nephew had been badly affected by the crisis there—when lead seeped into Flint’s water supply after city officials changed the system in an attempt to save money, then tried to cover up the devastating consequences."

It is clearly impossible to run from the national corporation-led degradation of our environment, or from pervasive public corruption.

Riley is an engaging lead, clever in the way we expect our fictional detectives to be. We also expect our lead to carry some personal baggage, challenges at the very least. Her beloved grandfather, Joe, has been in decline for quite a while, coherent and in possession of his memories on an increasingly part-time basis. Her brother Ethan is a bit of a disaster, divorced, a ne’er do well with some substance issues. Riley can usually count on Ethan to step back whenever she needs him to step up. Ethan’s daughter Maddie is a teenager, a decent sort, overall, in a tough situation, but, you know, a teenager, so offering the family their RDA of stress. And Riley still carries the weight of what happened all those years ago. Unfortunately, Riley is saddled with the addition to her team of Officer Cole, an asshole cop straight from central casting, toting the usual bigotries, inflated self-view, and presumptions, with an extra dose of jealousy. Thankfully, Riley’s other partner, Logan, is another good cop. 

And then a second body turns up, (not in a field) also not discovered until well past passing, also in very nasty shape, also featuring some remarkable damage. Is there a serial killer on the loose?

Thrillers have tropes like Ruffles have Ridges. Black SUVs put in an appearance. Are they good SUVs or bad SUVs? Ya gotta figure, when Riley spots a large poisonous snake on her property, (Chekov’s snake?) that it will rattle into play at some point. The question is how, when, to whom, and to what effect. News of a coming storm is another one. Usually this signals that the violent final resolution will occur against an atmospherically dramatic background. Young preps us with a mention of eight twisters having touched down in Iowa since April. Will one drop down into the mix here? Now, that would be a real twist. The upcoming Iowa State Fair is also noted, and gave me visions of snakes dropping on fair-goers, transported by a tornado, as everything is revealed in a climactic disaster scene. But Chekov surely does not have to take ownership of all these things. They could also just be foreshadowing images or external representations of the fear and turmoil Riley is experiencing, or the dangers she is facing. (But I sure do like that State Fairground snakenado notion). 

So how does the historical novelist fare at the thriller genre? Young ticks off many of the usual boxes that make up the type. The author has to make good with the reader on explaining things at the end, the main things, anyway. Check. A ticking clock? “I’ve had the county attorney on the line already. Less than two months from the state fair and with the gubernatorial coming up? You know how vital this next budget is to the department. I want this case handled quickly. Efficiently.”, so, check. Our hero must face an increasingly perilous set of challenges, no escaping, victory can only be had by overcoming. What’s she gonna do when all those snakes start dropping out of the sky (Ok. I got carried away, again.) But yeah, Riley rolls, doing battle on multiple fronts. An element of suspense? Sure. Got that. Whodunit, why, and who’s next. An appealing hero? Sure. A reliable sidekick with an alternate skill set? Yep. Logan fills the bill. Plot twists? Of course. Red herrings? Bring your fishing pole. There are a few swimming about. Alternate POVs? The story is told in third person, but there is one first person POV that appears a few times. Cliffhangers? That is what made it tough to read only 20-30 pages a night of this book. An exciting climax? Yeah, for sure, even though I was really kinda hoping for the snakenado thing, even though I know it would have been really cool silly. 

I quite enjoyed Young’s simple, but dark descriptions.

"Waterloo was lifeless in the stagnant air. Smoke seeped from factory chimneys and the Cedar flowed sluggish and brown. Although the roads were clogged with trucks and trailers, there were few people about, just a few vagrants shambling along broken sidewalks, and cleaners and hospital workers trudging to or from shifts…It wasn’t long before she saw the old meatpacking plant on the outskirts of the city…Its twin smokestacks were dark fingers against the pallid sky, old bricks the color of rust. The bottom windows were boarded over, the ones higher up mostly shattered. A chain-link fence surrounded the site, bristling with barbed wire…stepping over heaps of rubbish, she found herself in a cavernous hall. Metal steps ascended to gantries that crisscrossed in between pillars and snaking pipes, conveyor belts and wheels. It all looked like some complex ride at the state fair, only made of metal and rust, fractured glass and hooks. She imagined the steers and hogs shuddering round, the iron spike of blood, steam from spilling guts. Parts of the gantries had collapsed. In places, the floor yawned into darkness."

A good book should teach you something about the world while delivering a good story. You will certainly get a sense of the perils of Big Ag, the history of how such concentration got started, and the impact it has had on the economy and the people of this area (presumed to be comparable in all farming states) You will learn a bit about the potential and potential dangers of genetic research for crops. And will learn some Ag lingo.

Good writing is good writing whether it is for historical novels set across the pond (well, across for us in the Western Hemisphere. For her, living in Brighton, the pond is right there.) or for a gritty thriller set in America’s heartland. Young has made the transition smoothly, with an engaging procedural-cum-political-thriller, featuring a strong lead, a diverse supporting cast, well-paced action, and plenty of mystery to keep one’s curiosity on high alert, all while offering a bit of information about the world, and highlighting very real issues concerning Big Agriculture. I am looking forward to the further fleshing out of Riley’s story and those of her supporting cast. Seeds have been planted. The soil is fertile.

The shoots are emerging for the Riley Fisher series, and look very promising. A bountiful annual harvest is forecast. Volume #2 will be set in Des Moines. I am betting that when she writes it, readers will come.

"The lifeblood of rural America was being drained, leaving husks of cities, where poverty and crime rushed in to fill the void. It was a legacy all too visible in the boarded-up factories and processing plants that loomed like broken tombs around the city, haunted by vagrants and hookers, and cruised nightly by the squad cars of Waterloo PD."

Review posted – January 14, 2022

Publication date – January 25, 2022

For the full review, properly formatted, with, links and images, please visit my personal site (Cootsreviews.com) or Goodreads.
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After finishing this book, I’ve realized that I don’t enjoy crime fiction as much as I have in the past. I find that most of these stories have a stereotypical plot, and they don’t often deflect from traditional crimes, mainly murder.

In this book, there is a newly promoted sergeant (Riley Fisher) who takes on a case involving the murder of a childhood friend. As more victims are found, I expected the story to become more climactic and suspenseful, but other than the graphic nature of the murders (which weren’t as disturbing as I expected), not much really made this story stand out. I feel like I have read so many similar crime novels, and this one just falls by the wayside.

I think some readers may enjoy this book, and others might be put off by the descriptive murders, but overall it was just an ok read for me.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4457387191
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The Fields by Erin Young 
#fifthbookof2022 #arc 

CW: Murder, graphic depictions of victims, dialogue using outdated terms for sex workers, discussion of cannibalism, rape, and serial killers, drug abuse, medical experimentation, snakes 

This book should have totally been up my alley. It’s got a lady detective with a secret past, it’s a mystery with hints of politics, and it takes place in a smallish town. But in the end, this book was not for me. 

Too many points of view, for starters, the main one being the detective Riley Fisher, about 75% of the novel. But then you get one to two chapters each from the following perspectives: Riley’s niece, her aunt’s wife, the governor, a hacker from an eco-warrior group, a fellow officer, a second fellow officer, the sister of a suspect, and who knows who else I have already forgotten. It felt like these snippets were added to give or confirm bits of information that weren’t easily mentioned in the main perspective. It was too much, and some of the chapters didn’t even confirm who’s perceptive it was, you had to guess or figure it out. 

There was also simply too much going on. All of the set pieces got to be a bit much, and by the end, I just wanted it to hurry and wrap it up already. Too many tentacles of a story and I would have preferred things to be a bit more simplified. 

I have seen online that this is book one of a series. Normally I would be all about it, but this book sort of exhausted me, and I can’t imagine how complicated future books will be with this one as the starting point. 

That said, it’s an engaging, solid mystery, it just wasn’t for me in this moment. 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 for the interesting but bizarre premise. 

Thank you to @netgalley and @flatiron for the advance copy. (Pub date 1/25/22)
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