Cover Image: The Fields

The Fields

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Member Reviews

I really don't have much opinion about this book. It was kind of dull and repetitive to me. It did not keep my attention whatsoever. I would not recommend, sorry.
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Okay, I am having a hard time rating this one, because there is politics involved and I hate politics, but I admit the writing was good and I was able to finish.  I prefer my stories stay away from political things, even if it is centered around murder and just aspects of politics, which I felt this book was definitely guilty of, but with all that said I was able to read the entire book without too much complaints.  The reason I believe is the writing was too notch, with amazing character development!  It was written in a fast paced, tense, unputdownable manner, so even though I hated the subject I had to rate it highly.  I would highly recommend to those who don’t mind politics within their thrills!  

Will make sure to buzz around and use top Amazon reviewer number on release!
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The Fields is a compelling story of small town farmers being pushed out by big agriculture companies.  When a woman is found murdered in a corn field Riley Fisher is called to the scene.  She is surprised to see that the victim is her friend from her childhood.  The investigation gets more intense when more bodies are found.  Soon Riley finds herself in a storm where politics, big agriculture and shady operations collide. I was surprised by the climax of the book.  The book also makes the reader care about the plight of small farms trying to compete against big companies.  I enjoyed the book and read a potential second book in the series.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book!  Erin Young's "The Fields" is not a book that I would classify as a "page-turner" but it kept me both engaged and interested until the last page.  It is complex crime novel that takes place in rural Iowa.  The characters were all well-developed, believable, and consistent (too often authors seem to establish a character's persona and then have him or her act completely "out of character").  I appreciated how the story weaves so many timely themes (gender, substance abuse, homelessness, etc.) together without sacrificing a compelling and driven narrative.  My only critique is that this narrative does take a little effort to follow.  There are a lot of characters and I found myself forgetting (at times) how they fit in to the bigger pictures.  That being said, I highly recommend "The Fields" and am looking forward to another great offering from Erin Young in the future!
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Awesome debut crime thriller by Erin Young! Really loved Sgt Riley Fisher's character and learning about her past. Very interesting plot involving government corruption and Big agriculture. I liked how Young highlighted the horrific memories of her past and it really impacts the way the story unfolds. There are many unraveling secrets that eventually come out during Sgt. Riley's criminal investigation, which I really enjoyed reading! 
Can't wait to read more by Erin Young!

Thank you NetGalley and Flatiron books for this ARC!

As the pub date comes closer, I will put my full review on Instagram @thrillersandcoffee
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In the Corn Belt of Iowa, big agricultural giant Agri-Co, dominated the market in hybrid seeds, fertilizer and pesticides, "the holy trinity of crop production." Corn breeding and genetic engineering-you name it, they're in it...". Zephyr Farms, part of a farm cooperative, was working on a new variety of seed. Winning the Food Prize at the Iowa State Fair would guarantee their future. It was less than two months to the State Fair. The upcoming gubernatorial election would follow. Agri-Co..."Too powerful to challenge. Too big to fail."

In the cornfields at Zephyr Farms "a family farm struggling for continued recognition", the body of Chloe Miller was found. A grisly, brutal murder. Newly appointed as the Head of Investigations, Sergeant Riley Fisher was called to the crime scene. "Things like this didn't happen in Black Hawk County, where stores still closed on Sundays and strangers were noticed." Riley had been besties with Chloe and Mia when they were fourteen years old. Riley's claim that she hardly knew Chloe allowed her to work the case. "Chloe was dead-she would keep [Riley's] secrets...Mia was a door into the past that Riley didn't want to walk through...".

As the investigative team of Riley Fisher and Logan Wood questioned Chloe's husband, as a person of interest, a second horrendous murder shook them to the core. A prostitute, savagely attacked, was found at a seedy location on the outskirts of the city. Are these murders connected? Vestiges of a person camping in an old meat packing plant come to the forefront.

"The Fields" by Erin Young is a procedural thriller filled with political corruption and agricultural espionage. Big agriculture tries to force out small struggling farms, and, in an election year. Protestors wave placards, "Iowa for farms, not Firms". Riley Fisher, determined to prove her worth as the first female investigator, doggedly pursues leads as the victim count increases. Riley's past challenges did not greatly enhance the novel, nor, did the extensive cast of tangential characters. That said, tidbits of clues were added to entice the reader to await the next case to challenge the investigative prowess of Riley Fisher. I look forward to the next offering by Erin Young.

Thank you Flatiron Books/ Macmillan and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is not a great book. It felt like reading any other book in the genre. It is a book that would be liked by someone new to the genre but doesn't care if it's good or not. The book was heavy and had a lot of characters - too many and unnecessary. I see that this is supposed to be a series but don't know what the second book would even be like, as so much was fit in here.
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I LOVED THIS BOOK! Riley was a great multi-dimensional lead character, the problems that the department faced were multi-faceted, frustrating, intriguing, and opened your eyes to a world of problems that you didn't even know existed. Watching the team do their best to work together (or make life difficult if you're Cole, but I digress) to try and figure out what was happening had you at the edge of your seat, and I genuinely could not put this book down. I'm really hoping that with the way the book ended, there will be more to this story and that it will be a series! As a Midwest born-and-raised horror/crime genre fan, I could not have loved this book more. Erin Young did a phenomenal job at painting beautiful yet horrific mental pictures, and the story line was very easy to follow, and the characters were great. I really hope there will be more to this story-FANTASTIC job by Erin Young!
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When science and murder play tag, you never win.

This novel started out with lots of creepy action, a scared for her life young woman, running through a dark cornfield from something or someone while losing blood and fading quickly.

Skip forward to Sergeant Riley Fisher, a newly promoted investigator eager to prove her ability to both herself and her fellow co-workers. She is summoned to the crime scene of our dearly departed, previously mentioned, scared girl. 

The killings keep coming and the author spared no detail in describing and setting both the scene and the gruesome state of the bodies. I felt like I was watching an intense thriller that kept me leaning forward in anticipation. 

There were times that the story seemed to bog down with too many character perspectives but I could easily see why in most cases and picturing them as scenes in a movie helped me move past this. 

It was all made up for in the end. One that I simply did not see coming. I was hoping it wasn't going to flop with a simple murderer reveal but the parallel running subplots kept me thinking there had to be something more and boy, oh boy, was there something more!

I thoroughly enjoyed how this novel subtly set  itself up as the first in a series and I am truly looking forward to reading more about Riley Fisher's career.  

My sincere thanks to NetGalley, Erin Young and the publisher for a fine novel.
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I am taken aback and in disbelief that this is a debut novel. Erin Young, is someone to keep your eye on. This novel had all key components to a best seller. 

The Fields was a book that once you start, you cant it put down. Each turn of the page was addicting. I had to know what was going on!!! Filled with a ton of twists, Young, kept me on my toes and in suspense. This novel is a true nail biter. 

This is a procedural novel that takes place in the midwest, initially it starts with one woman found dead in the fields. Of course this is alarming but when more bodies start to turn up, Riley, our lead detective, believes she has a serial killer on her hands. 

Pick up your copy on January 25, 2022 to find out what happens!
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I enjoyed the first half of The Fields by Erin Young more than the second, but overall a nice middle-ground read.
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My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to review.   Unfortunately this book did not connect with me.

Premise started off really good.  Sgt Riley of the Sheriff's Department is called to a murder scene in a cornfield, only to find its her childhood friend Chloe Miller.  Sounds good so far.  But then, we get into kidnapping  murder,abuse to women,  government spying, drugs, and agricultural tampering.  Book was well written but I really did not know what I was reading.  Story went off in too many directions.   Too many characters  too focus on.. Can't recommend.
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I never think of Iowa as a setting for a crime story so that was the first interesting introduction to  this book.

   The main character, a newly appointed female police sergeant , comes with her fair share of history that intersects with the various characters ( of which there are many) that is woven within the story.

   As you would expect, there is the disgruntled guy who was passed over for promotion, there are the long family ties that go back for decades which enter in the picture, politics and power, drugs and abuse, and bizarre murder scenes. 

   Although there were many scenarios happening simultaneously in the book I felt the author kept them all connected while telling the story. I couldn’t put this down and hope to see more of the new Sargent Riley in the future.
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Riley is the Sargent of a small Iowa police department.  She feels she has a lot to prove.  A body is found in a cornfield of a local farmer and when Riley goes to the scene, she recognizes the person as an old friend.

This was a well written book but it just seemed to have so much going on and a multitude of characters to keep up with.  There were some annoying things for me as in one section during an interview, the word "Sir" was used so repeatedly I was cringing.  Also "Sarge" was used to extreme in my opinion.  

The book is worth a read, it is exciting  but you will need a strong stomach.

Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron Publishers for giving me the chance to read and review this book.
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Thank you Netgalley, Flatiron Publishing, and Author Erin Young for this ARC.

This isn't a terrible book. It's written well with decent characters. However, it's far from my cup of tea. I wasn't expecting it to be a detective type novel surrounding a crime that has to do with small town political agriculture. I struggled to get through this.
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This one didn’t really do it for me. It centers on newly minted police detective, Riley, whose first murder case is that of a childhood friend. Throughout the book, the reader learns more about Riley’s backstory while also figuring out the crime itself. 

The story is primarily a police procedural, which I wasn’t expecting but is a genre I enjoy. The part I didn’t love was the tie in the the politics around the agriculture industry- I’m just not interested in that sort of scandal, and it was more prominent than I anticipated.  Riley herself was a flawed but believable character. 

All in all, the resolution of the murder was sound and I found it to be a decent read, just didn’t really enjoy some of the subject matter. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I would like to thank @Netgalley and @Flatiron Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

The Fields  is a highly interesting police procedural set in the rural Corn Belt.  Riley Fisher, a recently promoted sergeant in the Black Hawk Sherrif’s Office, is confronted with the death of a woman who was once a close friend.  The death is violent and mysterious, as is dramatically portrayed in the opening scene, which follows the terrified young woman into a cornfield: 

“Her lungs were burning.  The thrumming in her ears was louder.  Something out there.  Coming closer.  She felt a fresh stab of terror as light smeared the shadows, the knotted canopy shimmering green above her….”

It’s a page-turning opening, which also hints at the level of writing to be expected from the rest of the book.  Without calling attention to themselves, the literary descriptions bring to life the bleak, opioid-ridden community which is increasingly dependent on Big Agriculture for its livelihood.  Trapped in this milieu, formerly independent farmers combine their family land into a co-op which serves as a testbed for a new strain of corn, designed to tolerate more extreme conditions.   

The insight into the problems of modern farming and the destruction wrought by Big Ag is one of the most interesting parts of the novel.  This passage will long remain in my mind:

 “She remembered when birds used to follow the plows in their hundreds, wheeling down to snatch up the worms that were unearthed.  These days, you hardly ever saw that.  Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers might help the corn grow fast and tall, but left no insects for the birds to eat.”

Unfortunately, the structure of the novel is not as well-controlled as the phrasing.  There are a great many characters, with puzzling point of view shifts away from Riley to unnamed minor characters.  Riley herself makes the expected number of stupid decisions that endanger herself and her job; and she has the expected traumatic backstory that somehow does little to illuminate her current life.  The plot expands too fast and too wide for reader credulity; and soon rural Iowan Riley is pursuing a serial killer linked to international agricultural espionage.  

Luckily, Riley’s relationships—especially with her brother Ethan, his daughter Maddie, and her grandfather Joe—are entirely believable and center the book in a compelling family struggle.  Riley herself is not particularly likable, but she is quite convincing; and her relationships with the other lawmen in her office seem similarly real.  

The realistic characterization and the vivid writing are, to me, the most accomplished parts of the book, but the mystery and the information about modern agriculture will keep you reading.  If it were possible, I would give this novel 3.5 stars and recommend it to readers who like to learn something through their addiction to thrillers.
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Oof, this was a crime thriller debut where we are introduced to a female sergeant. I'm so not a lover of police procedural books and I was not aware this was that kind of story. However, I pushed through and really did like the prose. 3 stars for the writing!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Publishing for the ARC of The Fields by Erin Young. As a small town girl, I can attest to the allure of a small town mystery or thriller. The circle is small, and you don’t quit know anyone like you thought you did. I certainly did not guess who the killer was and didn’t anticipate the “twist.” This was a good read.
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This book is an exceptional debut. For the most part, it felt well developed and tied up its lose ends. There was a lot of different plots happening at once in this book, inevitably leaving some things to be rushed. The plot lines did feel quiet busy in some parts but I did like how it came together and answered almost all questions going on in the book. 

The beginning scene definitely was a strong way to draw readers in and build suspense that the author upheld extremely well throughout the book. The author was able to capture the true sinister feel of the grizzly crimes throughout the novel as well. The detail of the crimes and crime scenes were very disturbing and not for the faint of heart. 

Main character Sergeant Riley’s traumatic past was told in parts that kept me guessing and was important to the plot as the sight of her old friend as a victim to an unknown killer brings decades of trauma to the surface. There was definitely a level of subplot about how exactly trauma can ruin your life and the lives around you which was, at times, extremely raw. Even still, I don’t know if the book fully handled that but it was an interesting dynamic as things in Riley’s smallish town just kept getting more and more bizarre.

All of that said, this book was very thrilling and did a good job of executing the multiple POVs. I wouldn’t say all of the twists/ how it came together was necessarily extremely hard to guess but the plot felt unique up until I realized a lot of the key points of the final solution were similar to the movie "Zootopia." While obviously this book has a lot more adult themes and storyline, there were obvious similarities and it made the plot feel less unique once I realized it.

Overall, I would still recommend this book as a pretty decent thriller/mystery. This book will obviously be continued and I would be very interested to read the next one as well.
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