Cover Image: The Fields

The Fields

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Member Reviews

In an agricultural town in Iowa, police officer Riley Fisher, who was recently promoted to Sergeant, finds herself reunited with a childhood friend. Unfortunately, this reunion consists of Riley standing over her her old friend's body, recently found in the cornfield of a local farmer. As Riley faces the demons of her past and leads the murder investigation, it becomes clear that this case is a lot bigger and more complicated than anyone could have imagined. 

If I had to describe this book, the term that comes to mind is 'agricultural thriller'. I don't know if that is even a genre, but it's certainly fitting for this story. I won't go into too many details as to avoid spoilers, but I will say that things like Big Ag, politics, and farming are all involved to varying extents. This was interesting because I haven't really read anything with these elements, and I think that ultimately the plot and mystery were well-rounded and very creative. 

However, I had a couple of issues with this one: firstly, the switching of POVs that occasionally happened wasn't done all that smoothly, and I'd often be confused as to which character's narrative I was reading. Secondly, while I understand that often there are multiple storylines that eventually all come together as the answer to the central mystery, I struggled sometimes at keeping the storylines straight. Overall, though, I think all the storylines worked, they just could've been introduced in clearer ways. Finally, I think some things could've unfolded quicker and helped the story's pace.

All in all, I liked this book and I'm glad I read it. Though it is not a standout procedural for me, I would definitely continue on reading a Riley Fisher detective series, because I strongly suspect Young's work will only get better from here! If you like slower crime procedurals and shows like Criminal Minds, I think you'll enjoy this.

Thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for a chance to read this in exchange for a review. The Fields releases on 01/25/22!
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I never thought that I'd be reading an agricultural thriller, but here we are! And these corn fields hold a loooot of secrets. We get a lot of different storylines in this book - varying from processing the trauma of a sexual assault to investigating the pharmaceutical drug trade to political espionage. At times I had some issues keeping all of the storylines straight, but I did feel like everything worked in the book. Some of the dialogue was a little clunky at times and the first 20% of the book was pretty slow for thriller standards. If you're a fan of Criminal Minds, you'll love the procedural elements of this book.

*Thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review*
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I unfortunately could not finish this book. It was dull and repetitive. There was not much here for me to go on since it was so repetitive.
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Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy.

This is definitely not my kind of thriller/mystery. 

That being said, I enjoyed the writing of the author besides the 3rd person narration style. 

It was creepy enough to keep me interested until probably the first big reveal and when that happened I started to understand where the story was going and I knew I wasn't going to like the rest of the reveals and nope I didn't.  

Also, I got very confused when the chapters started switching to other character pov because the 3rd person didn't allow for a different sense of voice? If that makes sense outside of my head. 

If you are a fan of Criminal Minds but also a fan of M. Night movies this might be your thing.
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Beautifully paced, The Fields by Erin Young starts with a bang on page one and does not let go until the very end. I was captivated by the open skies and forlorn feeling of the midwest that was captured so excellently in this book. An essential book for spooky season.
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Sargent Riley must prove to everyone that she is worthy of her rank. People think that her promotion was given to her on a silver platter because of her grandfather’s ties to the force, she's a woman, and both of her parents were killed in a terrible car accident.  She deserved Sargent, because like everyone else, she fought to get it.  

Then her rank is truly tested, a body is found in a field of corn, not just any body but one of Riley's closest friends from school.  Riley hasn't seen Chloe in years, but after seeing Chloe's body, she realizes that she has some skeletons in her closet that she hasn't dealt with.  While Riley starts dealing with these emotions that come flooding back, another body shows up...then another of a girl who has been missing for weeks.  They all have something in common, they are savage attacks, and they might even have bite marks on them.  Are they dealing with a serial killer or is something else going on in this small Iowa town?

A book that keeps you guessing until the end.
I don't know if I will ever look at a cornfield the same way after reading this book...
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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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