Cover Image: The Fields

The Fields

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Member Reviews

This was a solid start to a new series. It was creepy and atmospheric. I liked Riley and her team and look forward to reading more about them.

In the end, I feel like Young tried to make it a bit too complicated. There were a lot of threads running through this murder investigation. They were all tied up at the end but I felt like there was just too many irons in the fire.

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Flatiron Books,
Thank You for this eARC!

The Fields
by Erin Young
Book one in the Riley Fisher Series

Mini Review,
I loved this procedural thriller that is unputdownable from start to finish.
The Fields is a fast paced and compelling thriller.
I loved character Sargent Riley Fisher.... I love her will, she is determined and smart!
All the characters were all well-developed, believable and prodigious.
What I loved and enjoyed most is that this book will grab you from the beginning and not let go!
The flow of the story was continuous and I truly did not want to put this down as it was an addicting read.
Engrossed, captivating, and very highly recommended, intense psychological thriller,
You will want to soak in everything until the very last page. 
Erin has wrote a smashing debut and I can't wait for book two!
5 Amazing Stars for this outstanding unstoppable read!

I can't thank everyone enough who provided me with this ebook! 😘
I'll post to my Social media platforms closer to pub date!

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The debut crime novel The Fields by Erin Young (who also writes historical fiction as Robyn Young) is a complex web of conspiracy, politics, and Big Agriculture.

Sergeant Riley Fisher, newly promoted to the head of the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department of Investigation in rural Iowa, heads to the scene of a gruesome murder. The victim turns out to be an old friend she grew up with and then grew apart from after a traumatic event that has haunted and nearly destroyed Riley's life.

Bodies turn up with odd connections, including bite marks marring the flesh of women from varying castes and a drug used by addicts to help overcome their cravings. There's this fantastic subplot about political espionage in the form of big agriculture taking over all the small, family farms and a peculiar illness caused by a lack of niacin.

Young slowly reveals facts both past and present, culminating in a reveal and a hopeful ending. There is something truly unique about the way this novel progressed- and the subjects addressed within- that elevated it above the crime/mystery genre.

I especially appreciated the camaraderie of Riley and her partner, Logan Wood. They balanced each other out, and he was a reliable and steady resource who was on her side throughout. The mystery was so deep and twisted, and Young excelled at adding each new twist at the perfect time that I honestly had no idea where the ending was going to take us.

The Fields is a solid start to a planned series. It's great for any crime fan or those who appreciate a flawed but resilient female detective lead.

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Thank you to Netgalley & Flatiron books for this gifted ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I’m usually pretty interested in police procedurals and was excited to read this one. But for me, there wasn’t enough shock factor. It beginning started off very slow, picking up somewhere in the middle. The last about 25% was the most exciting & gripping. I would call this more of a agricultural thriller than anything else. I enjoyed the alternating POV, however, it took a little while to understand who’s point of view it was.

3 ⭐️s

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Dark, gripping and totally addictive! This is a engaging thriller that I recommend - you don't want to miss this one.

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If you’re a fan of thriller/procedurals where a far-reaching murder investigation is led by a 30-something female detective (however unlikely this arrangement is in our painfully deficient America), you will almost certainly be enraptured by Erin Young’s The Fields.

The story unfolds at an arguably heady pace as corpses pop up throughout the rural Iowa landscape of cornfields and derelict factories. (The pace is marred early on as the author’s apparent compulsion to demonstrate her writerly stylistic bona fides, which are indeed impressive, judders up like a bloated corpse to distract from the narrative rhythm. Luckily, Young suppresses this urge before it becomes too oppressive to stand.)

The heroine, a rural Everywoman, familiarly alienated, is built to appeal to the broadest market segment in American popular fiction. Sergeant Riley Fisher (“Sarge”), granddaughter of the retired county Sheriff, himself tottering at the precipice of Alzheimer’s, is the hot-shot investigator. Riley has emerged from a troubled, runaway adolescence into a ramrod-straight adulthood marred only by the rare lapse into tipsy candor. Riley has enough personal and familial flaws to appeal to any avid thriller reader today, including a rival deputy, an irresponsible brother and a wayward niece whose adolescent foibles rival those of the teenaged Riley, gone but not forgotten.

All this is not to disparage a novel clearly built to succeed, and an emerging author of the highest skill. The story moves rapidly through the first half of the book, although the story often seems a bit cluttered with innumerable WASP-named characters, a confusion that caused this reader to pause from time to time to relink everyone to the plot.

As things rush along, Riley’s seeming mistakes prove to be invaluable insights exposing not just a murderous drug ring but also an international agro-tech conspiracy threatening the health of the nation. Take note, Baldacci, Riley Fisher has arrived.

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Lose Yourself in the Corn Maze!

A fast-paced police procedural, "The Fields" grabbed me from the first page. I enjoyed the story line, the well-developed characters, and the convoluted plot, which was nicely tied up in the book's final pages. While many of today's hot-button issues are woven into the plot, including big agriculture, politics, global warming, and the Me Too movement, the author doesn't let her opinions bog the story down; she is able to educate without being preachy. Well-read readers will find a couple of stereotypes, however, the book still has broad appeal.

I don't want to give away too much (by comparing it to another well-known book) but readers who are turned-off by gore may want to choose another book. As for me, I found the last 25% or so of the book to be really exciting! Sign me up for the next one in the series!

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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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