The Fields

The Fields


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.

For Sergeant Riley Fisher, newly promoted to head of investigations at the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office, an already horrific crime takes on a personal edge when she discovers the victim is an old friend, from a dark past she thought she'd left behind.

Rumour travels fast in small towns, while sweltering heat and state-wide elections only add to the pressure-cooker atmosphere. When another body is found, Riley is in danger of being engulfed by the fear and the frenzy. Something deeply disturbing is out there - and it reaches far beyond Black Hawk County.

Beautifully written and masterfully crafted, The Fields is a stunning crime debut.

Our Review

"She ran without thinking, without direction, desperation driving her deep into the fields."

I feel like the world could have ended whilst I was reading The Fields I wouldn't have noticed or cared. Erin Young is a phenomenal writer and The Fields is already my favourite book of the year so far. 

The Fields is raw and gritty and definitely not for the faint of heart. The Fields is not just another police procedural or book on a small town murder. Yes it is graphic but I would say it isn't gratuitous. 

Riley Fisher has recently been promoted and has a lot to prove in her role at the Black Hawk County Sherrif's office. The bull pen is a male-dominated area and theire is talk that she only got promoted because of her family connections, others aren't impressed that a woman was the one to get the position. In short, Riley has a lot to prove.

When a body of a young woman is found in a field Riley is shocked to realise it is a friend from her dark past. A friend she hasn't spoken to in many years. What happened to her? The answer leads to an epic book. 

"The drone circled overhead, whining like a dentist's drill. Her eye lids were rinsed with a pallid glow. 

Slowly it passed, strobing the fields. Was that a shout she heard beneath its fading hum? Low growl of an engine in the distance? She curled herself tighter into stillness, at one with the roots and the soil. A mouse hiding from a hawk."

It isn't only a Riley's professional life that is causing her problems. She lives with her brother in a house full of troubled memories permeated with the smell of the weed he likes to smoke. Her niece, Maddie is passed from pilar to post and although Riley senses she needs her guidance she is simply too busy with work to follow through on it. 

The farming and political aspects of the book may not be for everyone but I felt they added to the picture of this small town rural community. They helped paint a background to the events that play out within the book. 

The Fields takes place against the backdrop of a rural community in which Big Ag are putting a lot of smaller farms out of business with their farming practices, not to mention their environmentally harmful pesticide use. To attempt to combat this some smaller farms have banded together to form cooperatives to try and survive. Big Ag are everywhere though. 

"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 driven west, these corporations were vultures, polluters, and thieves." 

The Fields is definitely not for the faint-hearted. I think the graphic description aids the reader in their understanding of Riley's feelings because we are better able to understand the horrors she is encountering, in particular when it comes to the body of her friend. 

"She was swollen with decay and rent with dark wounds, the blood black and congealed, the flesh pulped raw. Her insides squirmed with maggots." 

It is clear that something from her past haunts Riley and increasingly this begins to bear down on her investigation. 

I felt bereft when this book ended and I can't wait to read more in this series!

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

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