Title: The Fields by Erin Young
Riley Fisher Series Book One
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A breakneck procedural that is beautifully written and masterfully crafted, Erin Young’s The Fields is a dynamite debut—crime fiction at its very finest.
Some things don’t stay buried.
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.
When Sergeant Riley Fisher, newly promoted to head of investigations for the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, arrives on the scene, an already horrific crime becomes personal when she discovers the victim was a childhood friend, connected to a dark past she thought she’d left behind.
The investigation grows complicated as more victims are found. Drawn deeper in, Riley soon discovers implications far beyond her Midwest town.
The Fields by Erin Young is a grisly mystery that is quite engrossing.
Sergeant Riley Fisher is the first woman detective in the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office. Not all of her co-worker believe she was promoted on merit so she knows she has to prove herself. When the mutilated body of her childhood friend Chloe Clark Miller is found in a nearby cornfield, she and new hire Deputy Logan Wood are assigned to the investigation. Riley has several questions for Chloe’s husband James who works for one of the Argi companies in the area. He did not report his wife missing for several days and he suspects she was having an affair. Another childhood friend, Mia Collins Adams tells Riley it was the other way round: Chloe believed James was having the affair. Riley and Logan soon discover other murder victims who appear to have been killed in the same manner. Now searching a homeless man who might be their killer, will Riley and Logan find him before someone else becomes his victim?
Seeing Chloe revives old memories of a traumatic event that Riley has tried to suppress. Fighting to keep the recollections at bay, Riley, Logan and the other members of the team work long hours trying to find Chloe’s killer. Riley has the feeling that James is not being completely honest, she is pressured by her boss, Sherriff Robert Ross, to stay away from him. The discovery of a new victim opens a whole new avenue of questions that turn up their only viable suspect. When another body is recovered bearing similar wounds, Riley and Logan are in a race against time to find their suspect before he strikes again.
Despite their search for the missing homeless man, Riley tries to find out more information about Chloe’s husband, James. She turns to an unlikely source who provides her with shocking details of a political conspiracy. Riley is certain this new evidence is linked to the murders but unfolding events back home threaten those who are dear to her.
The Fields is a dark and gritty police procedural that does not shy away from disturbing subject matter. Riley is an intuitive investigator whose unsettled past plagues her throughout the investigation. The storyline is fascinating and pits family farmers against Big Agri corporations. The murders are quite violent and medical examiner Dr. Kristen Webb’s autopsies reveal puzzling information. With pulse-pounding action, Erin Young brings this captivating mystery to a nerve-wracking conclusion. An absolutely great beginning to the Riley Fisher series.