Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

The Fields: Book summary and reviews of The Fields by Erin Young

The Fields

A Novel

by Erin Young

The Fields by Erin Young X
The Fields by Erin Young
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published Jan 2022
    352 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Some things don't stay buried.

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.

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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Fast, smart and authentic. Riley Fisher is a bold new character on the crime scene, grounding this eerie and engaging thriller. The Fields is one of the best procedurals I've read in a good long while." - Ace Atkins, New York Time bestselling author of The Heathens

"The Fields is my favorite sort of novel: the sharp prose and explosive plot immediately drew me in, but the richly textured exploration of life in rural America stayed with me long after I finished. I hope to see more of Sergeant Riley Fisher, the novel's dynamic female protagonist. This is a classic crime series in the making." - Cristina Alger, New York Times bestselling author of Girls Like Us

"Some things don't stay buried. [P]romising if overstuffed...Young delivers a disturbing, twist-riddled thriller stocked with well-drawn characters. Fans of Midwestern crime fiction will be pleased." - Publishers Weekly

"[Young is] determined to shine a light on a real problem—the destruction of family farms to feed corporate greed—but...a complicated plot overshadows solid character development in this gory debut." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about The Fields was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

Write your own reviewwrite your own review

Betsy R. (Gig Harbor, WA)

Best debut novel I've read in a long time
The Fields is about a young recently promoted detective who works in the town she grew up in. When one of her childhood friends is found dead in a cornfield, she is determined to find out who and why. The story moves into a complex web of theories and possibilities and I found it to be riveting. It will be a bestseller if enough people see it and read it. I loved it!

Henry W. (Lake Barrington, IL)

Surprise
I could not put it down. What better endorsement can one give a mystery. The tale is filled with unresolved twists and turns. Most of the twists are logically resolved but in some cases the resolution is so unexpected as to be pure coincidence. Of course the book does include all the modern culprits, the media, big corporations ,and politicians. The author also teases us with a big secret from the lead character's past for a good part of the book. The lead detective has a stressed personal life and a tendency to go beyond her authority. A character similar to the non compliant officers of other detective series.

Laure R. (Fresno, CA)

THIS BOOK IS A GEM
I was delighted to find a crime novel set in the rural Midwest…specifically Iowa cornfields! I was most pleased to be caught up in the fast paced story with so many unexpected twists and turns almost immediately.

This is a police procedural filled with complex characters, well fleshed out. It contains a serial killer, corrupt politicians, three women missing from the small community, a drug crisis and much more. It focuses on Ms. Riley Fisher, a newly promoted Sargent on the small local police force. She has plenty of baggage to bring to the job as well as a number of relatives and friends and others she has been surrounded by most, if not all, her life.

The pace is very fast and elegantly written. It is particularly deserving of praise for it is the debut of Erin Young's writing a crime thriller. I was very pleased that Ms Young plans to make this the basis for a series. Put me down for the next one! I happily recommend this book as a really great read.

Lynn D. (Kingston, NY)

Great crime story !
The Fields is a compelling crime story with many layers. It's a police procedural with a sympathetic and flawed detective (and her family). The author takes on Big-Ag vs, small farmers, political corruption, drug abuse, and the societal challenges of the rural Midwest, including the Iowa State Fair. It all adds up to a great read. I look forward to the next Riley Fisher story!

Judy K. (Montgomery, TX)

Beware of the corn!
The mystery genre is my favorite and I must've read a million mystery books. I've learned to love a good, tangled yarn that, in the end, plays me for a fool. This book surprised me and that surprised me. I also love a good serial killer, a depraved serial killer (is there any other kind?) and The Fields checked that box as well. We've got a flawed detective (think Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo's protagonist as the gold standard) and a back story concerning said detective that keeps rearing it's ugly head. We have a lot of intriguing things in play, all set in the cornfields of Iowa, written by an English author, which is a mystery in itself. How is a lady in Brighton, England, intimate with midwestern America? I live in Texas and I'm very sure I couldn't write about Brighton, England. Kudos to Erin Young for an absorbing story that is well written and keeps you guessing. I look forward to her next book with Sergeant Riley Fisher as the protagonist.

Colleen F. (Carrollton, TX)

Page Turner
I have to say that this book was truly a page turner. I enjoyed all the twist and turns that this book has to offer. Just when you think that you have solved who did it. There is more that happens. I sure hope that she comes out with a part two of this book. I would love to learn more about the main character.

...27 more reader reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Erin Young

Erin Young's debut thriller, The Fields, was inspired by an article about the menacing power of Big Agriculture. A decision to set the novel in Iowa, corn-capital of the world, led her to make a fascinating journey across the state, from chance encounters with cops and farmers to an audience with a local mayor, shooting Glocks and getting caught in supercell storms, from the state capitol to the state fair. Having grown up in a fishing village in Devon, she is drawn to the claustrophobic dramas of rural small-towns and the secrets they hide.

Erin Young is the pseudonym of acclaimed historical novelist, Robyn Young, author of eight internationally bestselling novels. She has been published in 19 languages in 22 countries, selling two million books worldwide. The Fields is her first contemporary thriller. She lives and writes in Brighton, England.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more thrillers...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Cecilia
    by K-Ming Chang
    In the first few pages of K-Ming Chang's bizarre yet engrossing novella Cecilia, Seven, the ...
  • Book Jacket: Women and Children First
    Women and Children First
    by Alina Grabowski
    After Lucy Anderson falls to her death at a high school party, no one in Nashquitten, her gloomy, ...
  • Book Jacket: Henry Henry
    Henry Henry
    by Allen Bratton
    Allen Bratton's Henry Henry chronicles a year in the life of Hal Lancaster. Readers already ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Murder at the End of the World
    The Last Murder at the End of the World
    by Stuart Turton
    The island is the only safe place left on Earth. Since a deadly fog overtook the planet, the ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Look on the Bright Side
by Kristan Higgins
From the author of Pack Up the Moon comes a funny, romantic, and moving novel about life's unexpected rewards.
Book Jacket
The Pecan Children
by Quinn Connor
Two sisters deeply tied to their small Southern town fight to break free of the darkness swallowing the land whole.
Win This Book
Win The Bluestockings

The Bluestockings by Susannah Gibson

An illuminating group portrait of the eighteenth-century women who dared to imagine an active life for themselves in both mind and spirit.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A W in S C

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.