Book Review: The Fields by Erin Young

About the Book:

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.

Published by Hachette Australia – Hodder & Stoughton

Released 25th January 2022

My Thoughts:

Billed as a debut, The Fields is actually a crime debut rather than a novel from a debut author – an important distinction. Erin Young is the pseudonym of acclaimed historical novelist, Robyn Young, author of eight internationally bestselling novels, and the quality of writing within this novel, The Fields, is evident of this experience.

I am most at home within the crime genre when reading police procedurals. I like being pulled into the investigation and following the clues with the detectives. The Fields is the first in a planned series following the lead detective, Riley Fisher, and I enjoyed her as a character so this is definitely a series I would be interested in following. Riley has a lot of baggage, undealt with trauma and family issues that need working through, but she’s excellent at her job, intent on proving herself worthy of her family legacy and the promotion to sergeant she has recently received.

This novel is not for the faint hearted though. The crimes are brutal and specific, certain aspects of them quite horrific. The case is rather complicated and many layered, but the author shows her skill as a writer, stepping us through it all with minimal room for confusion. The plot was incredibly clever, tapping into issues relevant to contemporary America whilst weaving them into a suspenseful and action-packed crime scenario. I’m not entirely convinced of the realism of what eventuated, but it certainly made for a cracking good story.

Highly recommended.


Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Fields by Erin Young

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