Sergeant Riley Fisher is the recently promoted head of the Field Investigations unit of the Sheriff’s Office in Black Hawk County, Iowa. When she’s called to the scene of a murder victim in the corn fields of one of the families who are part of the Zephyr cooperative, she was completely unprepared for knowing the woman’s identity. She was Chloe Miller, one of her two best friends when she was a young teen. It brings back a flood of wonderful and terrible memories of a time that changed her destiny.
One of the things that worked about this story was the fallibility of Riley and the small town department of deputies. This wasn’t a simple murder and there were lots of tentacles that led to complex issues and circumstances. Riley had good instincts but her inexperience as a leader led to some crucial mistakes. It felt realistic, no matter how frustrated I got with her because these were explosive issues well above the skill set of her team. Yes, they made mistakes but they were methodical and competent in their approach.
There was a lot of focus on agricultural issues related to big corporations and their dominance over small farmers who have family legacies and histories. I learned a lot about those issues and am grateful my hubby, who spent twenty years supporting them, was able to help on background. While the author may have shown some bias, she got the issues right. It was an education I didn’t know I wanted. Riley was also hampered by her own personal baggage that threatened to negatively interfere with the investigation but it just reflected her humanity. The story also has a strong sense of place, almost overly so as the descriptions often bogged down the mystery elements. But, it still made for an intriguing story that kept me interested. This is the first of a new series and while some things about Riley’s past were resolved, there was quite a bit more that left me hanging. It’s a strong start to promising series and I’m committed to the next book.
- Release Date: January 25, 2022
- Series: Riley Fisher #1
- Page Numbers: 348
- Publisher: Flatiron Books
(Thanks to Macmillan for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)