Book Talk: Under the Harrow

9:00:00 AM

I was fortunate enough to win Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby's giveaway of a recent Penguin publication: Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry. Thanks, Leah! It arrived a few days ago and I was so excited that I put down what I was reading to pick this up! I devoured it in the course of an afternoon - both because I was into it and because it is only 219 pages.
Synopsis: When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister in the countryside, she expects to find her waiting at the station, or at home cooking dinner. But when she walks into Rachel’s familiar house, what she finds is entirely different: her sister has been the victim of a brutal murder. Stunned and adrift, Nora finds she can’t return to her former life. An unsolved assault in the past has shaken her faith in the police, and she can’t trust them to find her sister’s killer. Haunted by the murder and the secrets that surround it, Nora is under the harrow: distressed and in danger. As Nora’s fear turns to obsession, she becomes as unrecognizable as the sister her investigation uncovers.
  • It was satisfying to read this kind of book - one that messes with your mind and has you trying to figure out whodunit - to have a tangible, yet satisfying conclusion. 
  • I enjoyed Berry's narrative style and found myself seeing things through Nora's eyes: looking at everyone and everything differently in the aftermath of her sister's death.
  • For what it's worth, while I guessed one of the major plot points, I actually didn't guess Rachel's killer. There's nothing duller than thinking you've figured out a story 100 pages in...and then finding out you were right. 
  • Sometimes a story leaves something to be desired because it outlasts its welcome - Under the Harrow does the opposite by leaving you before you can leave it. 
  • If you're looking for a beach read, but beach reads aren't really your thing, I'd suggest Under the Harrow. It's short, it's engaging, and like Leah said in her review, it's one that doesn't leave you guessing (in the best way).

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