Header Image

Review: Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

Title: Under the Harrow

Author: Flynn Berry
Year published: 2016
Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 240 pages
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)UK

SummaryWhen 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. 

A riveting psychological thriller and a haunting exploration of the fierce love between two sisters, the distortions of grief, and the terrifying power of the past, Under the Harrow marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Review: When I read Berry's Northern Spy (link to my review), a number of people suggested that I read Under the Harrow. So I did. Hmmmm. I liked Northern Spy better.

This novel felt flat to me. I am not sure if it's the preponderance of short choppy sentences or what, but I just didn't feel the quick pace of a mystery that I am used to. Perhaps it's that Nora seems unreliable (even though she isn't) or sketchy. Or the other characters feel disinterested even though they aren't.

I do appreciate that it's British so everyone always offers everyone else a cup of tea. I am not sure what to write about this book, which is unusual. The mystery is ok, the characters are ok, it's all just ok. Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • RIP Challenge--mystery. Note, this challenge is advertised only on Instagram this year (@perilreaders)

No comments