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.
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.
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry
Publication Date: June 14, 2016 by Penguin Books
‘What’s your favorite thing about Cornwall?’ I asked her, but it wasn’t what I meant, I meant what’s your favorite thing about being alive.
In a world where now every single psychological thriller that is released is praised as the next Gone Girl, it’s hard to find the real gems out there that stand on their own.
Under the Harrow is a fast-paced read that never lets the reader feel comfortable in their thoughts and opinions both about the narrator, Nora, or the surrounding characters Nora suspects to be guilty of her sister’s horrific murder. As Nora slowly starts to unravel more and more towards the novel’s end, the fact that she becomes an unreliable narrator helps to heighten the suspense of the story as a whole. What ultimately makes this enjoyable is that the author, Flynn Berry, does this in her own unique way – this is no Gillian Flynn copy cat.
The only gripe I have about this book is that the ending felt a bit rushed and neatly tied together. For all the beautiful language the author uses throughout the novel, the ending leaves you feeling a bit breathless in how quickly it comes upon you. Because of how much I enjoyed the rest of the storyline and can appreciate not being left in the dark as to who really murdered Nora’s sister, Rachel, I’m quick to forgive this slight detail. This is a great first novel and I’m looking forward to the next book Flynn Berry writes!