Review: Under The Harrow

Posted June 11, 2016

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Under The Harrow Under The Harrow by Flynn Berry
Published by Weidenfield & Nicolson on 14th June 2016 (ebook)
Genres: Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

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.

Our narrator, Nora, lives in London. We join her as she enjoys a meal prior to hopping on a train to visit her sister Rachel for the weekend. However when Nora arrives at Rachel’s house, she finds her sister dead. Murdered. So we see the situation – the death, the investigation, the suspects, through the eyes of a grieving sister.

While at first I took everything Nora said as read, slowly our narrator appears to unravel, and I found myself questioning her account as well as her mental well-being.

Berry writes beautifully, her prose is packed full of description and detail. I found myself effortlessly visualising this story, swept up in the detail.

Without spoilers, as the story developed and more and more secrets were uncovered, I thought I had figured out who murdered Rachel – I was wrong!

There isn’t a huge amount happens in the story. What we have is a lonely woman, who has lost her confidant and friend, stumbling through life in the aftermath of horrific events. Through the writing we feel Nora’s loss, her loneliness and uncertainty. We also feel her determination to find whoever did this to her sister, and seek revenge.

All in all, a good read. I enjoyed the way the story jumped from present to past, echoing the distress and confusion in Nora’s mind.

It’s a short read, it won’t take you long, but you will become absorbed in the story and as eager as Nora to find out the identity of Rachel’s killer.