Sunday, 25 September 2016

UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry


Enchantingly dark, a novel for dark psychological gems. 

 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 unrecognisable as the sister her investigation uncovers.


While looking at the review books on my TBR pile (there are heaps!) I decided an adult thriller would be perfect for my next read. I grabbed this one and enjoyed the shocking, sad and tense first chapter so much that I kept reading.

Nora and her sister Rachel are close, and she often travels from London to visit her in the countryside. When Nora arrives at Winshaw and doesn't find her sister at the train station, she just assumes Rachel is waiting for her at her house, so she walks there. But when she arrives, the scene sends Nora into a confused spiral of shock.

Unable to go back to London to continue her own life, Nora decides to stick around to answer the many police questions, and be kept in the loop. Then promptly starts to suspect everyone.

Nora is suspicious by nature, especially since Rachel was assaulted on the street when she was a teenager. Now she can't help but wonder if her sister's assailant from so long ago returned to finish what he started, or if someone else wanted her dead. As she sifts through her memories and investigates her sister's murder, Nora wonders if she knew Rachel at all...

Like I said above, this story grabbed me from the very beginning and I didn't want to put it down. I love the writing style because Nora's meandering mind and way of sorting through memories and present adds to the surreal nature of her experience. Not to mention the short, sharp chapters that keep the tension flowing.

Nora also pays attention to every detail around her and shares a lot about her relationship with Rachel. They were so close she can't deal with the loss and simply can't get on with her own life until she finds out what really happened. Yet isn't prepared for some of the things she discovers along the way.

Oh, and the other part of the book that I really enjoyed was when it hit me that sometimes, Nora isn't as reliable as she first appears. She conveniently left out information and some situations go unexplained until someone else pointed them out.

Anyway. That's about all I can say without revealing something important.

Under the Harrow is an excellent, gripping psychological thriller that keeps the reader guessing all the way through. And although I picked up several of the more important clues along the way, there's no way I could've guessed the revelation at the end. Which is totally awesome!

Yep. I will definitely be interested in reading more books written  by this author.


Under the Harrow, July 2016, ISBN 9781474605274, W&N

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