The Herd written by Andrea Bartz is a story set in cold New York during December, counting down to X-mas and new year. With chapters then again related by sisters Hana and Kate. Journalist Kate has recently got back from a year in Michigan. Where she’s been helping their mom through cancer treatment and gathering material on a nearby tech organization for a book.
In New York, Kate gets together again with the charming Eleanor. She has become a big name with the accomplishment of her Gleam range of beauty products and the foundation of the Herd, where ladies can hang out and network. Hana is the Herd’s marketing expert and their school companion Mikki is the graphic designer. Kate applies to join. A discrimination case has just been filed against the Herd by an online men’s group calling themselves the Antiherd. Things become worse when Eleanor disappears just before a significant press declaration.
Loyalties are tested, and it appears like Eleanor has departed suddenly to Mexico. To appease her agent, Kate offers to compose a book about Eleanor and the Herd, which seems to be a significant betrayal of trust. At that point Eleanor is found dead on the freezing roof of the Herd building. Factor in a former relationship Eleanor had in her old neighbourhood with a person who turned into a drug addict. Her open marriage and an occurrence in 2010 including Eleanor’s parents that resulted in blackmail.
Author of this novel “Andrea Bartz” has written about tech-savvy millennials and kept a lot of balls in the air. As Hana, Kate and the detectives attempt to sort out precisely what’s happening, who’s doing what and why, the finger of doubt point convincingly to different individuals. During the process, Eleanor loses her shine. Hana, Kate and Mikki are in no way, guilt free. The loss of innocence consistently comes hard as we deal with our own culpability. In the epilogue we figure out that this likewise applies to Eleanor’s nurse mother Karen, who knows something none of the others do. It’s superbly done.
The Herd is fun, fast-moving, smartly plotted and ripples with suspense.
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