2 stars Having really enjoyed Andrea Bartz s debut novel, The Lost Night, I had rather high hopes for The Herd Sadly, not only is The Herd populated by simultaneously unrealistic and detestable characters but it also tells a rather derivative story The summary seemed to promise a tantalising story, one that would depict the complicated and shifting dynamics in an all female co working space What we actually get is the usual cliched storyline that focuses on a group of friends, one of whom happens to be successful famous than the others The plot is predictable and boring, most of the suspense is created by our not knowing the narrators secrets There was no real tension or atmosphere The HERD centre is never the focal point of the story but a mere prop, one that led to scenes in which this group of friends can go on and talk about the male gaze and the patriarchy The one way to win, the one fucking way to be a woman and do well in this world is to stomp on other women s backs While originality wasn t The Lost Night s strongest point, it than made up for it by having a striking sense of place and time In The Herd however New York and the HERD centre fade into the background Eleanor Walsh is the classic female character who appears in this type of so called psychological novels We are told that she is the basic embodiment of the perfect modern woman beautiful, intelligent, charismatic, a feminist Being told that she is alluring or interesting doesn t actually make her those things Her disappearance unfolds in a predictable way her closest friends decide to embark on their own investigation even if there is a detective working the case Katie and Hana are sisters and both were close to Eleanor In alternating chapters we read of their amateurish attempts at finding out what Eleanor was hiding They are also hiding things from one another and they are both trying to forget about a traumatising incident from their pasts.They spend most chapters getting scared by their own ringtones, wondering whether Eleanor is dead, receiving help by their conveniently gifted friends such as a hacker , and feeling sorry for themselves.That s or less it.Add two or three attractive and possibly guilty of something or other male characters and there ya have it The Herd.The novel tries to critique a certain brand of feminism by portraying how hypocritical certain female entrepreneurs are in spite of their empowering agendas they still encourage their female associates to spend hours on end on their appearances or they are actually profiteering from other women s insecurities If the HERD centre had actually been the focal point of this novel I think that the story could have been a lot engaging as well as providing us with a cutting commentary on certain facets of contemporary feminism What we have instead is a predictable narrative about two sisters, both of whom think that the other one has it better than they do.Lousy story and characters aside there are a few other things about this novel that really frustrated me This group of friends lacks chemistry Where they even friends to begin with Why should I care about backstabbing and lies when they seem to sort of dislike each other from the get go The twist is almost identical to the one in The Lost Night so I saw it from miles away Isn t that a bit of a cheap trick The reveal and final face off are incredibly reminiscent of the ones in The Lost Night The sisters secrets one seemed recycled from similar novels while the other one was laughable view spoiler a husband walks in on his wife cheating with him with another woman and he has a heart attack Come on hide spoiler I am really enjoying this new wave of feminist literature that addresses the pros and cons of social media and influencers This one was a fascinating look at a women only company, founded by elite star Eleanor that encourages women to work collectively at The Herd where fashion and beauty intersect and collective workspaces and Mocktail Mondays are all the rage Told in alternating chapters by sisters Hana and Katie, the novel focuses on several issues relevant to today the trolls that undermine influencers in this case the Anti herd, a group of men who are angry with the no boys allowed restriction , the catty, often backstabbing nature of women who pretend to like each other but are often jealous than they let on, the secrets of mistakes made in the past, and rivalries that aren t apparent on the surface There s also a murder mystery as Eleanor goes missing soon after she plans to reveal the takeover of her company Many suspects, many red herrings, many backstories And I also loved the analogy of the herd concept as we know that predators will often try to separate members of a herd to threaten and provoke weakness before an attack And yes, almost all the characters are flawed I just never let that get in the way of a great story Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC A smart, feminist thriller with elegant prose and complex, skilfully constructed characters The Herd emphasis on her is set in an all female work environment, exploring the relationships between women, female ambition, and the price of success for women.Katie and her sister Hana are finally reunited when Katie moves back to New York When their friend Eleanor, the founder of The Herd, goes missing, they both become entangled in the investigation And everyone is a suspect.With lots of twists and a breathtaking finale, The Herd is a lively thriller showcasing flawed protagonists on a journey into the disappearance of a loved one The complicated dynamics between the characters makes for enjoyable reading as the masks of perfection slip and dark pasts are exposed. If I hadn t been away this weekend, I would have ripped through THE HERD in two sittings at most Just like Andrea Bartz s critically acclaimed, heart pounding debut THE LOST NIGHT, THE HERD pulses with tension and suspense from beginning to end The story is told by Katie and Hana, two sisters burdened with secrets who are finally living in New York at the same time When their close friend Eleanor, the cofounder of the Herd, a glamorous all female workspace, goes missing, they launch separate investigations that will lead them deeper and deeper into Eleanor s dark past as well as their own I loved this book so much it s got Andrea Bartz s signature snappy writing, with a propulsive plot that I found even addictive if that s even possible than her stellar debut This book also has a prologue and epilogue that bookend the story in a unique, stunning, and immensely chilling way, making it a memorable standout in the thriller market I was immediately drawn in by the dark and beautiful writing in the opening pages, and the story zoomed on from there, pulling me along on an atmospheric and eerie ride with delicious twists and reveals The book also deals with themes both timely and timeless the masks of perfection that women are pressured to wear female ambition in what is still a man s world the price of success for a woman and I appreciated the opportunity to sit with the ugly but important insights this story brought to light. Is it possible that Andrea Bartz s whip smart can t put down new novel, THE HERD outshines her debut THE LOST NIGHT Only by an immeasurable bit and only because this author has a cool voice that she continues to hone with the precision of a knife This book left me breathless and clinging to every word Told from the alternating viewpoints of two sisters living in New York, we enter a world rife with dueling love and competing loyalties Hana, a Harvard graduate and the oldest, is established and working in the high pressure world of PR, while Kaite searches for steady ground after spending time taking care of their sick mother in Michigan They are both associated through long term friendship, with Eleanor and her brainchild, The Herd, an exclusive space for innovative and aspiring women associated with Eleanor s cosmetic company, Gleam Following the sisters through the aftermath of Eleanor s murder, we experience the complexity and boundaries of sisterhood and friendship Bartz s sophisticated storytelling provides toothsome commentary on the shallowness of social media and bone biting competitiveness of our hurry up culture THE HERD comes out March 24, I recommend you grab it fast I was all down for the female empowerment at the center of THE HERD, but I ended up having some issues that kept me from really enjoying this one I loved the concept of a murder mystery at an all woman s social club, but found myself having issues connecting with any of the charactersI m all for flawed females, but these women are unlikable and difficult to root for and spend most of the book backstabbing each other I found myself bored by the murder mystery and ultimately don t think I can recommend this one However, I know many people are enjoying this one, so pick it up at your own peril. Thank you so much to Random House and Ballantine Books for my chance to read this ARC The book is about an all female workspace called the HERd, it s leader Eleanor, and her three friends While their lives look glamorous on the outside, there is something sinister lurking underneath When Eleanor disappears, her friends come together to begin a twisted search full of shocking discoveries.I thought this book was very poignant for women s history month and was full of the bond of sisterhood and friendship The story began a bit slow for me and took a while to really find the story I loved the premise, and each separate character was interesting Once I got into the story I enjoyed it and found myself wanting to read and There were so many different twists and plot points, and I really did not see the ending coming I enjoyed this book, and if you like a quick and entertaining mystery, you will too 4 stars Why Did The Founder Of A Glamorous Coworking Space For Women Disappear Her Best Friends Will Risk Everything To Uncover The Truth Fascinating And Chilling Samantha Downing, Author Of My Lovely WifeThe Name Of The Elite, Women Only Coworking Space Stretches Across The Wall Behind The Check In Desk THE HERD, The H E R Always In Purple In The Know New Yorkers Crawl Over Each Other To Apply For Membership To This Community That Prides Itself On Mentorship And Empowerment Among The Hopefuls Is Katie Bradley, Who S Just Returned From The Midwest After A Stint Of Book Research Blew Up In Her Face Luckily, Katie Has An In, Thanks To Her Sister Hana, An Original Herder And The Best Friend Of Eleanor Walsh, Its Charismatic FounderAs Head Of PR, Hana Is Working Around The Clock In Preparation For A Huge Announcement From Eleanor One That Would Change The Trajectory Of The Herd Forever Though Katie Loves Her Sister S Crew, She Secretly Hopes She S Found Her Next Book Subject In Eleanor, Who S Brilliant, Trailblazing And Extremely PrivateThen, On The Night Of The Glitzy Herd News Conference, Eleanor Vanishes Without A Trace Everybody Has A Theory About What Made Eleanor Run, But When The Police Suggest Foul Play, Everyone Is A Suspect Eleanor S Husband, Other Herders, The Men S Rights Groups That Have Had It Out For The Herd Since Its Launch Even Eleanor S Closest Friends As Hana Struggles To Figure Out What Her Friend Was Hiding And Katie Chases The Story Of Her Life, The Sisters Must Face The Secrets They Ve Been Keeping From Each Other From The Author Of The Lost Night Comes A Thrilling Novel That Shows Just How Dangerous It Can Be When Women S Perfect Veneers Start To Crack, Crumble, And Then Fall Away All Together This book is a fascinating, chilling look inside an upscale workspace for women in New York City Andrea Bartz nails this one, from the twisty plot to what it means to be a professional woman in today s world This book will make you wonder how well you know your coworkers THE HERDBY ANDREA BARTZThis is probably the most disappointing novel I have ever requested and therefore have to give a review The premise sounded interesting about feminism and was intriguing but reading it was a very unrealistic experience I welcome books of all genres including fantasy but to get any real enjoyment I have to be enchanted by the storytelling and the warm feeling I get when following the character s arcs Sadly, this book fell very flat for me and I instantly regretted requesting it I also do not have a problem suspending belief but this story and the characters were just too far fetched This is not to say that other readers will agree with my rating and might find that they like it It was a learning experience that I have realized that I need to be careful in the future to discern to how much of a degree do I need to feel like something is totally beyond the realm of even being able to fantasize about I just felt that this book is just not for me but wish the author Andrea Bartz and the publisher much success with future audiences.Thank you to Net Galley, Andrea Bartz and the Publisher for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Andrea Bartz is a Brooklyn based journalist and author of the forthcoming thriller THE HERD Her debut thriller, THE LOST NIGHT Crown, 2019 , is being developed for TV by Mila Kunis It was named a best book of the year by Real Simple, Glamour, Marie Claire, Library Journal, Crime Reads, Popsugar, She Reads, and other publications Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Vogue,
- 336 pages
- The Herd
- Andrea Bartz
- 08 February 2017 Andrea Bartz