The Herd

Ballantine. Mar. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781984826367. $27.00. SUSPENSE
Bartz’s second novel (after The Lost Night) focuses on four friends: a pair of sister protagonists, Hanna and Katie; and Hanna’s two best friends from their Harvard days, Eleanor and Mikki. Eleanor is the star of the group, having first started a cosmetics company and then the Herd, an all-female coworking space in New York City. Mikki is an artist who does graphic design for Eleanor as a freelancer, and Hanna is a part-time publicist for the firm. Katie, Hanna’s little sister, is a journalist who has just moved back to the city. When Eleanor goes missing on the day of a mysterious big announcement, the friends grieve and support one another. Each character has secrets she is keeping from everyone else until the whole thing unravels and the truth comes out. Bartz packs in plenty of twists, with a deliberate pace that picks up speed at the end.
VERDICT Surprises and suspense married with themes on the nature of womanhood and sisterhood make this ideal for fans of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train or Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. [See Prepub Alert, 8/25/19.]

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