Title: The Field of Wrongdoing
Author: Lili St. Germain
Published: October 12th 2021
Publisher: Level 4 Press
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Psychological, Thriller
Rating: 1.5 stars
The smallest towns hold the darkest secrets. And the people you least suspect are the ones you should fear the most.
When Cassie’s friend disappears, Cassie knows all too well the tragic end Jennifer has probably met. After all, Cassie is the one who found the last murdered girl in the field on her boyfriend Leo’s property nine years ago.
She never believed the love of her life was capable of such a brutal crime. Not even after Leo went to prison for an unrelated crime. But now he’s back, released on parole, and another girl has gone missing . . .
USA Today bestselling author Lili St. Germain delivers a terrifying, unpredictable thrill ride that explores how far one woman is willing to go to discover the truth – and the brutal betrayals she unearths along the way.
Lili St. Germain is a USA Today bestselling author who currently resides in my own home state of Western Australia. I was keen to read and support a local author thanks to an invitation to review The Field of Wrongdoing. A dark psychological thriller set in a murky small town named Gun Creek in Nevada, The Field of Wrongdoing is an extremely graphic tale that is best suited to readers who appreciate disturbing thrillers.
Questions of trust, understanding, truth, secrets and lies descend on The Field of Wrongdoing by Lili St. Germain. We meet Cassie, who is concerned that her missing friend Jennifer has been murdered. Cassie is haunted by the discovery of a girl she found murdered on field near her boyfriend’s property, almost a decade ago and she can’t help but think these tragic circumstances are somehow linked. Cassie continues to question this series of events and in the back of her mind she struggles to overcome the issues surrounding her boyfriend’s possible involvement in a brutal crime. Cassie’s boyfriend has recently returned from a stint in jail for a different offence, it is possible that Cassie’s boyfriend is behind Jennifer’s disappearance? The small population of Gun Creek are on high alert, will another girl be murdered and will they find Jennifer alive?
I do like to reach for a dark thriller from time to time and the blurb of The Field of Wrongdoing immediately piqued my interest. I also feel that it is important to support local authors and as Lili St. Germain is a writer from my part of the world, I was keen to review this title. Unfortunately I came into a great deal of trouble with this title from the onset.
On the plus side, I appreciated the small town setting that Lili St. Germain has crafted in The Field of Wrongdoing. I can’t say that I have read many books set in the Nevada area and the author’s small-town world building made the locale very clear to the reader. I think the small-town landscape, vividly drawn by St. Germain, compounds the shocking events of the tale. I was taken aback by the problems, issues, fears, concerns and situations faced by the local community of Gun Creek. It really was a disturbing cesspool of violence, underhanded deeds and trouble. In terms of characters, they are a pretty rotten bunch in The Field of Wrongdoing, except for a few. I found it hard to feel any sympathy or appreciation for the cast! It really was a hopeless situation. St. Germain adopts a shared form of narration and these viewpoints shift as the story progresses. This was a good technique, along with the short and sharp chapter lengths. I knocked this one over in just two evening sittings as a result.
Sadly I encountered many issues with this novel that hampered my enjoyment of the story at hand. The Field of Wrongdoing does contain a few significant triggers and as a result, I would suggest readers proceed with trepidation. There are a number of graphic scenes involving violence and other heinous acts. Although the author tries to keep these situations within the realms of the story, I found it very hard to stomach. The Field of Wrongdoing also contains a great deal of explicit language, which is a personal pet hate of mine, so I found this story really wasn’t suited to my tastes. At times I think the awful violence, foul language and overwhelming darkness really did detract from the overall storyline, so my enjoyment level of this book plummeted.
Somehow, I made it to the end of The Field of Wrongdoing. I felt compelled after reading this book to connect with the Goodreads community for other review responses to this one. After reading many of these reviews I realised that I am in the minority group of readers who clearly had a difficult experience with Lili St. Germain’s book. I also discovered through my Goodreads scrolling that this book was previously published as few years ago as Gun Shy. There are many very positive and five-star reviews for The Field of Wrongdoing on Goodreads and Amazon, so please check these out if you are at all interested in this book. For me, The Field of Wrongdoing is definitely a miss, which is a shame as I do like to endorse local authors.
The Field of Wrongdoing by Lili St. Germain was published on 12th October 2021. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Field of Wrongdoing, Lili St. Germain, visit here.
*I wish to thank Level 4 Press for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
The Field of Wrongdoing is book #94 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge