Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Herd by Andrea Bartz
Narrator: Karissa Vacker, Emily Woo Zeller
Published by Penguin Audio on March 24, 2020
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 10 hours, 59 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
The 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 founder.
As 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 private.
Then, 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 suspect 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 is totally a women’s story. The Herd chronicles the difficulties women have in a world with men. Bright women went to Harvard, and started new companies. The Herd is an elite, co-working space for women only and to support each other.
When Eleanor disappears, all her choices, past and present, start coming into focus. Katie and Hana both try to figure out what happened to Eleanor. Hana is a public relations agent and does this work for the Herd. Katie is a freelance writer.
The story is told in four parts with the two sister’s point of view. Hana is the older sister, who went to Harvard with the group of bright women. Katie is the younger sister, who knew the women, and is sort of part of the group. Their history and relationship adds another dimension to story. Both sisters have emotional pain from their past or present. Their parents divorced; their mother is suffering from cancer. I love their perspectives from their own emotional, flawed views. They are both good people who have some insecurities, secrets and have made some mistakes.
We have supporting roles in Eleanor’s husband, parents, her high school boyfriend and his younger brother, and more women who are part of the Herd. They each add a piece to the investigation and to Eleanor’s life.
I thought this was very well done and I was intrigued, trying to understand the sisters and figure out what happened to Eleanor. The more I learned, the less I felt I knew. The police were quite separate and not really involved in the story. The sisters were the ones to solve what happened. I loved this clever, insightful and fascinating look into a very successful woman’s life and her supporting friends and family.
I know both these narrators and have loved them. Knowing their work influenced my decision to choose The Herd for review. They added to the enjoyment of the performance so much. I was able to listen at my normal 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip:
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