The Herd by Andrea Bartz, 4 Stars

I do freelance work. So, I’ve always wondered a bit about those super trendy, updated, work-share places where people like me go to get a little work done. Now, I’ve never had that option. For a long time, I was a stay-at-home mom, sometimes freelancer who had to stuff my kids in a closet every time I had to jump on a call with a client (not really).

Now I’ve reached that marvelous time in a freelancer’s life where my kids are at school full time, but I still don’t leave the house to work. I mean, add a commute? And who will put in the laundry? Nevermind that I don’t fold it, it all gets clean in a day’s work.

Still, there’s something appealing about a place like The Herd, the workshare space/cult in Andrea’s Bartz’s The Herd. It’s full of beautiful, successful women. They have a gorgeous place to work and network complete with fitness classes, and it’s an exclusive club where membership has to be earned. What more could you want?

From the Publisher:

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 purple. In-the-know New Yorkers crawl over one another 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, the Herd’s charismatic founder.      
 
Eleanor is a queen among the Herd’s sun-filled rooms, admired and quietly feared even as she strives to be warm and approachable. As head of PR, Hana is working around the clock to prepare for a huge announcement from Eleanor—one that will change the trajectory of the Herd forever. Though Katie loves her sister’s crew, she secretly hopes that 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 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—and confront just how dangerous it can be when women’s perfect veneers start to crack, crumble, and then fall away altogether.

My Review:

What is it about those untouchable women – you know the ones – successful, glamourous, gorgeous. What is it about them that makes us simultaneously hate them and want to be them?

In Andrea’s Bartz’s, The Herd, Katie desperately wants to be a card-carrying member. But she’s so not Herd material. She’s a cute, not beautiful freelancer who doesn’t have amazing clients and who has royally messed up her book deal, who has moved back to NYC after taking nursing her sick mom back to health. Her adopted sister, Hana, has it all and does PR for the Herd. Is this her ticket in?

Still, Katie can’t stay away. And she doesn’t even really have to even know that the Herd doesn’t really want her because the founder, Eleanor, goes missing. And Katie is right in the middle of the mystery.

The Herd is so good. It has all the mystery and intrigue of a good thriller, set against the glitzy backdrop of an exclusive female co-working space in New York City. Everybody is just dying to be part of the Herd.

I don’t want to give too much away, so just read it. That’s all. It was named one of 2020’s most anticipated thrillers by Marie Claire, Newsweek, The Boston Globe , HelloGiggles ,  Book Riot, PopSugar,  CrimeReads , Bustle , and She Reads. Do you need to know more?

Special thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an advanced e-galley in exchange for a review. This one is out March 24, 2020. Get your copy:

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781984826367

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