An idea spawned by an article about the dangers of big agriculture led to the ninth novel by a British author named Erin Young being based in one of the nation's biggest agriculture hubs, the Hawkeye State.

Young told Radio Iowa that "The Fields" will be the first installment in a series that is "part police procedural/part political thriller." Names will be as fictional as the book to protect the innocent, but the novel is centered around "Black Hawk County Sheriff Sergeant" Riley Fisher.

Sgt. Fisher is called to the scene of a dead body in a cornfield and discovers the victim is a past acquaintance from childhood.

Young didn't just base the story in Iowa, she came here to observe. While according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, she chose Black Hawk County because she "liked the name", she wanted to get an authentic replication of Iowa for her book. Young flew all the way from Brighton to Iowa (over 4000 miles) in 2018, she spent a few weeks in the state, visiting important landmarks and meeting people here, particularly farmers at the state fair.

The book has already been commissioned as a television series

An undisclosed production company will turn the crime fiction novel into a small-screen adaptation and Young has the second installment in her series almost ready to go to publishers in the next few months.

Meet the author

Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City is hosting a virtual meet and greet with Erin Young tonight, Friday, February 18 starting at 6 p.m. You'll learn more about the book and the author and what she learned about Iowa. To register and take part in that event, click here.

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