Australian Women Writers Book Reviews

Book Review: Force of Nature by Jane Harper #AWW2017

Five women go for a hike as part of a team building exercise through the Giralang Ranges in Victoria. Only four of them come out the other side after they go off-track. Alice Russell is missing. Federal police agent Aaron Falk is especially interested in her disappearance as she was helping him by being a whistleblower on his latest case. He was also the last person she rung while out lost in the bush. The voicemail message is unclear but what appears clear even through the static is that Alice was in danger.

Falk tries to figure out if Alice is missing because of her link to him. However, it appears that any of the women with Alice – Jill, Lauren, Bree and Beth – could have a motive to hurt her given she’s not a very nice person.

Why is Alice missing?

Will she be found and if so, dead or alive?

And what secrets are all the women hiding?

Jane Harper once again delivers an enthralling crime novel. She manages to hook the reader from the beginning and by moving back and forth between the present and the past i.e. the five setting out on the hike, she manages to build the tension and leaves you wanting to know more. After introducing us to Falk in The  Dry, she continues to give us insights into his backstory and explain why he is the way he is. He continues to be a likeable and flawed detective. The mystery itself is gripping enough and while Alice is not very likeable, as a reader you still want to know her fate.

Harper is likely to continue going great guns with a character like Falk and stories set in the Australian country or bush. There is a lot to remind you of the days of Ivan Millat and is a bit creepy in that sense. As someone who hikes, a lot in this book was nightmarish to me!

All in all, if you enjoy crime fiction, give this book a go.

My rating:

***Reviewed for the 2017 Australian Women Writer’s Challenge. Also linking up with Alicia for Open Slather***

Until next time,

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