Friday, 13 April 2018

Force of Nature

Author: Jane Harper
Genre: Suspense
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 326
Series: #2 in the Aaron Falk series
Source: Local Public Library
Publisher: Flatiron Books
First Published: February 6, 2018
First Lines: "Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One: No one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two: Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you."

Book Description from GoodReads: Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

My Rating: 3.5 stars

My Review: I wasn't sure what I was in for when I picked up this book because I hadn't read the popular first book in the Aaron Falk series, The Dry. There's just simply not enough hours in the day to read all the books. Instead, I jumped right into this second book in the series because it was available at the library. Carpe librum.

Force of Nature is aptly named and has an eerie, sinister feel where the desolate, merciless wilds of Australia play a major role. When a woman goes missing on a work-related retreat in the bush, everyone is a suspect. Tensions are high, and the lies are flying. Harper gives detailed back stories for the five women (who were an unlikable bunch) but unfortunately (and surprisingly), left Falk as a peripheral character. 

This was a slow burn kind of read that had a more straightforward plot than I was expecting. Harper maintains tension by alternating between what really happened with the five women in the bush and Falk's investigation, but the revelations and resolution of the case weren't as complex or as strong as I had expected.

In the end, I liked the premise, the red herrings (one of which could have been used more) and the tidbits of tension but would have liked more twists and a chance to know the main character better. I still plan to read The Dry at some point to see what all the fuss was about.


thecuecard said...

I read The Dry and it was also a slow burn kind of read. There were times I was hoping it would have been a bit faster paced. Still it was an okay mystery. I think I might eventually get to this one too.

Laurie @ The Baking Bookworm said...

I’m slooowwlly learning to love the slow burn kind of read. NG favoueite slow burn book was The Wonder by Emma Donaghue. It was amazing but you’ve got to stick with it to the end. The first half is slowly paced.

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