Hot Best Seller

Force of Nature

Availability: Ready to download

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track. Only four come out on the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that's what the corporate retreat website advertises. Federal Police investigat Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track. Only four come out on the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that's what the corporate retreat website advertises. Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker, Alice Russell. Because Alice knew secrets, about the company she worked for and the people she worked with. The four returning women tell Falk a tale of fear, violence and fractured trust during their days in the remote Australian bushland. And as Falk delves into the disappearance of Alice, he begins to suspect some dangers ran far deeper than anyone knew.


Compare

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track. Only four come out on the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that's what the corporate retreat website advertises. Federal Police investigat Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track. Only four come out on the other side. The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that's what the corporate retreat website advertises. Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker, Alice Russell. Because Alice knew secrets, about the company she worked for and the people she worked with. The four returning women tell Falk a tale of fear, violence and fractured trust during their days in the remote Australian bushland. And as Falk delves into the disappearance of Alice, he begins to suspect some dangers ran far deeper than anyone knew.

30 review for Force of Nature

  1. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    But now, as he stood in front of that forlorn cabin, he could almost hear an insistent whisper in his own mind. Get away. Run. 4 1/2 stars. Oh, I liked this book a lot. I ended up enjoying it even more than Harper's The Dry because, though both were compelling, this one felt less formulaic. And way more creepy. Harper is fantastic at creating a strong sense of place and an atmosphere that creeps under your skin. The settings in her two novels are very different, but each is extremely important But now, as he stood in front of that forlorn cabin, he could almost hear an insistent whisper in his own mind. Get away. Run. 4 1/2 stars. Oh, I liked this book a lot. I ended up enjoying it even more than Harper's The Dry because, though both were compelling, this one felt less formulaic. And way more creepy. Harper is fantastic at creating a strong sense of place and an atmosphere that creeps under your skin. The settings in her two novels are very different, but each is extremely important to the feel of the novel. In The Dry, that was the sticky, suffocating heat of the drought in a small rural Australian town. In Force of Nature, we're taken into the forests of a wilderness retreat where five female colleagues get lost and only four make it back. You can feel the claustrophobic closeness of the trees; the paranoid sense that something is watching you from the darkness. It's an intense, all-consuming experience. I loved it. Detective Aaron Falk returns once again to investigate what happened to Alice, the woman who is missing. We soon learn that Falk's ties to Alice go beyond the case at hand, and her disappearance could be related to the information she was providing him. The story digs deep into the pasts and presents of the five women, uncovering many skeletons and secrets before the truth finally makes itself known. Alternating between the now, in which Falk investigates what happened, and the then, in which tensions rise between the five women, there is a breathless race between Falk's discoveries and the unveiling of the story. As the novel reaches a climax, the chapters become shorter, and it is impossible to look away. The tensions and dynamics between the five women are fascinating, and my mind was spinning all over the place. Did Alice become a victim of exposure? A serial killer? A Lord of the Flies-style scenario, but with adult women? I don't think it matters if you guess the outcome because the getting there is fun regardless. Alongside this, we also get more of a look inside Falk's life and mind. His personal issues make him a detective we care about, and the suggestions of a growing romantic connection between him and Carmen have definitely piqued my interest. I haven't decided yet if Harper is just teasing us, though. I guess we shall see. I'm so excited to have found a new thriller writer who appears to be more than a one trick pony. More, please. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    4.5 STARS "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." It's no secret that I adored Jane Harper's 2017 (US) debut The Dry, but that didn't ensure I would love her sophomore novel (and follow up in the Aaron Falk series) Force Of Nature. So many times I've read a solid entry from a debut author, only to be let down by their subsequent stories and eventual rea 4.5 STARS "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." It's no secret that I adored Jane Harper's 2017 (US) debut The Dry, but that didn't ensure I would love her sophomore novel (and follow up in the Aaron Falk series) Force Of Nature. So many times I've read a solid entry from a debut author, only to be let down by their subsequent stories and eventual realization that maybe they were just a "one hit wonder". Not here though; Harper has proven she deserves to write alongside the big dogs and has cultivated quite an international following, which isn't an easy feat for someone relatively new to the scene. Even though this book has a completely different feel than the first, I think it works well and is a worthy follow up to The Dry. The greatest difference in Harper's two novels is the style, format, and flow of the plot. In our first novel, there was more of a traditional police procedural investigation. In The Dry we had a gruesome domestic drama with classic murder mystery, while sprinkling in some backstory for our main character Falk. We get a straightforward introduction with a typical back and forth of his childhood experiences and what brought him to where he is now. In Force Of Nature, things are switched up a big and, while it is still a procedural, it's not as rigid in it's investigation and our team has to improvise and think of new ways to solve a mystery with no evidence and no body. There was definitely a higher level of suspense throughout, a taut tension that is only enhanced by the back and forth narrative of the ladies' hike and present day investigation. There was a lot more going on in this book, and I think that is attributed to a different style of characterization between novels one and two. Novel one was all about the slow burn murder mystery, and we are introduced to various characters in the investigation and get to know them in a classic "Agatha Christie" style, if you will. Novel two is still a slow burn, but I felt the growing suspense made the pages fly by much faster this go around. There are multiple side plots interjected here, some are red herrings and others are vital to the story, but the characterization is much more of a mixed bag of goods; chapter POVs are constantly being switched around and, just as we get a grip on one person, we find ourselves following a new one. This worked REALLY well for me and felt it kept the shorter chapters moving quickly while keeping my brain whirring. Harper took a risk by cultivating such an unlikable character in Alice, but I think it was beautifully done and added an extra layer of emotional tension that the story wouldn't have had otherwise. We get little pieces of who she is from all the characters except Alice herself, and I felt this was one of the strongest aspects the story had to offer. I love a tale where each character is tied to the others in various ways that do not become apparent until the conclusion, and that's exactly what the author delivers with Force Of Nature. The underlying theme of how our humanity and moral beliefs tend to take a backseat when we feel threatened and in danger was so incredible; the subtle tinge of pack mentality is present initially and then grows as the peril increases and ramps up the heart rate in a way few books are able to present in my reading these days. The final chapter gave me a bit of hope that we may be revisiting Aaron's hometown to, not only check in on some remaining characters from The Dry, but also to gain more insight into his personal life and his tumultuous relationship with his father that he is still processing. I really enjoyed this angle of the story and felt Falk's emotional walls starting to come down was a huge step in connecting the reader with his character further. If you're looking for a top notch procedural full of suspense and quality writing, look no further. You'll want to start with The Dry if you're new to the series, as these books are not really meant to be read as stand alone novels, but trust me-it's worth your time! Highly recommended and obviously I'm beyond excited for the next installment. *Many thanks to Lisa Jordan for sending me a copy all the way from Australia! You officially wear the crown of best Goodreads friend. <3

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Jane Harper shifts her setting from the devastating drought in The Dry to the equally hostile atmospheric environment of the Giralong Ranges, tough to negotiate, with its menacing history of Martin Kovac, a serial killer that still haunts the area, vivid in peoples memories and nightmares. Five women are on a corporate team building hike run by Executive Adventures, only four return. Federal Agent Aaron Falk of the Melbourne Financial Investigations Unit returns, this time with colleague, Carmen Jane Harper shifts her setting from the devastating drought in The Dry to the equally hostile atmospheric environment of the Giralong Ranges, tough to negotiate, with its menacing history of Martin Kovac, a serial killer that still haunts the area, vivid in peoples memories and nightmares. Five women are on a corporate team building hike run by Executive Adventures, only four return. Federal Agent Aaron Falk of the Melbourne Financial Investigations Unit returns, this time with colleague, Carmen Cooper. They have been looking into financial corruption and money laundering at Bailey Tennants, and have a whistleblower in Alice Russell who is in the process of accessing crucial documents for them. Aaron gets a voicemail from Alice from which he makes out the words 'hurt her'. Alice has gone missing on the hike and Aaron is guilt ridden, suspecting the worst, thinking they endangered her life. Aaron and Carmen are concerned about what happened to Alice, and pressured by their bosses who persist in demanding that they get hold of the documents, no matter what. The story follows the search for Alice and the parallel narrative that tells us what happened amongst the group of lost women as they struggle in the dense bushland, cold, wet, hungry, thirsty and desperate to survive. Jill Bailey is viewed as nominally in charge due to her executive position in the company, although Alice constantly hacks away at her authority in her efforts to return to Melbourne to be with her daughter, Margot. It soon becomes clear that Alice is not nice with her mean and nasty streak, giving rise to a host of suspects with a motive to do away with her. Alice has a dark history with Lauren Shaw that goes back to their schooldays. Lauren is a biddable and vulnerable woman, unable to cope at work as her daughter, Rebecca, descended into the depths of misery with mental health issues after an incident at school. Beth is on probation after leaving prison, she has battled drug addiction, and is trying to mend her battered relationship with her twin, Breanna. As the women's situation deteriorates, the rifts, rivalries, conflicts, resentments and jealousies surface, destined to lead to violence. Aaron slowly begins to piece together the mystery of the missing Alice. Carmen proves to be instrumental in Aaron coming to terms with the guilt over the death of his father, a man well acquainted with the Girlang Ranges. Jane Harper once again gives us a strong sense of location in the Girlang Ranges with her beautiful and detailed descriptions of the landscape, the dangers of snakes, with the howling winds and driving rain. Her psychological insights render her complex characters and their development authentic to the reader. Her writing is so vibrant that you think you are right there with the lost women as they stumble their way through the bush, hunger and fear contributing to their downward spiral as they turn on each other and Alice. The strongest recurring theme is the issue of just how far parents are prepared to go for their children. As I was reading this novel, echoes of Picnic at Hanging Rock came to mind, as indeed did the numerous other disappearances of people in the Australian landscape through the years. I am delighted to see that The Dry was not a one off for the author, this was a brilliant twisted read too. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Force of Nature by Jane Harper is a 2018 Flatiron Books publication. A solid, gripping, edgy thriller- When five women go on a team building expedition out in the unforgiving and dangerous Australian Giralang Ranges, which was also once upon a time, the stomping grounds of a serial killer, whose son may be following in his father’s footsteps, things immediately go awry. Among the group, is whistleblower Alice Russell, who is attempting to divulge to Aaron Falk and his partner, Carmen, information Force of Nature by Jane Harper is a 2018 Flatiron Books publication. A solid, gripping, edgy thriller- When five women go on a team building expedition out in the unforgiving and dangerous Australian Giralang Ranges, which was also once upon a time, the stomping grounds of a serial killer, whose son may be following in his father’s footsteps, things immediately go awry. Among the group, is whistleblower Alice Russell, who is attempting to divulge to Aaron Falk and his partner, Carmen, information regarding a massive money laundering scheme her bosses are running through their company. But, while the men’s group makes it through the retreat unscathed, the women didn’t fare quite as well. Not only are they late getting back from camp, they come back without Alice, who allegedly took off on her own. Alice, if left out in the elements for much longer, could die. After receiving a puzzling and cryptic call from Alice, Aaron and Carmen arrive on the scene to help with the rescue efforts while also trying to determine if their investigation may have put Alice in danger. Along the way, they learn that Alice was not well liked at all by her colleagues, due to her mean and cutting remarks, bullying, and brash attitude. Not only that, her co-workers arrived back from camp injured, edgy, and tense. Could they have something to do with Alice’s disappearance? ‘The Dry’ was one of my favorite thrillers last year. As a result, I’ve been sitting on pins and needles awaiting Harper’s follow up novel, which also features Aaron Falk. While I must admit right up front that I didn’t find this book to have the same hyper intensity or the same tautness as Harper’s debut novel, this follow up thriller is still a very original and atmospheric tale. The story is more focused on the women, and what happened during that three -day retreat while they were lost out in the wilderness, running low on food and other supplies and dealing with Alice, who seemed determined to make everyone as miserable as she is. Aaron and Carmen’s investigation, and the rescue efforts, seemed to take a back seat, simmering in the background. The Australian landscape once again provides an intense environment and plays a large role in creating just the right atmosphere, while the serial killer thread ramped up the apprehension, adding a creepy feeling to go along with the jittery suspenseful adventure and disquieting psychological drama. I enjoyed touching base with Aaron, who seemed a little fragile still, and I truly like Carmen and the way she so easily reads Aaron. Too bad she’s engaged to someone else. However, they do make a great team and I am just as excited about a third installment featuring Aaron Falk as I was about this one. 4 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    I loved her thriller, The Dry, for a first novel it was fantastic. Actually would have been fantastic even if it wasn't her first, but even more so since it was. Excited to read this, her second, and I'll just say that the infamous sophomore slump is not in evidence. This time Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen are called to the Giralang Range, where a woman is missing. A team building trip, men go one way, five men go another, all to meet up at the end of three days. According to the outfit mana I loved her thriller, The Dry, for a first novel it was fantastic. Actually would have been fantastic even if it wasn't her first, but even more so since it was. Excited to read this, her second, and I'll just say that the infamous sophomore slump is not in evidence. This time Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen are called to the Giralang Range, where a woman is missing. A team building trip, men go one way, five men go another, all to meet up at the end of three days. According to the outfit managing the trip, it should have been simple, so what went wrong? We follow the investigation, with the police, the searchers and Falk, alternating with daily missives from the women who were on the trip. So much going on behind the scenes, secrets, jealousy, grudges, but what happened and when? Quite suspenseful, and terrifying at times. Not graphic at all, just wonderful writing that shows, not just tells. Very atmospheric, the descriptions of the scenery were very vivid. Though this does not have the same personal connection to Falk as her first, there is still some introspective musings about his past that this location evokes. There are layers upon layers, misdirections, and everytime something new is discovered, there is still more waiting. Harper does a fantastic job in building her stories, they build gradually, and at the same time they are understated until the denoument. No big gory, or shocking scenes, just good storytelling done right. I enjoy this series immensely, and now eagerly await the next. ARC from Flatiron books. Publishes February 6, 2018.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    I love the subtle elegance of Harper's writing. Force of Nature didn't have the magic of The Dry (at least for my reading experience), and I wish there had been more of Aaron Falk. However, this is still a worthy read! Five women take part in a corporate retreat in the Gralong Ranges. They are supposed to spend three days navigating a trail, camping, and teambuilding. However, only four of them return. How is this connected to Aaron Falk? The one woman who doesn’t make it back, Alice, was Fal I love the subtle elegance of Harper's writing. Force of Nature didn't have the magic of The Dry (at least for my reading experience), and I wish there had been more of Aaron Falk. However, this is still a worthy read! Five women take part in a corporate retreat in the Gralong Ranges. They are supposed to spend three days navigating a trail, camping, and teambuilding. However, only four of them return. How is this connected to Aaron Falk? The one woman who doesn’t make it back, Alice, was Falk’s informant on a money laundering case. He and his partner Carmen investigate her disappearance. Similar to The Dry, the environment takes on a role of a character--this time around it's the unforgiving, brutal Giralong ranges which tests the survival skills of those who embark on its trails. Harper’s writing is the most compelling aspect of Force of Nature. Falk’s character is more developed than he was in The Dry, but I wanted more of him! His struggle to understand his relationship with his father felt very real. His loneliness emanates off the page. I am interested to see how his relationship with Carmen plays out. Force of Nature starts off a little slow, but the pace quickly picks up. I found the plot to be interesting, if a little unrealistic. I had extremely high expectations for this book and it did not disappoint! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    4.5 stars Five women go on a hike. Only four return..... Another great one by Jane Harper! Five people go on a corporate retreat - they are going to hike and camp in the wilderness. They are to leave their cell phones behind and rely on themselves and each other. This is going to be team work at its best! Except, It's NOT!. The women argue, quibble and are not very pleasant to each other. When they fail to return on time to the agreed upon rendezvous at the end of the retreat, the guides go lookin 4.5 stars Five women go on a hike. Only four return..... Another great one by Jane Harper! Five people go on a corporate retreat - they are going to hike and camp in the wilderness. They are to leave their cell phones behind and rely on themselves and each other. This is going to be team work at its best! Except, It's NOT!. The women argue, quibble and are not very pleasant to each other. When they fail to return on time to the agreed upon rendezvous at the end of the retreat, the guides go looking for them. Eventually four of the women are found. The fifth one is missing. All the women have a similar story - similar- but not the same. Has the tough and unforgiving terrain caused the woman to go missing? Did she make a wrong turn and get lost? This is the same terrain where serial killer, Martin Kovac, lured and killed young women. True, he was captured years ago, but he his legacy haunts the area. Could there be a copycat killer out there? Did he have any offspring? Just where is the missing woman and was foul play involved? Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk (who we met in The Dry) and his partner, Cameron, have a connection to the missing woman. She is their secret informant on a case involving the Bailey Tennants financial firm where she works, and it appears she attempted to call Falk the night she went missing from the retreat. Wasn't she supposed to leave her cell phone behind? While Falk and his partner, Cameron try to figure out what happened on this retreat, Falk also wrestles with his past relationship with his father. Like the missing woman, Falk seems a little lost himself in this book. He needs to move on from a past romantic relationship and make peace with his own past, while trying to figure out who, if anyone, is telling the truth and who has something to hide. As the women are interrogated and the pieces come together, the reader and Falk learn what happened at the same time. The story-line kept me guessing and I did not figure it out. I had my suspicions and just when I thought I had this mystery figured out, Harper threw in a curve ball. I thought this book was great! Just like in "The Dry", Harper uses the environment as a main character. This book is atmospheric, and the terrain feels very much alive and the characters are at its mercy. Harper pulls this off seamlessly. I will say that I wanted more Falk. We see more of his personality and personal issues in "The Dry". I wanted a little more him personally and hopefully we get a little more of "him" in the next book ***please, fingers crossed for another book in this series*** I found this book to be wonderfully written, atmospheric, stimulating, beautifully crafted and full of dread and suspense. Harper does not disappoint, if anything, she knows how to suck the reader in and take them on a journey through the Australian bush, into the mind of her likable investigator and not so likable characters. Could this book be read as a standalone? ABSOLUTELY! But, seriously "The Dry" was fantastic. So, do yourself a favor and read that first! See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte May

    “If we didn’t pass her, and she didn’t make it back before us, what happened?” I love Jane Harper! This is my second book of hers I’ve read (first was The Dry) and this was just as gripping. Five women walk into the Australian bush for a team building exercise with their office. But only 4 of them make it out. Alice is the character that is missing (not a spoiler, we find this out in like the first chapter) and quite frankly, I could not stand her. I gave 0 fucks about what happened to her. The “If we didn’t pass her, and she didn’t make it back before us, what happened?” I love Jane Harper! This is my second book of hers I’ve read (first was The Dry) and this was just as gripping. Five women walk into the Australian bush for a team building exercise with their office. But only 4 of them make it out. Alice is the character that is missing (not a spoiler, we find this out in like the first chapter) and quite frankly, I could not stand her. I gave 0 fucks about what happened to her. The chapters switch between the present, where the police and search teams hunt desperately for Alice; and flashbacks to when the women were in the outback, and what caused everything to go so horribly wrong. “You get paranoid out there though, your mind starts to play tricks.” The characters are all flawed and believable. I enjoyed their different personality clashes and the way they behaved in life threatening circumstances. Overall, I enjoyed all the twists and turns in the plot. You don’t find out what happened until the very end and it keeps you hooked. Will definitely be ordering The Lost Man next! “I don’t know. Maybe we can’t help how we are. Maybe we are born a certain way and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

  9. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Force of Nature (Aaron Falk #2) by Jane Harper (Author), Stephen Shanahan (Narrator) We are with Aaron Falk, Federal Police Agent, investigating the financial shenanigans of a wealthy family corporation. Falk's informant, Alice, is on a wilderness corporate team building retreat, in the Australian Giralang Ranges, with four other women from the company, when she goes missing. Falk and his partner, Carmen, are being hounded by their superiors to produce documents that will prove the wrongdoing of Force of Nature (Aaron Falk #2) by Jane Harper (Author), Stephen Shanahan (Narrator) We are with Aaron Falk, Federal Police Agent, investigating the financial shenanigans of a wealthy family corporation. Falk's informant, Alice, is on a wilderness corporate team building retreat, in the Australian Giralang Ranges, with four other women from the company, when she goes missing. Falk and his partner, Carmen, are being hounded by their superiors to produce documents that will prove the wrongdoing of the family and Falk is the last person to hear from Alice when he receives a very faint, garbled message that seems to include the words "hurt her" in it.  Take five competitive, suspicious, unpleasant, conniving, women and get them lost in the wilderness and things go downhill very fast. The four remaining women tell slightly different stories of what happened out on and off the trail and it's obvious everyone is holding things back. Interspersed with the present day search efforts to find Alice, we go back to the start of the trip and get to see how things progressed through the eyes of each of the women. Never could there be a more unpleasant group of "witchy" women. Nothing could entice me to spend any time with these people and now they are stuck together, always one inch from tearing each other's eyes out.  Aaron and Carmen work well together and despite Carmen's upcoming wedding, it's obvious that sparks could fly if she was available. I hope we see her again in another Falk novel...I hope there are more Falk novels. He is still struggling with his regret, guilt, and hurt feelings towards his late father but, with the help of Carmen, Falk is taking steps toward making peace with some of his memories.  Published February 6, 2018

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tucker

    Jane Harper’s first novel “The Dry” was one of the best debuts I’ve read in a long time. And her new novel “Force of Nature” is equally as good. Five women depart on a corporate team building exercise in the Australian wilderness and become lost without food, water, or adequate shelter. Eventually four of the women are found, but there is no trace of the fifth. As the story switches between the disastrous team adventure and the background of the five women, the tension and sense of menace contin Jane Harper’s first novel “The Dry” was one of the best debuts I’ve read in a long time. And her new novel “Force of Nature” is equally as good. Five women depart on a corporate team building exercise in the Australian wilderness and become lost without food, water, or adequate shelter. Eventually four of the women are found, but there is no trace of the fifth. As the story switches between the disastrous team adventure and the background of the five women, the tension and sense of menace continually ratchets up. The descriptions of the harsh and claustrophobic wilderness were so striking that I almost felt like I was lost and desperate for rescue in the cold, rain, and isolation. “Force of Nature” is meticulously plotted and the crime investigation was riveting. Through Harper’s brilliant character development, one feels that the characters are people you might have met or know. Their histories, secrets, and how family dynamics influence their behavior are carefully revealed and add a depth and richness missing from a lot of crime fiction. I consider Harper’s writing top-tier literary crime fiction, right up there with James Lee Burke, Tana French, and a handful of other authors. So read “Force of Nature” for the crime investigation, the fascinating and complex characters, the evocative descriptions of the Australian wilderness, but make sure you read it! Thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I've returned back under for this one. But, instead being in the outback, we are now in the wilderness of Australia for the sequel to The Dry. Our favourite agent Falk, who has recovered from his harrowing ordeal in The Dry, is back in the search for a woman who has been lost on a corporate excursion into the bush lands in the Giralang ranges. It's a mystery of magnitude as Falk has been working with the missing woman in order to prosecute her boss and his company. Her missing in the cold, wet br I've returned back under for this one. But, instead being in the outback, we are now in the wilderness of Australia for the sequel to The Dry. Our favourite agent Falk, who has recovered from his harrowing ordeal in The Dry, is back in the search for a woman who has been lost on a corporate excursion into the bush lands in the Giralang ranges. It's a mystery of magnitude as Falk has been working with the missing woman in order to prosecute her boss and his company. Her missing in the cold, wet brush, has forced his own guilt to surface. Was it as forceful and The Dry? Falk still remains on an aloof, introverted but highly likeable guy. This is more mystery than thriller and it still delivers some twists and drama but seemed to lack the oomph that set the Dry apart. Great descriptions of this harsh and desolate land. Still an enjoyable one and hope there's a 3rd in the Falk series. 4⭐️

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rosh

    2.5 I knew it. I knew it! It was too good to be true. It was too much to ask from the writer who wrote one of the best, gripping mystery thrillers of 2017 without compromising on literary quality to repeat the same magic with her second book. I KNEW IT. Oh well for what's it worth, Jane Harper is a very good story-teller, and while her debut novel The Dry was a book that helped restored my dying faith on the genre of mystery/thriller, this one wasn't as special as I hoped it to be. From an early 2.5 I knew it. I knew it! It was too good to be true. It was too much to ask from the writer who wrote one of the best, gripping mystery thrillers of 2017 without compromising on literary quality to repeat the same magic with her second book. I KNEW IT. Oh well for what's it worth, Jane Harper is a very good story-teller, and while her debut novel The Dry was a book that helped restored my dying faith on the genre of mystery/thriller, this one wasn't as special as I hoped it to be. From an early stage I was hoping for a devastating twist that would smash all that had gone before to pieces, sadly it never came and the tale faded away into a rather unexciting conclusion. With The dry, the beauty was in the details, the imagery, the character development and of course the dialogue but with this book, it breaks my heart to say it failed to deliver on any of those front and because of its lacklustre narrative, soulless dialogue and stilted character development, it also failed to deliver the dynamic ending it needed. The big question of 'who did it' was dragged out to the end but the revelation wasn't a surprise, partly because the list of suspects was so short. If you guys truly want to experience the real power of Jane Harper’s storytelling, please skip this one and give The Dry a try. It’ll absorb you immediately into its gritty Australian backdrop and will leave you for wanting more as the haunting story of who kill the Hadler family comes to it satisfying end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    j e w e l s

    FIVE STARS SHE’S DONE IT AGAIN! Jane Harper wrote THE best book I read in 2017. THE DRY deservedly won many prestigious awards and Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk won the hearts of readers around the world. When a debut work of fiction is nothing less than magnificent, the highly anticipated second novel looms large. Will it live up to the first? Is Harper a one trick pony? Do not fear, Dry fans!!! FORCE OF NATURE does not disappoint and will cement Harper as your go-to mystery/psychological susp FIVE STARS SHE’S DONE IT AGAIN! Jane Harper wrote THE best book I read in 2017. THE DRY deservedly won many prestigious awards and Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk won the hearts of readers around the world. When a debut work of fiction is nothing less than magnificent, the highly anticipated second novel looms large. Will it live up to the first? Is Harper a one trick pony? Do not fear, Dry fans!!! FORCE OF NATURE does not disappoint and will cement Harper as your go-to mystery/psychological suspense author. Bless! Instead of the drought ridden Australian outback we got to know intimately in THE DRY, this book is set in the wet, cold and windy Giralang mountain range north of Melbourne. Let me tell you, when you turn that last page, you'll breathe a sigh of relief that you’re snugly wrapped in front of your fireplace and not out in the FORCE OF NATURE battling the elements. Jane Harper is first and foremost a fabulous, effortless writer. I love her spare detailing, every word packs a punch. Nothing extraneous here. She also k n o w s people. What drives people, their fears, their downfalls. Her psychological skills are put to full use in FORCE OF NATURE. Five women from the BaileyTennants financial firm are persuaded to take part in a back country team building exercise that will test their limits beyond imagination. The women have complicated relationships with each other, extending beyond their co-working status. When they emerge from the wilderness, one member of this not-so-happy group is missing. Our beloved Aaron Falk is called in with his new partner, Carmen Cooper, to assist with the investigation. The story is told from two views, one from the running investigation and the other in a slowed down reality of exactly what happened on this hike into hell. The result is an addictive, page-turning story rich in atmosphere, mood and setting. It is easily a standalone novel, but there is so much back story on Aaron Falk that a new reader would be greatly missing out by reading the two books out of order. There is ample biographical info on Falk’s personality traits and what makes him tick—all to be discovered in THE DRY. FORCE OF NATURE feels like a natural, organic follow-up to THE DRY. The premise of this book is brilliant, realistic and terrifically suspenseful. Highly recommend! Many thanks to FlatIron Books for the ARC copies. YES! This means I will be having a FORCE OF NATURE giveaway over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/books_be_je... Watch for it soon and come play!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    We call them Mud Daubers here in Texas. Solitary wasps not living in colonies. They don't play well with others. Jane Harper switches things up from her first book, The Dry. (Simply, a masterpiece) Harper brings back her Federal Agent Aaron Falk with sidekick, Carmen, into a new and challenging investigation. Five professional women of varying degrees on the corporate ladder find themselves on a Titanic of a wilderness retreat. (Being an avid hiker, climber, and camper, I shuddered at how ill-prepa We call them Mud Daubers here in Texas. Solitary wasps not living in colonies. They don't play well with others. Jane Harper switches things up from her first book, The Dry. (Simply, a masterpiece) Harper brings back her Federal Agent Aaron Falk with sidekick, Carmen, into a new and challenging investigation. Five professional women of varying degrees on the corporate ladder find themselves on a Titanic of a wilderness retreat. (Being an avid hiker, climber, and camper, I shuddered at how ill-prepared these women were for the outdoors. No back-up or monitoring by the powers that be.) Nevertheless, said women have more secrets and backstories than the grains of sand underfoot. Their wasp-like stings are deadly. Soon their limited decision-making skills are tainted by too many adult beverages. They find themselves seriously lost with one smuggled in phone and no reception in the boonies of the bushland. The arguments erupt non-stop and the women continue to put themselves in precarious positions. One of these clueless individuals, Alice, has been set up by Falk and his team to monitor the illegal transactions of the mother ship, BaileyTennants, run by a brother and sister team which they inherited from their father. Working undercover, Alice has been making copies and stashing away crucial information. She manages to get a message by phone to Falk in which he hears "hurt her" in the background. Eventually, our wayward team manage to get to the road. Ironically, only four have survived the adventure. Alice is missing. Jane Harper throws into this mix the possibility of a serial killer who did some mighty dastardly damage in this area some time back. Some of those individuals were never found. While Force of Nature is an enjoyable read, I had many a moment of closing this book. It simply does not have the pazazz of the first book, The Dry, which was a blockbuster of a read. I would seriously encourage you to pick up The Dry first, although this one reads well as a standalone. When all is said and done and the wasps come homes to roost, it is the stellar writing talent of Jane Harper that seals the deal for me. It's my hope that Falk will find himself in the midst of a more compelling storyline next time. Truth be told, I'll bet that Harper is frying up a sizzler even as we speak.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Larry H

    I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars. "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." Nobody likes corporate teambuilding retreats. But employees from the boutique accountancy firm BaileyTennants are off for a three-day hike and camping adventure in Australia's Giralang Ranges. Even the firm's chairwoman and chief executive, brother and sister, are part of the group hea I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars. "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." Nobody likes corporate teambuilding retreats. But employees from the boutique accountancy firm BaileyTennants are off for a three-day hike and camping adventure in Australia's Giralang Ranges. Even the firm's chairwoman and chief executive, brother and sister, are part of the group heading out. The group is divided into men and women, and each will be expected to traverse a path through the wilderness, camp out (with supplies provided by the outfitter running the retreat), and head back to the starting point two days later. Yet it doesn't quite go as planned, at least for the women's group. Four of the five women arrive back at the starting point several hours late, with various injuries, bruises, and complaints. One woman, Alice Russell, seems to have disappeared, after acting interchangeably ill-at-ease and aggressive since the trip began. No one knows if Alice left of her own volition to find her way back, or if something untoward happened to her in the wilderness. Aaron Falk, a federal police agent, and his partner, Carmen, get involved in the search for Alice. They're worried about her whereabouts, of course, but for an entirely different reason, as she was part of an investigation they were conducting, looking into malfeasance at the firm. Alice was supposed to deliver some key evidence to them the day after the retreat, but now she—and, apparently, the evidence—seem to have disappeared. No one is quite sure where suspicion should lie. Did Alice flee and make it out safely? Did someone within the firm's upper echelons catch wind of what she was helping with, and act to protect themselves? Are there lies behind the slightly different stories each of the remaining women in the group tell of their days in the wilderness? Or is there another dangerous presence lurking in the wild? In an effort to find Alice and keep their investigation alive, Aaron and Carmen's search will take them deep into the menacing wilderness of the Giralang Ranges. The search will uncover secrets that many of the retreat participants are hiding, and will lay bare some painful memories for Aaron as well. Jane Harper's The Dry , her debut thriller and first book featuring Aaron Falk, was absolutely fantastic. It was one of the best books I read last year, so needless to say, I've been anticipating this follow-up a great deal. It's always a bit of a challenge when you read the next book in a series you love—you don't want it to feel formulaic but you do want it to feel familiar, and have the same elements that made you love the previous book. Harper is a terrific storyteller. She loves to build suspense at a slow burn, until you are flying through the pages, desperate to figure out what happened. Much as she did in The Dry , she creates such an evocative sense of time and place, so you felt the cold, the gloom, the menace of the wilderness as it closed in. (I even felt my throat get parched as she described the women's struggles to find water.) Force of Nature shifts narration between the present, as the search for Alice continues, and the past, recounting the women's actions from start to finish. It's a tremendously captivating story and I was hooked right from the beginning. What was missing in this book for me was Aaron. Even though he's the main character, because of the way the book was narrated, he was only in the story about half the time, and I am such a fan of his character, I wanted more of his presence. Don't get me wrong: this is still a great book. If you're new to Harper's writing you could pick this one up and not feel like you missed anything, and you'd find a compelling, well-executed thriller. This book did nothing to diminish my enthusiasm for Harper's work, and I so hope that there's a third book in this series on the horizon, hopefully with twice the Aaron! See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    I think I liked this book even more than “The Dry”. Loved the story itself!!! .....*Women* hiking in the wilderness grabbed me from the start. Five women - One goes missing. .....Many side stories - added tenderness, and compelling issues to explore: bullying, money laundering, an eating disorder, drug abuse, troubled father/son relationship. .....The journey was completely engrossing! .....Inspectors Faulk and Carmen were a great team with their own unique personalities. As they worked together to I think I liked this book even more than “The Dry”. Loved the story itself!!! .....*Women* hiking in the wilderness grabbed me from the start. Five women - One goes missing. .....Many side stories - added tenderness, and compelling issues to explore: bullying, money laundering, an eating disorder, drug abuse, troubled father/son relationship. .....The journey was completely engrossing! .....Inspectors Faulk and Carmen were a great team with their own unique personalities. As they worked together to piece together ‘what went wrong’... I was left guessing along with them to the final end. ....The final -3rd book - “The Lost Man”- in this trilogy will be released in Feb. 2019. Looking forward to it. .....I enjoy Jane Harper’s classy- intelligent mystery thriller writing - suspenseful beautifully imagined -with the same respect I have for Tana French, and Emily St. John Mandel. I honestly almost forgot how much I like Jane Harper since reading “The Dry” over a year ago. I won’t forget again.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    I really enjoyed “The Dry” by Jane Harper, loving the protagonist Aaron Falk and the great mystery in that book. I was really excited to read “Force of Nature”. I was glad to see that the author chose to set this book in the bushlands of Giralang Range, I never knew how incredibly dense these areas were. The premise isn’t a new one, however, as I’ve read two books in the last year where women were fighting against the elements, the most recent “The River at Night” by Erica Ferencik. What I liked I really enjoyed “The Dry” by Jane Harper, loving the protagonist Aaron Falk and the great mystery in that book. I was really excited to read “Force of Nature”. I was glad to see that the author chose to set this book in the bushlands of Giralang Range, I never knew how incredibly dense these areas were. The premise isn’t a new one, however, as I’ve read two books in the last year where women were fighting against the elements, the most recent “The River at Night” by Erica Ferencik. What I liked about the book: Aaron and his partner Carmen. The two personalities are different and yet they offset each other very nicely. They are Federal Police Agents called in to help the local police when one of five women fail to return after a team building expedition into the bushlands. The women in the group are quite well described, although I found them a little unbelievable since there didn’t seem to be a true leader or sincerely nice team player among them. Hovering over the investigation is the history of a serial killer from a decade before whose last victim was never found. I thought the descriptions of everything along the trail very atmospheric and beautifully described. Ms. Harper presented the area in ways that it could be quite beautiful, the waterfalls, the morning sunset from the top of a hill, and also terrorizing in it’s almost impenetrable dense vegetation and complete darkness at night. Things that I didn’t like: The idea that any group would be sent off without cell phone coverage or any way of communicating if they were in danger, I don’t think this would ever happen in real life. There were mysteries here and some subplots but I didn’t feel the thrill that I did in her first book. Alice, the woman who is missing, also is a “whistleblower” and has been working with the police before the team challenge. I really like to have believable characters and the fact that so many people were lying in the end, just didn’t seem plausible. The ending was also a bit of a disappointment after the incredible build up all of the way through the book. So why am I giving this book a 4* rating? Because Ms. Harper’s writing is precise, beautifully thought out and descriptive. The story flowed well and it kept me turning pages. I also really enjoy Aaron Falk and Carmen and am looking forward to his next investigation/adventure which is hinted about at the end of the book. All in all this is a good read and I think most people will enjoy it. This for me was a 3.5 rounded up to a 4. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher and NetGall

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luffy

    This was a fitting sequel to The Dry. It has just the right amount of intrigue. It lets us breathe, to assimilate the information available. But the pacing becomes frenetic when the going gets tough. Five bush hikers go on a trek, and only four return. Due to the situation of the missing person, who is a person of interest for Falk, the latter and his partner set off to examine this missing victim. Add to that a serial killer and you have a race against time to solve the disappearance. I thought t This was a fitting sequel to The Dry. It has just the right amount of intrigue. It lets us breathe, to assimilate the information available. But the pacing becomes frenetic when the going gets tough. Five bush hikers go on a trek, and only four return. Due to the situation of the missing person, who is a person of interest for Falk, the latter and his partner set off to examine this missing victim. Add to that a serial killer and you have a race against time to solve the disappearance. I thought that the author was very cautious in writing this book. She did some research, that's for sure. The book is different from The Dry. That's why my review too is very different from the prequel's.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kylie D

    A worthy follow up to "The Dry", not quite as good as the first, but still worth reading. In this novel five women are forced to go bush on a corporate retreat, but only four make it out. What happened to the fifth? Aaron Falk is soon on the scene, as the missing woman was a whistleblower on a money laundering case he is working on. So is her disappearance because of the case he is working? Or something else entirely? You'll have to read it to find out. Recommended. A worthy follow up to "The Dry", not quite as good as the first, but still worth reading. In this novel five women are forced to go bush on a corporate retreat, but only four make it out. What happened to the fifth? Aaron Falk is soon on the scene, as the missing woman was a whistleblower on a money laundering case he is working on. So is her disappearance because of the case he is working? Or something else entirely? You'll have to read it to find out. Recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Thank you Goodreads! I won this book in a giveaway! I loved The Dry, this author’s first novel! Couldn’t wait to meet Aaron Falk again. This book is good, Falk and his partner have been working with a whistleblower(Alice) for a company that has been laundering money for a long time. So Alice and four other women and a group of five men are sent separate ways on a team building company retreat in the Giralang Ranges...very dense forest land...very atmospheric..the women’s group encounters so many p Thank you Goodreads! I won this book in a giveaway! I loved The Dry, this author’s first novel! Couldn’t wait to meet Aaron Falk again. This book is good, Falk and his partner have been working with a whistleblower(Alice) for a company that has been laundering money for a long time. So Alice and four other women and a group of five men are sent separate ways on a team building company retreat in the Giralang Ranges...very dense forest land...very atmospheric..the women’s group encounters so many problems and Alice goes missing. The chapters alternate between the time during the retreat, and Falk’s investigation into what happened to Alice.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Five women go into the wilderness of the Giralang Ranges and only four return. I had some difficulty keeping them straight in my mind, but eventually found all five of them insufferable to some degree. The book is about what happened to Alice, but also about family relationships. There is quite often mention of Aaron’s father, twins Bree and Beth, Lauren's and Alice’s daughters, Jill and her family. The problem is if you don’t care about the characters, you don’t really care about their family is Five women go into the wilderness of the Giralang Ranges and only four return. I had some difficulty keeping them straight in my mind, but eventually found all five of them insufferable to some degree. The book is about what happened to Alice, but also about family relationships. There is quite often mention of Aaron’s father, twins Bree and Beth, Lauren's and Alice’s daughters, Jill and her family. The problem is if you don’t care about the characters, you don’t really care about their family issues. Federal Agent Aaron Falk and his partner, Carmen Cooper, investigate financial crimes. Their contact/source for their current case is the ONE woman who didn’t return. I must say it got awfully old reading “Get the contracts.” I really like Aaron and I wanted him to shine in this book as much as he did in The Dry, but I had a hard time accepting his and Carmen’s involvement in the missing person case. As someone who has spent lots of time camping and hiking in forests and wilderness, I immediately got the cold and rainy atmosphere of this book. I’m sure the outfit that organized the retreat would not let inexperienced people go without well-marked trails and maps, without prerequisite safety equipment and supplies, and without regularly checking on them. My conclusion is that this is just an okay book, and I hope there’s a third Aaron Falk book that’s much better.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    4 stars! Another gripping and suspenseful page-turner from Jane Harper! Last year, I read and loved Harper’s debut novel “The Dry” and was really looking forward to Book #2. This second book in the series was impressive - a very entertaining and addictive read. Both novels are very intriguing and well-written atmospheric thrillers, however, I did feel that “The Dry” was slightly more captivating and intense. Harper has an amazing knack for pulling you deep into the atmosphere of the story without 4 stars! Another gripping and suspenseful page-turner from Jane Harper! Last year, I read and loved Harper’s debut novel “The Dry” and was really looking forward to Book #2. This second book in the series was impressive - a very entertaining and addictive read. Both novels are very intriguing and well-written atmospheric thrillers, however, I did feel that “The Dry” was slightly more captivating and intense. Harper has an amazing knack for pulling you deep into the atmosphere of the story without being too wordy. She creates a vivid landscape that leaves no question with how things appear. My one critique of this story was that it began to get a little repetitious. I wanted it to move forward a little quicker at times. However, it kept my attention throughout and delivered a surprising and highly entertaining mystery. I highly recommend this series!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Five women go out on a corporate retreat, but only four come back. This story, told in a back and forth manner and from a variety of different viewpoints, tells the tale of how it all went wrong. Of course, the question for both the reader and Aaron Falk, is whom to believe. Alice, the missing woman, wasn’t well liked by the other four women. And she was also involved in some corporate espionage that could have led to her going missing. In fact, she was working for Aaron and he suffers the guilt Five women go out on a corporate retreat, but only four come back. This story, told in a back and forth manner and from a variety of different viewpoints, tells the tale of how it all went wrong. Of course, the question for both the reader and Aaron Falk, is whom to believe. Alice, the missing woman, wasn’t well liked by the other four women. And she was also involved in some corporate espionage that could have led to her going missing. In fact, she was working for Aaron and he suffers the guilt from wondering if his pressure on her is to blame. Because not only does s*** roll down hill, so does the demand to get things done damn the consequences. This isn’t a fast paced mystery. But it is engrossing. Nearly, but not quite as good as Harper’s first novel, The Dry. It’s a character driven story. You learn, little by little, how the characters are tied together and what secrets each is keeping. It’s that sense of, what’s behind the next corner, that keeps you turning the pages. Like someone leaving breadcrumb clues for the reader to pick up. Harper makes the location one of the characters. I’ve never been to Australia, let alone the Giralang Range Mountains, but I could feel the oppression and closeness of the forest, the isolation of being out of range, the wet and cold of the weather. The ending surprised me. I didn’t see it coming. I also felt it was a bit understated and underwhelming. I’ll be anxious to read Harper’s next installment in this series. I wonder where she’ll go next?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Force Of Nature is the follow up to The Dry, Jane Harper’s massively successful debut thriller. Aaron Falk, the quiet and thoughtful detective from The Dry, is now working in Melbourne investigating financial crime. He and his partner Carmen are drawn into a missing person case after finding a link to a money laundering case they are working on. During a team building exercise for the personnel of BaileyTennants, an accounting firm, a woman goes missing. The exercise concerned a four day orienteer Force Of Nature is the follow up to The Dry, Jane Harper’s massively successful debut thriller. Aaron Falk, the quiet and thoughtful detective from The Dry, is now working in Melbourne investigating financial crime. He and his partner Carmen are drawn into a missing person case after finding a link to a money laundering case they are working on. During a team building exercise for the personnel of BaileyTennants, an accounting firm, a woman goes missing. The exercise concerned a four day orienteering trek in the deep forest of the Giralang mountain range. A group of men and a group of women from the firm, took slightly different routes but were due to rendezvous at the same time and place. The men returned on schedule. The women, after a long tense wait finally arrived scared, battered and traumatised, one of their number having gone missing. The narrative flits back and forth from an account of the women’s frightening experience in the forest to the subsequent investigation by Falk and Carmen as they begin to unravel the tangled web of dysfunctional relationships that underpin the story. It seems unlikely that an outward bound experience had any chance of bonding this group! This second in the Aaron Falk series is a good, solid read. Not sensational but quietly enjoyable, as the pace gradually picks up leading us to an exciting conclusion. There’s a certain clarity in the writing of Jane Harper that I enjoy. I always know exactly where I am in the plot, can clearly see the characters and understand their motivations .......... all follows on logically and makes sense. There were no ‘Yeah, right, as if!!’ moments. This has the makings of a superior crime series and I’m looking forward to my next Aaron Falk encounter.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Jane Harper, and Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. After devouring Jane Harper’s debut novel, I could not wait to get my hands on this sequel, which pulls Aaron Falk back into the mix. A member of the Australian Federal Police’s Finance Division, Aaron Falk is knee-deep in a case that could have many important implications. One of his sources calls him in the First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Jane Harper, and Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review. After devouring Jane Harper’s debut novel, I could not wait to get my hands on this sequel, which pulls Aaron Falk back into the mix. A member of the Australian Federal Police’s Finance Division, Aaron Falk is knee-deep in a case that could have many important implications. One of his sources calls him in the middle of the night and leaves a garbled voicemail, with ‘hurt her’ as the only decipherable message. It is then that Falk realises that his source, Alice Russell, has been on a team-building weekend, hiking in the Giralang Ranges outside of Melbourne. Her group, five women from the company, did not arrive for their pick-up and it was only six hours later that they emerged from the wilderness, tattered and torn, without Alice. Calling on his partner, Falk rushes to the scene and agrees to help the state police with the search, learning a little more about Alice as things progress. With no clues leading to Alice, many remember what gave the Ranges their infamous notoriety, having been the location a serial killer picked his victims, all but one of whom was discovered at some point. Two decades later, Falk wonders if there is something in the forested area who seeks to copycat that horrendous experience. However, the more he digs, the greater the information trove about Alice and her relationship with the others on the trek. Each person tells a different story about the weekend and their connection to Alice, which provides many with a reason to see her silenced. With a parallel ‘slow narrative’ of events during the trek itself, the reader can not only see the investigation as it progresses, but also the strains that befell those five women as they tried to work themselves out of many awkward situations with little but their guts to lead them. Harper has shown that she can create multiple novels of a high caliber as she delivers yet again. Fans of Aaron Falk are privy to more of his development, in a novel that proves vastly different from the debut thriller. Well-worth the time for those love a good thriller and who were highly impressed with The Dry. While it is always easy to create a single masterpiece, it is the ability to remain at such a high standard that makes an author truly captivating. Harper has done just that, turning both the narrative and the format on its head from the opening novel. Aaron Falk’s backstory is less sketched out in this piece, but there are crumbs to give the curious reader a little more to add. It is the likes of ‘the five’ and how they pieced themselves together that proves brilliant. Harper not only sketches out a solid character for each of them, but builds on it by weaving their stories together with Alice Russell, all while keeping events that occurred in the forest a secret until the very end. Harper pulls the reader in to guess who might be responsible for the missing Alice, while arming all four with viable reasons. The story itself is wonderfully developed, positioning a current investigation alongside the events leading up to Alice’s disappearance inside the Giralang Ranges. What secrets does Alice possess and how can they unravel over the span of four days before someone takes action? Harper pushes the reader forward in such a way that they cannot help but want to learn more, forcing them to stay up late into the night just to piece things together. It is one of those novels, which is sure to prove useful when it hits book stands in early 2018. Harper has much to offer the genre and those who pay her mind will surely not be disappointed in the investment. Kudos, Madam Harper, for this stunning follow-up piece. I know I will be keeping an eye open for your work in the years to come. This book fulfills Topic #2 of Equinox #2 Book Challenge: A Book by an Author in Another Hemisphere. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  26. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    if five women go out in the woods today, theyre sure for a great surprise. like one of them not returning with the others. yikes! this was a much needed break amongst my week filled with contemporary fiction and fantasy and my rating definitely reflects that. sometimes you just need a good mystery/thriller to give you life, you know? and this was a solid sequel to the critically acclaimed, ‘the dry.’ i was impressed with harpers debut and had high hopes for this. luckily, it didnt disappoint. one if five women go out in the woods today, theyre sure for a great surprise. like one of them not returning with the others. yikes! this was a much needed break amongst my week filled with contemporary fiction and fantasy and my rating definitely reflects that. sometimes you just need a good mystery/thriller to give you life, you know? and this was a solid sequel to the critically acclaimed, ‘the dry.’ i was impressed with harpers debut and had high hopes for this. luckily, it didnt disappoint. one thing i really like about harpers stories is how she chooses to let the information unfold. i thought the transitions between the two points in time flowed quite nicely and it was easy to keep track of what was going on. i also enjoyed how atmospheric her storytelling is - it makes it inevitable for the reader to get swept up in the plot. the only thing that really bummed me out was the ending. (view spoiler)[goodness, i absolutely despise it when the big reveal is ‘it was an accident.’ ughhh. spare me. there is nothing more boring than someone accidentally bumping their head during an argument, dying, and then the other person covering it up. i mean, i could tell that was where this was headed, so im not surprised. just disappointed. kind of a let down, in my opinion. (hide spoiler)] but overall, this was a good read. even though its book two in a series, it totally works as a standalone, as well. so its the perfect story for anyone needing a quick and unique domestic thriller! ↠ 3.5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review. A corporate retreat meant to exercise team-building skills and personal development goes sideways in a hurry.  Five ladies strap on their backpacks and trudge into the cold and muddy terrain of the Australian outback.  They are a motley crew made up of senior staff members, a data clerk, an office assistant administrative coordinator (Ahem!  Office-speak, gotta get it right!), etc.  Ongoing grudges and underlying resentments roil just beneat Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review. A corporate retreat meant to exercise team-building skills and personal development goes sideways in a hurry.  Five ladies strap on their backpacks and trudge into the cold and muddy terrain of the Australian outback.  They are a motley crew made up of senior staff members, a data clerk, an office assistant administrative coordinator (Ahem!  Office-speak, gotta get it right!), etc.  Ongoing grudges and underlying resentments roil just beneath the surface.  One of these women will not be returning with the others at trail's end. The parallels that run throughout this novel are right on the money.  An easy read and decent mystery, with just a wee peep at the not-so-pretty underpinnings of the corporate world.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    My first thought upon opening this book and reading a few pages was how well this author writes. Her descriptions of the Australian bush are real, her characters are believable and multi faceted and speak to each other like real human beings. I knew at once I was in for an enjoyable read. I am very glad I have never worked in an office culture where employees who have barely any experience of hiking and camping are expected to go bush for three days with people they don't even like. To me it seem My first thought upon opening this book and reading a few pages was how well this author writes. Her descriptions of the Australian bush are real, her characters are believable and multi faceted and speak to each other like real human beings. I knew at once I was in for an enjoyable read. I am very glad I have never worked in an office culture where employees who have barely any experience of hiking and camping are expected to go bush for three days with people they don't even like. To me it seems a recipe for disaster and in this case it really was. The story of their tragedy is told slowly in alternate chapters between those of Falk and his partner as they try to solve the mystery of what really happened. The ending is neatly done and not overly dramatized. (well just a little maybe (view spoiler)[the scene at the falls. He just had to jump in didn't he! (hide spoiler)] ) I liked the way Harper has brought Aaron Falk back to her second book and will be very happy if she continues with him as the main character of a series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    A corporate team-building trip that goes bad. Who would have expected it? I mean, come on, most corporate environments are already like a caged death-match in the office. What the hell were they thinking - taking it out into the wild? "Oh, I know. Let's take all of these people who gossip about each other, back-bite each other, and daydream about their co-worker's deaths whenever they see the biohazard that is the breakroom microwave and throw them out into the Australian bush with minimal suppli A corporate team-building trip that goes bad. Who would have expected it? I mean, come on, most corporate environments are already like a caged death-match in the office. What the hell were they thinking - taking it out into the wild? "Oh, I know. Let's take all of these people who gossip about each other, back-bite each other, and daydream about their co-worker's deaths whenever they see the biohazard that is the breakroom microwave and throw them out into the Australian bush with minimal supplies and the woods as their bathroom. This is the greatest idea I've ever had!!" - Corporate Asshole Boss Sitting in Comfy Chair. This is true. And, came close to happening in this case. But, they only lost one team member, so the search & rescue is on! I couldn't help but wonder why they were making such a big effort to find this missing lady. First of all, as you read the story you realize what a bitch she was. I mean, if anyone deserves to get eaten by dingoes, it's her. Secondly, how many people do they normally lose a day in the Australian bush? I was thinking that four out of five making it back alive was a pretty good day. Even the killer spiders have things that can kill them in the Outback. Aaron Falk is actually a government agent in accounting, so he's not usually out solving crimes in the field, but in this case he has to find the missing woman because she's his informant. She has important documents that she was supposed to hand-off to him. Since the documents were about the corporation she was on a retreat with, he's worried that someone found out and killed her. We have alternating chapters between the investigation after she went missing, and what happened each day of the retreat. Both narratives were engaging and awesome. All of the characters were in depth and believable. I really liked this book and I am hoping that we will get a lot more of Aaron Falk books in the future.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    This is a plot that has been written and written and written again. Nice follow up to The Dry but not noteworthy.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.