Book Review

Book Review / Blog Tour: Force of Nature by Jane Harper

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Force of Nature and am so glad it is my stop today!

Synopsis:

FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK…

Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice’s welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

My Review:

4/5 it gets better and better stars!

The moment I finished Force of Nature, the overwhelming feeling I had was that this book was so assured, mature and well thought out. It is a book that will make you step back and think through what you have just read, and then appreciate the skills the author has to deliver such a well-executed story.

This is about 5 women and 5 men who went to the countryside to take part in a 4 day hiking trip as part of a team-building exercise. There are two separate routes, one for the ean’s team, the other for the women’s team. On the day they were supposed to meet at the meeting point, 5 men appeared, and an hour later 4 women appeared bloody and hurt with one woman missing… what happened in those woods? The story follows the account of the events by the 4 women and also follows detective Aaron Falk who helps with the investigation of the missing woman.

I was drawn to the book the moment I saw the synopsis. I have heard of Jane Harper from The Dry, which has received multiple book awards, so I was very excited to read Force of Nature. And I am not disappointed at all. The first 50% was slow to start and I was wondering where this would take us; then, wow, the last 50% of the book completely blew me away. It was then I realised everything that happened in the first 50% meant something; there were clues, there were hints and I was not prepared for the final revelation. The whole way through I didn’t make any assumptions or predictions, I just let Jane Harper’s imagination take me wherever she wanted to take me, and I was so satisfied at the end. The moment I finished the last sentence, I immediately went back to some previous chapters to see whether I could have guessed the final revelation by then. It was truly amazing.

It has been a couple of weeks since I read the book and I still find myself thinking about it all the time. It is one of those books that is so unsettling yet satisfying at the same time; it is one of those books that the more you think about it the better it gets. The author also has the ability to create vivid characters, each with their own flaws. They are so real and you feel like you know them from somewhere. And Aaron Falk, the detective, I am so intrigued by him and I cannot wait to read more about him!

Force of Nature is out now. You can purchase it here.

Thank you so much Kimberly and Little Brown for sending me this review copy. I enjoyed this so very much!

About The Author:

Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year and the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne. Force of Nature is Jane’s second novel. Janeharper.com.au

Make sure you check out other blog posts for the Force of Nature Blog Tour for 11 Feb:

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