Today I am incredibly excited to be a part of the blog tour for Force of Nature, the second novel by Jane Harper, with my review! Read on to find out more and see what I thought of it…
Title: Force of Nature
Author: Jane Haper
Publisher: Little Brown
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.
Force of Nature is a worthy follow-up to the hugely successful The Dry. Force of Nature is full of atmosphere and is again set in a location that has its fair share of threat and menace. It feels very different to Jane Harper’s debut, but I know everyone will automatically be comparing the two; I actually feel this novel should be read and enjoyed in its own right – as a solid, absorbing crime novel which kept me really wanting to read on.
Rotating around the disappearance of Alice – one of a the Bailey Tennants employees who were taking party in a corporate retreat – the novel takes a welcome return to Aaron Falk (who featured in The Dry) as he tries to work out what happened in those three nights out in the harsh Giralong ranges, and why only four of the five women returned. There is a long of focus on what happened, with the reader discovering more and more through flashbacks to that weekend, along with the present day narrative following Aaron and colleague Carmen, who had actually been investigating the company prior to Alice’s disappearance.
Force of Nature is hugely entertaining and I loved every minute of it! The characters are really interesting and varied, with some being quite unlikeable, meaning you could really imagine the resentment building on the retreat. I don’t want to give too much about the plot away but I’m glad that most of the plot is quite convincing and not too ‘out there’ in terms of crazy resolutions; you don’t feel like you have to completely suspend your disbelief to enjoy this novel. You also don’t need to have read a The Dry to enjoy this – it can definitely be ready as a stand alone novel if you haven’t.
I really enjoyed this novel and feel that Jane Harper has done a great job of creating another story which packs a punch and makes you feel like you could be there with each character!
Many thanks to Little Brown for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review, and for inviting me onto the blog tour!