Thursday, March 08, 2018

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

First Line: Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things.

The corporate employees split into two groups for their retreat in the wilderness. The men return on time, but when the women straggle into view late and bedraggled, one of them is missing.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen Cooper are sent to find the missing woman because she ties in with one of their investigations. When the two police officers begin questioning the four women about what happened, each of them tells a slightly different story. Falk and Cooper find themselves hiking deep into the isolated forest, hoping that they will find Alice Russell alive.

The only incentive any of the participants have in this retreat is their fear that-- if they don't toe the line-- they'll lose their jobs. None of them have either the desire or the aptitude for hiking and camping in bad weather and treacherous terrain, and I enjoyed watching them go into withdrawal when they discovered that this remote area had no cell phone reception. 

Falk and Cooper make a good team, and I hope I see them together in another book. Falk is enjoying his move to white collar crime because he never forgets the people that are devastated by what the criminals think of as insignificant crime that doesn't hurt anyone.

The premise of Force of Nature isn't anything shiny and new, but I certainly enjoyed how Jane Harper put it all together. The missing woman is disliked by everyone, everyone has something to hide, and even two teenage daughters figure into the plot in interesting ways. While not quite as intense as her first book, The Dry, this second book featuring Aaron Falk kept my attention from first page to last, and I'm looking forward to book number three.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper
ISBN: 9781250190109
Flatiron Books © 2018
Hardcover, 336 pages

Police Procedural, #2 Aaron Falk mystery
Rating: A
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.


  1. I'm very glad you enjoyed this as much as you did, Cathy. So often, the follow-up book doesn't give as much satisfaction as the original did, and I'm happy that wasn't the case here.

  2. Totally agree with you on all points. I really like Aaron Falk and the new partner is a good addition. We discussed The Dry last night at our mystery group meeting and I shared that I had also read this one. Told them it was worth it to get on the library hold list. We watched a short video from Jane Harper's website which was fun. Australian TV. She says she's in the planning stages of her third book. Yay!

  3. Agree with your assessment. I didn't like this one as muchas The Dry and I wasn't enamored of the women on the camping trip. I enjoyed the parts with Falk and his partner much more.

    1. I didn't like any of the women on the camping trip either, but I certainly did want to know what happened!

  4. Well, yeah. That's why the teaser five women went into the forest and only four came out is so enticing.


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