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
Flatiron Books © 2018
Hardcover, 336 pages
Police Procedural, #2 Aaron Falk mystery
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.