Flatiron Books | February 2018 | 336 pgs
Source: Purchased

Jane Harper's debut novel, The Dry, was stunning both in the characterisation and the plot set in the quiet suburb of Kiewarra, Australia. Plagued by the drought and with the intensity accelerated like the searing heat as the story progressed, I was quickly caught up by the suspense, the police procedural and all. Of course I was also intrigued by the lead character, Federal agent Aaron Falk. He is both an interesting and a flawed character, and knowing that he will be featured again in Harper's latest release, Force of Nature, I knew I MUST read it. 

The story opens with a group of ten going for their company's retreat. What supposed to be a fun, get together event has turned out to be a missing person case as one woman from the women's group decided to go on her own after a disagreement, leaving the rest upset, annoyed and panicky especially after they learned they might have picked a wrong turn. And Alice Russell, the missing woman, is known to be arrogant and bitchy at times so it is no wonder the others hate her guts.  

To complicate matters, Falk and his investigative partner, Carmen, had requested Alice's help in digging some information on their company's financial statements and any fishy contracts as they suspected the family-run film has some unknown deals yet they need evidence to support their findings. Falk and Carmen began to wonder if they have somehow gotten Alice in trouble, after all the top management, the Bailey siblings, have joined the hiking groups too. As if things aren't complicated enough, there are speculations that the son of a late convicted murderer may be roaming within the range and it is not known if he is dangerous or not (after all he is believed to have some dealings in drugs). 

This book, as the title suggests, showcases the various danger in the wilderness which is outside of human control when the women's group tried to fight their way out after realising they are lost and soon find themselves caught up in a web of secrets, distrust and resentments. Unlike The Dry, this book focus more on the characterisations and less of police procedural and despite the different style and setting, I enjoyed this immensely as Ms Harper's writing continues to shine in this second book. I also find some issues happened in the story to be thought-provoking as well so overall it was a great read to me. I wonder what Ms Harper has in store for her next book and I can't wait! 

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10 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I really liked this one, too. I still have not gotten around to her first book, but it is on my library list.

  2. Jenny Says:

    I’d prefer a story to focus more on characterization than police procedures anyway. Maybe I should try this one.

  3. Iliana Says:

    I loved The Dry so I'm really excited to read this one. Sounds like the author really was able to deliver a good sequel!

  4. Lark Says:

    Sigh. Another author I haven't found time to read yet. But this book does sound really good! :)

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I think you'll like the first book as well. In fact I liked that book more than this one, although this is good too. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenny - Looking forward to your thoughts if you get to it, Jenny.

  7. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I love Jane's books. They're so good! I'm already hoping that her next book will be out quickly! :)

  8. Melody Says:

    Lark - Yes, the list keeps growing, isn't it? ;) I hope you'll enjoy her books as much as I did.

  9. Kay Says:

    Glad to know this one worked well for you, Melody. I really liked it too, though it was a bit different than the first. I also liked the partner, Carmen, and hope we see more of her. Curious to know if Jane Harper will take us again to a different part of Australia.

  10. Melody Says:

    Kay - Yes, this book was quite different from the first, isn't it? Still, it was a good one.

    I liked Carmen, too. I'd definitely like to see more of her in the next book. I think she and Falk has great chemistry.

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