Force of Nature
Jane Harper scored a big hit with her debut novel, the crime thriller Dry, last year and Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk returns once again for another case set in the Australian outback. This one features five women from the same company who go, some more reluctantly than others, on one of those awful team-bonding exercises. They load up with tents and backpacks and hike into a pretty inhospitable landscape where they must survive for three nights. Unfortunately only four of them emerge, somewhat worse for wear, several days later with the whereabouts of Alice, who had been helping Falk in a whistle-blowing capacity, unknown. It’s a great set up and Harper alternates the narrative between the investigation of the missing Alice and what exactly happened during the women’s hike. Aaron Falk himself is a bit colourless, but that certainly doesn’t hamper the story which is nicely paced with the author lacing the tale with enough intrigue and revelations to keep your interest levels pegged at high throughout.