(I was recently sent a copy of FORCE OF NATURE by Jane Harper’s publisher and was more than happy to take part in the truly epic blog tour to support the release–big shout out to Kimberley Nyamhondera at Little, Brown UK for all her support.)
I thoroughly enjoyed FORCE OF NATURE. It is structured in such a way that, in alternating chapters, we see the investigation, and the events that led to the dead woman’s (Alice) murder. Nothing is quite what it seems, and the book was full of twists and turns–many of which were thoroughly unexpected.
Harper’s prose is sharp yet nuanced, and her character work is truly first-rate. I was impressed with this follow-up to THE DRY, and hope that Harper continues the series for at least another couple of books. Falk is an excellent protagonist and, like the famous sleuths that precede him, Falk proves himself to be worth revisiting. Nuanced, multi-layered protagonists like him don’t come along often enough.
Where did Alice Russell go?
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…
(To clear something up, I have been asked several times now if I named ‘Jane Harper’ from the Harper and Lane series after novelist Jane Harper. No. I first heard Jane Harper’s name some point after HOPE’S PEAK was released. It is purely a case of coincidence, so quit asking . . .)