Release date: February 6, 2018
Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?
When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.
But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?
Last year The Dry was quite possibly one of my favorite reads of the entire year and along with everyone else I was completely blown away by Harper’s debut. Force of Nature was one of my most anticipated follow ups for 2018 so the pressure was most definitely on and I’m glad to say that it stacked up quite well.
One of the things that made The Dry a standout was the amazing atmospheric setting that Harper created. Things couldn’t be more different this time around as you go from a deadly type of heat to a rain drenched bush land with treacherous conditions. Once again, the sense of place is so strong and vivid that you can’t help but be caught up in the story feeling as if you’re there right next to the characters. A small group of women being lost in such a place is just about as terrifying as it gets for me and their fear was palpable. The true events of what happened during their weekend excursion are revealed slowly throughout the book with the pacing steadily increasing as you get further along creating an intensity that had me hooked.
Deceit and deception is the name of the game here and Harper led me down a rabbit trail full of red herrings and doubt that kept me engaged and eager to find out what happened to Alice. Catching up with Aaron Falk was a pleasure and learning more about what makes him tick made me an even bigger fan of him than I already was. I highly recommend this book and urge you to read The Dry first if you haven’t already because Harper is one hell of a writer.
Force of Nature in three words: Atmospheric, Tricky and Enthralling.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.