Force of Nature

Force of Nature

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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?
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2018
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781250105639
Branch Call Number: Fiction Har
Characteristics: 326 pages ; 25 cm


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May 21, 2018

Highly recommended book with realistic characters. Starts a bit slow but then becomes “unput-downable”. Would make a great movie.
Read her first book, The Dry, and totally enjoyed that one also.

May 19, 2018

Jane Harper is my new favorite author. Her characters are totally human and believable. Dialogue is real and the storyline has lots of twists and turns so kept me turning pages. Set in current day Australia, it's a great change of pace for mystery fans from the usual American or British procedurals or the heavy-duty Scandinavian dark mysteries. Highly recommend.

May 18, 2018

A terrific novel for mystery lovers. A group of women become lost in the woods during a workplace excursion; when they are found, one of them is missing, and accounts vary. The police are called in to search for her, and to find an explanation. Harper maintains the suspense throughout, revealing the truth slowly, bit by bit; allowing for many possible explanations and deftly playing with the reader's assumptions and expectations right to the end.

May 12, 2018

A very worthy successor to Jane Harper's THE DRY.

Apr 30, 2018

Didn’t like this one as well as the first book in the series. Seemed strange that the main character was just a bystander and not really active in solving the case. All 5 women involved in the mystery were unlikeable. Put these two things together and it was hard to be drawn into the story. Set up for the third book looks like it might be better, so I won’t give up on the series yet.

Apr 26, 2018

Another riveting mystery/thriller from newcomer Harper with agent Aaron Falk. I love this author's books! This one starts with a group of women on a corporate retreat walking out of the Australian bush bruised, battered and very overdue. Five women entered but only four come out. The story is told in the present, concentrating on our financial fraud agents, and in flashbacks telling what happened in the bush. The alternating chapters get shorter and shorter as the two stories converge. Very good character development and un-put-down-able tension. One of my best of the year so far.

Apr 23, 2018

Right from the start,, I have several complaints: First of all, the structure and voicing: The narrative is told entirely in the third person but from the perspectives of multiple characters (Agent Falk; Jill Bailey; Beth Mckenzie; Bree Mckenzie; Lauren Shaw; back and forth it goes). How can the writer possibly speak from within the consciousness of so many different people with any sort of credibility?
Next, there's the character of Alice: Dramatic tension needs to center around this woman who has gone missing and who may have been placed in a vulnerable position; as a reader, I need to care about her welfare; but I don't. There is nothing engaging about her. She and the rest of them, a hundred pages in, still remain shadowy, inconsequential, one-dimensional. And the writing style doesn't help: Dull, flat, impersonal, colorless.
Finally, there's the overall set-up: A police plant, possibly an unwilling one; a seemingly poisonous work environment; suspicion of some corporate wrongdoing; an over-privileged bunch of company wonks on a "team building" exercise that all of them resent. NO ONE is liking what is going on here. And neither am I. I say to hell with the lot of them, I just wanted to get to the end and move on.

ehbooklover Apr 20, 2018

Great characters, lots of twists and turns, plus a very atmospheric setting made for another fantastic mystery in what is sure to become one of my favourite mystery series. Can't wait for #3 to be written!

Apr 16, 2018

I enjoyed this second novel from Jane Harper, though it was different from her first. In this one, we see our hero, Falk, again on the trail of financial criminals; however, his story gets highjacked by a missing hiker (also secretly helping Falk with his case). So it's not so much his investigation, but the mysteries surrounding the missing hiker.
Still a great story, well written and paced, but ultimately not Falk's.

Mar 12, 2018

I loved the way the story was constructed. I typically dislike stories with a lot of time flipping. But this one worked for me. The past was in day-to-day sequence (the day is cited at the beginning of the chapter) while the present (no date or day cited) was more currently continuous. Readers insight into how the crime (?) evolves as Aaron Falk and his partner's investigation deepens. Then they converge at the conclusion of the story as the chapters seem to shorten to heighten the tension. Very hard to put down (as my wife is now finding as I write this). You might want to read this in front of a warm fireplace or under the sun on a summer day.

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