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Review: Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Title: Force of Nature

Author: Jane Harper

Year Published: 2019

Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 352
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map) Australia

Summary (from Amazon): 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?

  This is the second novel in Harper's Aaron Falk series about a financial forensic agent in Australia. I heard that this one wasn't as good as The Dry (#1) or Survivors (#3), but didn't want to miss out on part of the story before reading number 3. And, I agree that it isn't as good as Dry.

I like the character of Aaron Falk, his relationships with the other characters, and the way he figures out the solutions to the murders he is presented with. It is strange though that Falk's job as a financial investigator is relevant and gets him to the scene of the murders in these books, but it really isn't relevant. He ends up solving murders and, oh by the way, the financial crimes.

Though I like the premise and Falk as a character, this novel felt slow to me. I didn't care about the woman who disappeared because we don't get to know her much (and what we know isn't really very nice). The other women in the group also weren't very likable, nor were the men in their parallel group. I have a difficult time loving a book if I don't connect with the characters in some way. I don't have to like them, but there needs to be more connection than there was in this story.

So, not as good as The Dry, but I am looking forward to reading the next book in the Aaron Falk series.

Challenges for which this counts:
  • Cloak and Dagger

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