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Review: Exiles by Jane Harper

Title: Exiles

Author: Jane Harper
Year published: 2023
Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2024 Google Reading map): Australia

SummaryFederal Investigator Aaron Falk is on his way to a small town deep in Southern Australian wine country for the christening of an old friend's baby. But mystery follows him, even on vacation.

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Kim Gillespie's disappearance. One year ago, at a busy town festival on a warm spring night, Kim safely tucked her sleeping baby into her stroller, then vanished into the crowd. No one has seen her since. When Kim's older daughter makes a plea for anyone with information about her missing mom to come forward, Falk and his old buddy Raco can't leave the case alone.

As Falk soaks up life in the lush valley, he is welcomed into the tight-knit circle of Kim’s friends and loved ones. But the group may be more fractured than it seems. Between Falk’s closest friend, the missing mother, and a woman he’s drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge. What would make a mother abandon her child? What happened to Kim Gillespie?

Review: I have liked Jane Harper's other novels (some more than others. My reviews: Force of Nature, The DryThe Survivors, and The Lost Man) and was looking forward to this one, which I ended up liking best of all.

I began this book last week and only read about 12 pages before getting on my bus and 2 flights early this morning. I finished it as I waited for my luggage at baggage claim in Ithaca. Perfect timing. I handed it off to some random woman who was sitting next to me.

Aaron Falk is a character that I have enjoyed in the previous books about him. He does financial investigations, but they are not often the focus of the novels. He is usually in a small town where everyone knows everyone else, and he helps solve a long-standing crime. I particularly liked all the secondary characters in this book, the setting, the events surrounding the current time and the past. 

I was pulled into the story fairly quickly and it kept my attention throughout my bus ride and two flights so that's saying something!

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Literary Escapes--Australia

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