It’s an absolute honour to be sharing my review for Force of Nature by Jane Harper as part of the blog tour today.
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 whistle-blower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.
Set in the Australian Bush at the Giralong Ranges, Alice Russell has disappeared after a works team building weekend. This was a weekend away where the colleagues were supposed to bond and work together but something has gone wrong and Alice hasn’t returned with the others. This isn’t going to be an easy case for Federal Agent Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen Cooper, Alice is their whistleblower, she’s been helping to bring charges against the company she works for and the last call she made was to Falk’s.
I was absolutely over the moon to see the return of Aaron Falk, after being introduced to him in the out standing first novel The Dry, I really couldn’t wait to see what was in store this time.
Force of Nature is another very cleverly written story by Jane Harper, from the first page I was drawn in and I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s the style of writing or the ease of which the words just flow from the pages but like when I read The Dry I was completely transported, immersed in the story and everything around me just disappeared.
As we follow the search for Alice we also get flash backs to the weekend retreat, slowly showing the relationships between the team and giving the reader a chance to get to know each character. The two timelines are woven together brilliantly, really building the sense of unease making a thrilling and tense read.
Force of Nature could be read as a stand alone but I honestly highly recommend you read The Dry then Force of Nature. Both are fantastic reads and I was raving last year about The Dry and I will definitely be raving again this year about Force of Nature.
This is a well written story that is totally gripping, it’s atmospheric with a plot that will keep you guessing. An absolute page turner and I can’t wait to see what Jane Harper has in store next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Harper was born in Manchester in the UK, and moved to Australia with her family at age eight.
She spent six years in Boronia, Victoria, and during that time gained Australian citizenship.
Returning to the UK with her family as a teenager, she lived in Hampshire before studying English and History at the University of Kent in Canterbury.
On graduating, she completed a journalism entry qualification and got her first reporting job as a trainee on the Darlington & Stockton Times in County Durham.
Jane worked for several years as a senior news journalist for the Hull Daily Mail, before moving back to Australia in 2008.
She worked first on the Geelong Advertiser, and in 2011 took up a role with the Herald Sun in Melbourne.
In 2014, Jane submitted a short story which was one of 12 chosen for the Big Issue‘s annual Fiction Edition.
That inspired her to pursue creative writing more seriously, and that year she applied for an online 12-week novel writing course.
She was accepted with a submission for the book that would become The Dry.
Jane lives in St Kilda with her husband and daughter.