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 Giralang Ranges 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 whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.
Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.
PRAISE FOR FORCE OF NATURE
"Force of Nature bristles with wit; it crackles with suspense; it radiates atmosphere. An astonishing book from an astonishing writer" A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window
"I loved The Dry. Force of Nature is even better. Brilliantly paced, it wrong-foots the reader like a rocky trail through the bush" Susie Steiner, author of Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown
"Lord of the Flies in the Australian outback, with grown women in place of school boys. I loved every chilling moment of it. A blistering follow-up to The Dry from one of the best new voices in crime fiction" Sarah Hilary, author the DI Marnie Rome series
"...once again Harper manages to touch on something mythic in the Australian experience of the land" The Age
"The narrative is finely constructed, with perfectly measured pace and suspense. So much so that it reminded me of another master of form, Liane Moriarty. As with Moriarty, Harper has that rare touch that manages to cross the genre divide and appeal more widely to general readers" The Saturday Paper
"Harper's mastery of pace makes Force Of Nature one of 2017's best thrillers" Elle Magazine
"Gripping thriller will have readers hooked" The Sunday Telegraph
"Force of Nature proves Jane Harper, author of The Dry, is no one-hit wonder. Its premise is instantly gripping" The Herald Sun