Lost, Cold, Desperate ... Danger Runs Deep
What has happened to Alice Russell?
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. She knows all the secrets: about the company she works for and the people she works with.
Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers run far deeper than anyone knew.
Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson Bookworld:
With the news that Jane Harper was planning a follow up to her incredible bestselling debut The Dry came the inevitable speculation as to whether or not she could top it. After ripping through the pages of this one, I am very happy to report that fans of The Dry can rest easy - Jane Harper has delivered another surefire hit with Force of Nature.
This book sees us back in the hot seat with Aaron Falk, The Dry’s dejected hero, as he investigates a work retreat gone horribly wrong - the insider informant in his latest money-laundering investigation has gone missing in dense bushland after a company hiking trip. Thanks to its setting, Force of Nature is a grippingly sinister read. Harper is simply a master at using the physical setting of her novels to create tension, and she never needs to go into detail for her words to raise goosebumps on your skin. Kiewarra, the bone dry tinder box that served as the setting of The Dry, is excellently matched here by the creepy Giralang ranges - made so by a historical serial killer subplot that makes the fictional mountains resemble Belanglo State Forest far too much for my liking.
I’m not usually a big crime fiction reader, but Force of Nature stands a mile apart from the glut of overly graphic pulp that fills the genre. It’s chillingly uncomfortable to read, but the best crime fiction always is. Don’t miss this one!