By Jane Harper
Published February 6th, 2018
Rating 5/5 leafs
This book was everything I have come to expect and love from Jane Harper. I have heard a YouTuber describe her writing as simple and powerful. It doesn’t need fancy plot devices because it’s just a good mystery and I completely agree with that.
Synopsis from Goodreads
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?
What To Expect
Harper utilizes setting incredibly well in her books. It is not just a place where the characters are, it is an element of the book that interacts and effects the story. This second installment of the series took place in the Australian bush land in the winter. The women participating in this hike had little experience with this level of isolated hiking, even in good conditions, and the winter conditions were cold and wet. I could feel what they were feeling as they tried to travel the trails.
Something that really appeals to me about Jane Harper’s books is the atmosphere. The setting definitely added to the atmosphere of the book. The way she describes the rain coming down incessantly in the forest made the whole book feel foreboding. Also there was something spine tingling about Alice Russel just being gone without a trace. This book felt like a mystery that could easily be a series on Netflix.
There were so many different elements to this mystery that it could have been easy for one of them to slip through the cracks or be done poorly. However, each of them were balanced and done very well. As a reader, you’re trying to juggle all the different elements of the book and find out which one was the cause of the mystery. Yet it was impossible because each elements was believable and could be the cause.
Exploration of Human Nature
At their heart, mysteries should explore human nature. What makes characters tick enough to do something they would never do? What are their breaking points? What kind of behavior is unforgivable? Force of Nature really makes it’s readers think about these questions and examine themselves.
Do you need to read the first book, The Dry, in the series to read this one? No, it’s not necessary as each mystery is completely separate. I would recommend it because the first book builds up Aaron Falk’s character so much and is just as good of a book. Falk will also mention minor details that will only make sense if you’ve read The Dry.
Let’s chat! What did you think of this book? What are your favorite elements in mystery thrillers? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!