Read Force of Nature by Jane Harper Online

force-of-nature

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.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?...

Title : Force of Nature
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781760554781
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Force of Nature Reviews

  • Emily May
    2018-10-27 03:43

    But now, as he stood in front of that forlorn cabin, he could almost hear an insistent whisper in his own mind. Get away. Run.4 1/2 stars. Oh, I liked this book a lot. I ended up enjoying it even more than Harper's The Dry because, though both were compelling, this one felt less formulaic. And way more creepy.Harper is fantastic at creating a strong sense of place and an atmosphere that creeps under your skin. The settings in her two novels are very different, but each is extremely important to the feel of the novel. In The Dry, that was the sticky, suffocating heat of the drought in a small rural Australian town. In Force of Nature, we're taken into the forests of a wilderness retreat where five female colleagues get lost and only four make it back. You can feel the claustrophobic closeness of the trees; the paranoid sense that something is watching you from the darkness. It's an intense, all-consuming experience. I loved it.Detective Aaron Falk returns once again to investigate what happened to Alice, the woman who is missing. We soon learn that Falk's ties to Alice go beyond the case at hand, and her disappearance could be related to the information she was providing him. The story digs deep into the pasts and presents of the five women, uncovering many skeletons and secrets before the truth finally makes itself known. Alternating between the now, in which Falk investigates what happened, and the then, in which tensions rise between the five women, there is a breathless race between Falk's discoveries and the unveiling of the story. As the novel reaches a climax, the chapters become shorter, and it is impossible to look away. The tensions and dynamics between the five women are fascinating, and my mind was spinning all over the place. Did Alice become a victim of exposure? A serial killer? A Lord of the Flies-style scenario, but with adult women? I don't think it matters if you guess the outcome because the getting there is fun regardless.Alongside this, we also get more of a look inside Falk's life and mind. His personal issues make him a detective we care about, and the suggestions of a growing romantic connection between him and Carmen have definitely piqued my interest. I haven't decided yet if Harper is just teasing us, though. I guess we shall see.I'm so excited to have found a new thriller writer who appears to be more than a one trick pony. More, please.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  • Paromjit
    2018-10-29 05:26

    Jane Harper shifts her setting from the devastating drought in The Dry to the equally hostile atmospheric environment of the Giralong Ranges, tough to negotiate, with its menacing history of Martin Kovac, a serial killer that still haunts the area, vivid in peoples memories and nightmares. Five women are on a corporate team building hike run by Executive Adventures, only four return. Federal Agent Aaron Falk of the Melbourne Financial Investigations Unit returns, this time with colleague, Carmen Cooper. They have been looking into financial corruption and money laundering at Bailey Tennants, and have a whistleblower in Alice Russell who is in the process of accessing crucial documents for them. Aaron gets a voicemail from Alice from which he makes out the words 'hurt her'. Alice has gone missing on the hike and Aaron is guilt ridden, suspecting the worst, thinking they endangered her life. Aaron and Carmen are concerned about what happened to Alice, and pressured by their bosses who persist in demanding that they get hold of the documents, no matter what. The story follows the search for Alice and the parallel narrative that tells us what happened amongst the group of lost women as they struggle in the dense bushland, cold, wet, hungry, thirsty and desperate to survive.Jill Bailey is viewed as nominally in charge due to her executive position in the company, although Alice constantly hacks away at her authority in her efforts to return to Melbourne to be with her daughter, Margot. It soon becomes clear that Alice is not nice with her mean and nasty streak, giving rise to a host of suspects with a motive to do away with her. Alice has a dark history with Lauren Shaw that goes back to their schooldays. Lauren is a biddable and vulnerable woman, unable to cope at work as her daughter, Rebecca, descended into the depths of misery with mental health issues after an incident at school. Beth is on probation after leaving prison, she has battled drug addiction, and is trying to mend her battered relationship with her twin, Breanna. As the women's situation deteriorates, the rifts, rivalries, conflicts, resentments and jealousies surface, destined to lead to violence. Aaron slowly begins to piece together the mystery of the missing Alice. Carmen proves to be instrumental in Aaron coming to terms with the guilt over the death of his father, a man well acquainted with the Girlang Ranges. Jane Harper once again gives us a strong sense of location in the Girlang Ranges with her beautiful and detailed descriptions of the landscape, the dangers of snakes, with the howling winds and driving rain. Her psychological insights render her complex characters and their development authentic to the reader. Her writing is so vibrant that you think you are right there with the lost women as they stumble their way through the bush, hunger and fear contributing to their downward spiral as they turn on each other and Alice. The strongest recurring theme is the issue of just how far parents are prepared to go for their children. As I was reading this novel, echoes of Picnic at Hanging Rock came to mind, as indeed did the numerous other disappearances of people in the Australian landscape through the years. I am delighted to see that The Dry was not a one off for the author, this was a brilliant twisted read too. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.

  • Diane S ☔
    2018-10-23 09:43

    I loved her thriller, The Dry, for a first novel it was fantastic. Actually would have been fantastic even if it wasn't her first, but even more so since it was. Excited to read this, her second, and I'll just say that the infamous sophomore slump is not in evidence. This time Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen are called to the Giralang Range, where a woman is missing. A team building trip, men go one way, five men go another, all to meet up at the end of three days. According to the outfit managing the trip, it should have been simple, so what went wrong?We follow the investigation, with the police, the searchers and Falk, alternating with daily missives from the women who were on the trip. So much going on behind the scenes, secrets, jealousy, grudges, but what happened and when? Quite suspenseful, and terrifying at times. Not graphic at all, just wonderful writing that shows, not just tells. Very atmospheric, the descriptions of the scenery were very vivid. Though this does not have the same personal connection to Falk as her first, there is still some introspective musings about his past that this location evokes. There are layers upon layers, misdirections, and everytime something new is discovered, there is still more waiting.Harper does a fantastic job in building her stories, they build gradually, and at the same time they are understated until the denoument. No big gory, or shocking scenes, just good storytelling done right. I enjoy this series immensely, and now eagerly await the next.ARC from Flatiron books.Publishes February 6, 2018.

  • Julie
    2018-10-18 06:34

    Force of Nature by Jane Harper is a 2018 Flatiron Books publication. A solid, gripping, edgy thriller-When five women go on a team building expedition out in the unforgiving and dangerous Australian Giralang Ranges, which was also once upon a time, the stomping grounds of a serial killer, whose son may be following in his father’s footsteps, things immediately go awry. Among the group, is whistleblower Alice Russell, who is attempting to divulge to Aaron Falk and his partner, Carmen, information regarding a massive money laundering scheme her bosses are running through their company. But, while the men’s group makes it through the retreat unscathed, the women didn’t fare quite as well. Not only are they late getting back from camp, they come back without Alice, who allegedly took off on her own. Alice, if left out in the elements for much longer, could die. After receiving a puzzling and cryptic call from Alice, Aaron and Carmen arrive on the scene to help with the rescue efforts while also trying to determine if their investigation may have put Alice in danger. Along the way, they learn that Alice was not well liked at all by her colleagues, due to her mean and cutting remarks, bullying, and brash attitude. Not only that, her co-workers arrived back from camp injured, edgy, and tense. Could they have something to do with Alice’s disappearance? ‘The Dry’ was one of my favorite thrillers last year. As a result, I’ve been sitting on pins and needles awaiting Harper’s follow up novel, which also features Aaron Falk. While I must admit right up front that I didn’t find this book to have the same hyper intensity or the same tautness as Harper’s debut novel, this follow up thriller is still a very original and atmospheric tale. The story is more focused on the women, and what happened during that three -day retreat while they were lost out in the wilderness, running low on food and other supplies and dealing with Alice, who seemed determined to make everyone as miserable as she is. Aaron and Carmen’s investigation, and the rescue efforts, seemed to take a back seat, simmering in the background. The Australian landscape once again provides an intense environment and plays a large role in creating just the right atmosphere, while the serial killer thread ramped up the apprehension, adding a creepy feeling to go along with the jittery suspenseful adventure and disquieting psychological drama. I enjoyed touching base with Aaron, who seemed a little fragile still, and I truly like Carmen and the way she so easily reads Aaron. Too bad she’s engaged to someone else. However, they do make a great team and I am just as excited about a third installment featuring Aaron Falk as I was about this one. 4 stars

  • Meredith
    2018-10-16 11:21

    I love the subtle elegance of Harper's writing. Force of Nature didn't have the magic of The Dry (at least for my reading experience), and I wish there had been more of Aaron Falk. However, this is still a worthy read!Five women take part in a corporate retreat in the Gralong Ranges. They are supposed to spend three days navigating a trail, camping, and teambuilding. However, only four of them return. How is this connected to Aaron Falk? The one woman who doesn’t make it back, Alice, was Falk’s informant on a money laundering case. He and his partner Carmen investigate her disappearance.Similar to The Dry, the environment takes on a role of a character--this time around it's the unforgiving, brutal Giralong ranges which tests the survival skills of those who embark on its trails. Harper’s writing is the most compelling aspect of Force of Nature. Falk’s character is more developed than he was in The Dry, but I wanted more of him! His struggle to understand his relationship with his father felt very real. His loneliness emanates off the page. I am interested to see how his relationship with Carmen plays out. Force of Nature starts off a little slow, but the pace quickly picks up. I found the plot to be interesting, if a little unrealistic. I had extremely high expectations for this book and it did not disappoint! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  • Debra
    2018-10-25 09:37

    4.5 starsFive women go on a hike. Only four return.....Another great one by Jane Harper! Five people go on a corporate retreat - they are going to hike and camp in the wilderness. They are to leave their cell phones behind and rely on themselves and each other. This is going to be team work at its best! Except, It's NOT!. The women argue, quibble and are not very pleasant to each other. When they fail to return on time to the agreed upon rendezvous at the end of the retreat, the guides go looking for them. Eventually four of the women are found. The fifth one is missing. All the women have a similar story - similar- but not the same.Has the tough and unforgiving terrain caused the woman to go missing? Did she make a wrong turn and get lost? This is the same terrain where serial killer, Martin Kovac, lured and killed young women. True, he was captured years ago, but he his legacy haunts the area. Could there be a copycat killer out there? Did he have any offspring? Just where is the missing woman and was foul play involved?Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk (who we met in The Dry) and his partner, Cameron, have a connection to the missing woman. She is their secret informant on a case involving the Bailey Tennants financial firm where she works, and it appears she attempted to call Falk the night she went missing from the retreat. Wasn't she supposed to leave her cell phone behind?While Falk and his partner, Cameron try to figure out what happened on this retreat, Falk also wrestles with his past relationship with his father. Like the missing woman, Falk seems a little lost himself in this book. He needs to move on from a past romantic relationship and make peace with his own past, while trying to figure out who, if anyone, is telling the truth and who has something to hide.As the women are interrogated and the pieces come together, the reader and Falk learn what happened at the same time. The story-line kept me guessing and I did not figure it out. I had my suspicions and just when I thought I had this mystery figured out, Harper threw in a curve ball. I thought this book was great! Just like in "The Dry", Harper uses the environment as a main character. This book is atmospheric, and the terrain feels very much alive and the characters are at its mercy. Harper pulls this off seamlessly. I will say that I wanted more Falk. We see more of his personality and personal issues in "The Dry". I wanted a little more him personally and hopefully we get a little more of "him" in the next book ***please, fingers crossed for another book in this series***I found this book to be wonderfully written, atmospheric, stimulating, beautifully crafted and full of dread and suspense. Harper does not disappoint, if anything, she knows how to suck the reader in and take them on a journey through the Australian bush, into the mind of her likable investigator and not so likable characters. Could this book be read as a standalone? ABSOLUTELY! But, seriously "The Dry" was fantastic. So, do yourself a favor and read that first!See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  • Tucker
    2018-10-20 09:46

    Jane Harper’s first novel “The Dry” was one of the best debuts I’ve read in a long time. And her new novel “Force of Nature” is equally as good. Five women depart on a corporate team building exercise in the Australian wilderness and become lost without food, water, or adequate shelter. Eventually four of the women are found, but there is no trace of the fifth. As the story switches between the disastrous team adventure and the background of the five women, the tension and sense of menace continually ratchets up. The descriptions of the harsh and claustrophobic wilderness were so striking that I almost felt like I was lost and desperate for rescue in the cold, rain, and isolation. “Force of Nature” is meticulously plotted and the crime investigation was riveting. Through Harper’s brilliant character development, one feels that the characters are people you might have met or know. Their histories, secrets, and how family dynamics influence their behavior are carefully revealed and add a depth and richness missing from a lot of crime fiction. I consider Harper’s writing top-tier literary crime fiction, right up there with James Lee Burke, Tana French, and a handful of other authors. So read “Force of Nature” for the crime investigation, the fascinating and complex characters, the evocative descriptions of the Australian wilderness, but make sure you read it!Thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Larry H
    2018-11-11 08:33

    I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars."Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One: No one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two: Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you."Nobody likes corporate teambuilding retreats. But employees from the boutique accountancy firm BaileyTennants are off for a three-day hike and camping adventure in Australia's Giralang Ranges. Even the firm's chairwoman and chief executive, brother and sister, are part of the group heading out.The group is divided into men and women, and each will be expected to traverse a path through the wilderness, camp out (with supplies provided by the outfitter running the retreat), and head back to the starting point two days later.Yet it doesn't quite go as planned, at least for the women's group. Four of the five women arrive back at the starting point several hours late, with various injuries, bruises, and complaints. One woman, Alice Russell, seems to have disappeared, after acting interchangeably ill-at-ease and aggressive since the trip began. No one knows if Alice left of her own volition to find her way back, or if something untoward happened to her in the wilderness.Aaron Falk, a federal police agent, and his partner, Carmen, get involved in the search for Alice. They're worried about her whereabouts, of course, but for an entirely different reason, as she was part of an investigation they were conducting, looking into malfeasance at the firm. Alice was supposed to deliver some key evidence to them the day after the retreat, but now she—and, apparently, the evidence—seem to have disappeared.No one is quite sure where suspicion should lie. Did Alice flee and make it out safely? Did someone within the firm's upper echelons catch wind of what she was helping with, and act to protect themselves? Are there lies behind the slightly different stories each of the remaining women in the group tell of their days in the wilderness? Or is there another dangerous presence lurking in the wild?In an effort to find Alice and keep their investigation alive, Aaron and Carmen's search will take them deep into the menacing wilderness of the Giralang Ranges. The search will uncover secrets that many of the retreat participants are hiding, and will lay bare some painful memories for Aaron as well.Jane Harper's The Dry, her debut thriller and first book featuring Aaron Falk, was absolutely fantastic. It was one of the best books I read last year, so needless to say, I've been anticipating this follow-up a great deal. It's always a bit of a challenge when you read the next book in a series you love—you don't want it to feel formulaic but you do want it to feel familiar, and have the same elements that made you love the previous book.Harper is a terrific storyteller. She loves to build suspense at a slow burn, until you are flying through the pages, desperate to figure out what happened. Much as she did in The Dry, she creates such an evocative sense of time and place, so you felt the cold, the gloom, the menace of the wilderness as it closed in. (I even felt my throat get parched as she described the women's struggles to find water.)Force of Nature shifts narration between the present, as the search for Alice continues, and the past, recounting the women's actions from start to finish. It's a tremendously captivating story and I was hooked right from the beginning. What was missing in this book for me was Aaron. Even though he's the main character, because of the way the book was narrated, he was only in the story about half the time, and I am such a fan of his character, I wanted more of his presence.Don't get me wrong: this is still a great book. If you're new to Harper's writing you could pick this one up and not feel like you missed anything, and you'd find a compelling, well-executed thriller. This book did nothing to diminish my enthusiasm for Harper's work, and I so hope that there's a third book in this series on the horizon, hopefully with twice the Aaron!See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2018-10-21 07:19

    Omg LISA!!!!!! Thank you so much for mailing me your copy all the way from Australia; you are a true gem and I can't wait to share it on Instagram! 😍❤️😍❤️😍❤️😍❤️😍❤️

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    2018-10-26 05:19

    FIVE STARSSHE’S DONE IT AGAIN! Jane Harper wrote THE best book I read in 2017. THE DRY deservedly won many prestigious awards and Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk won the hearts of readers around the world. When a debut work of fiction is nothing less than magnificent, the highly anticipated second novel looms large. Will it live up to the first? Is Harper a one trick pony? Do not fear, Dry fans!!! FORCE OF NATURE does not disappoint and will cement Harper as your go-to mystery/psychological suspense author. Bless!Instead of the drought ridden Australian outback we got to know intimately in THE DRY, this book is set in the wet, cold and windy Giralang mountain range north of Melbourne. Let me tell you, when you turn that last page, you'll breathe a sigh of relief that you’re snugly wrapped in front of your fireplace and not out in the FORCE OF NATURE battling the elements.Jane Harper is first and foremost a fabulous, effortless writer. I love her spare detailing, every word packs a punch. Nothing extraneous here. She also k n o w s people. What drives people, their fears, their downfalls. Her psychological skills are put to full use in FORCE OF NATURE.Five women from the BaileyTennants financial firm are persuaded to take part in a back country team building exercise that will test their limits beyond imagination. The women have complicated relationships with each other, extending beyond their co-working status. When they emerge from the wilderness, one member of this not-so-happy group is missing.Our beloved Aaron Falk is called in with his new partner, Carmen Cooper, to assist with the investigation. The story is told from two views, one from the running investigation and the other in a slowed down reality of exactly what happened on this hike into hell.The result is an addictive, page-turning story rich in atmosphere, mood and setting. It is easily a standalone novel, but there is so much back story on Aaron Falk that a new reader would be greatly missing out by reading the two books out of order. There is ample biographical info on Falk’s personality traits and what makes him tick—all to be discovered in THE DRY. FORCE OF NATURE feels like a natural, organic follow-up to THE DRY. The premise of this book is brilliant, realistic and terrifically suspenseful.Highly recommend! Many thanks to FlatIron Books for the ARC copies. YES! This means I will be having a FORCE OF NATURE giveaway over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/books_be_je... Watch for it soon and come play!

  • Zoeytron
    2018-10-14 09:42

    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.A corporate retreat meant to exercise team-building skills and personal development goes sideways in a hurry.  Five ladies strap on their backpacks and trudge into the cold and muddy terrain of the Australian outback.  They are a motley crew made up of senior staff members, a data clerk, an office assistant administrative coordinator (Ahem!  Office-speak, gotta get it right!), etc.  Ongoing grudges and underlying resentments roil just beneath the surface.  One of these women will not be returning with the others at trail's end.The parallels that run throughout this novel are right on the money.  An easy read and decent mystery, with just a wee peep at the not-so-pretty underpinnings of the corporate world.

  • Karen
    2018-11-02 07:32

    Thank you Goodreads! I won this book in a giveaway!I loved The Dry, this author’s first novel! Couldn’t wait to meet Aaron Falk again. This book is good, Falk and his partner have been working with a whistleblower(Alice) for a company that has been laundering money for a long time.So Alice and four other women and a group of five men are sent separate ways on a team building company retreat in the Giralang Ranges...very dense forest land...very atmospheric..the women’s group encounters so many problems and Alice goes missing. The chapters alternate between the time during the retreat, and Falk’s investigation into what happened to Alice.

  • Carol (Bookaria)
    2018-10-27 05:46

    Five women are forced to go into a wilderness corporate retreat to improve performance and morale among employees. What could possibly go wrong? Well, as we later find out: a LOT!First of all, to force people to go on a company function for an entire weekend with coworkers they do not get along with is just cruel. And yet it happens... this is the setup for this charged and interesting novel.The novel takes place in the Australian wilderness and is told from different points of view. I liked that the characters had very different personalities and that the clash of their decisions made the novel more captivating to read.This is the second novel in this series (Aaron Falk #2), the first one is The Dry and you do not have to read it to be able to follow this one.Overall, I enjoyed the novel. It reminded me of another novel I liked, The River at Night in which four friends fight to survive a white-water rafting accident in the Maine wilderness. Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this publication in exchange for an honest review.

  • Matt
    2018-11-08 06:47

    First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Jane Harper, and Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.After devouring Jane Harper’s debut novel, I could not wait to get my hands on this sequel, which pulls Aaron Falk back into the mix. A member of the Australian Federal Police’s Finance Division, Aaron Falk is knee-deep in a case that could have many important implications. One of his sources calls him in the middle of the night and leaves a garbled voicemail, with ‘hurt her’ as the only decipherable message. It is then that Falk realises that his source, Alice Russell, has been on a team-building weekend, hiking in the Giralang Ranges outside of Melbourne. Her group, five women from the company, did not arrive for their pick-up and it was only six hours later that they emerged from the wilderness, tattered and torn, without Alice. Calling on his partner, Falk rushes to the scene and agrees to help the state police with the search, learning a little more about Alice as things progress. With no clues leading to Alice, many remember what gave the Ranges their infamous notoriety, having been the location a serial killer picked his victims, all but one of whom was discovered at some point. Two decades later, Falk wonders if there is something in the forested area who seeks to copycat that horrendous experience. However, the more he digs, the greater the information trove about Alice and her relationship with the others on the trek. Each person tells a different story about the weekend and their connection to Alice, which provides many with a reason to see her silenced. With a parallel ‘slow narrative’ of events during the trek itself, the reader can not only see the investigation as it progresses, but also the strains that befell those five women as they tried to work themselves out of many awkward situations with little but their guts to lead them. Harper has shown that she can create multiple novels of a high caliber as she delivers yet again. Fans of Aaron Falk are privy to more of his development, in a novel that proves vastly different from the debut thriller. Well-worth the time for those love a good thriller and who were highly impressed with The Dry.While it is always easy to create a single masterpiece, it is the ability to remain at such a high standard that makes an author truly captivating. Harper has done just that, turning both the narrative and the format on its head from the opening novel. Aaron Falk’s backstory is less sketched out in this piece, but there are crumbs to give the curious reader a little more to add. It is the likes of ‘the five’ and how they pieced themselves together that proves brilliant. Harper not only sketches out a solid character for each of them, but builds on it by weaving their stories together with Alice Russell, all while keeping events that occurred in the forest a secret until the very end. Harper pulls the reader in to guess who might be responsible for the missing Alice, while arming all four with viable reasons. The story itself is wonderfully developed, positioning a current investigation alongside the events leading up to Alice’s disappearance inside the Giralang Ranges. What secrets does Alice possess and how can they unravel over the span of four days before someone takes action? Harper pushes the reader forward in such a way that they cannot help but want to learn more, forcing them to stay up late into the night just to piece things together. It is one of those novels, which is sure to prove useful when it hits book stands in early 2018. Harper has much to offer the genre and those who pay her mind will surely not be disappointed in the investment.Kudos, Madam Harper, for this stunning follow-up piece. I know I will be keeping an eye open for your work in the years to come.This book fulfills Topic #2 of Equinox #2 Book Challenge: A Book by an Author in Another Hemisphere.Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  • Cheri
    2018-11-03 06:21

    ” We are gathered togetherWe are hidden from view—In a tangle of laurel, we tear at our sorrowLike bread and we start up anew;Where a circus stands blazingAnd steam engines brake and whineIn a razed hobo jungle your lost and found wonderHas risen and mixes with mine“Then, foolish we are, in the presence of GodAnd what all his grave angels have done—In love's growling weather, if we're dreaming togetherOf a heaven apart from this one…Apart from our own” --Grave Angels, lyrics by Joe Henry”Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One: No one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two: Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you.”Last year, less than a year ago, I read Jane Harper’s ‘The Dry,’ set during the worst drought in at least a century in Australia’s Outback. It hooked me from the start, wonderfully atmospheric, a compelling story with an interesting, eclectic cast of characters. I loved it. I understand that film rights have been optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. With all that going on, somehow Harper also managed to release the second book in this Aaron Falk series, ‘The Dry’ being #1, and now ‘Force of Nature’ being #2. Where ‘The Dry’ is set in a hostile drought, ‘Force of Nature’ is set in an area near Canberra, the more remote Giralong Ranges, mountains with a dark history. A series of killings occurred there in the past, but as time has passed, memories fade, its popularity has returned. Corporate Team Building events are a common occurrence there these days, and as Federal Agent Aaron Falk is working on an investigation of BaileyTennants, with the help of one of their employees, Bailey Tennants is holding a Corporate Team Building event in these tough, and somewhat treacherous, Giralong Ranges.In the course of events during this Team Building, one team of women and a second team of men set off to be the winning team, the first team to arrive at the end. All goes easily for the men’s team, and they return on the appointed morning, eager to return home to their lives, and the type of food and shelter to which they are more accustomed. They are first to arrive, so there’s some good-natured jubilation in that, and a few grumbles as time goes by, and then more grumbles as even more time goes by. ”The women were late to the rendezvous point.”Where are the women and how much longer will it take them to arrive? And what could they do?”If this were a boardroom crisis, they’d know what to do… Out here, the bushland seemed to blur the answers. They cradled their lifeless phones like broken toys in their laps”Search groups were out, but with no news of the women, they realize their hopes, plans for getting home that day are crushed. And then they hear the first cry for help.All four women were talking at once, crying, their voices jumbled as they talked over each other. Four women. Where is the fifth?That’s where this story really begins. This story weaves back and forth effortlessly through time, slowly unveiling this story, with tension building as the details are revealed. This is not overly done, but still there is a subtle building of tension. What I wished for more of was Aaron Falk. While he is in this story, and throughout, this is really more the story of the missing woman, and I wish he had been as much of a presence as I felt he was in ‘The Dry.’ What I loved was how subtly all the stories of these women, their families, and their co-workers were woven together with the atmospheric setting of the Giralang Ranges, with their haunting stories from the past casting a shadow over their every move as they try to make their way out of the wilderness and into the light. Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!

  • Rosh
    2018-11-07 09:29

    2.5I knew it. I knew it! It was too good to be true. It was too much to ask from the writer who wrote one of the best, gripping mystery thrillers of 2017 without compromising on literary quality to repeat the same magic with her second book. I KNEW IT. Oh well for what's it worth, Jane Harper is a very good story-teller, and while her debut novel The Dry was a book that helped restored my dying faith on the genre of mystery/thriller, this one wasn't as special as I hoped it to be. From an early stage I was hoping for a devastating twist that would smash all that had gone before to pieces, sadly it never came and the tale faded away into a rather unexciting conclusion. With The dry, the beauty was in the details, the imagery, the character development and of course the dialogue but with this book, it breaks my heart to say it failed to deliver on any of those front and because of its lacklustre narrative, soulless dialogue and stilted character development, it also failed to deliver the dynamic ending it needed. The big question of 'who did it' was dragged out to the end but the revelation wasn't a surprise, partly because the list of suspects was so short. If you guys truly want to experience the real power of Jane Harper’s storytelling, please skip this one and give The Dry a try. It’ll absorb you immediately into its gritty Australian backdrop and will leave you for wanting more as the haunting story of who kill the Hadler family comes to it satisfying end.

  • Phrynne
    2018-10-18 09:17

    My first thought upon opening this book and reading a few pages was how well this author writes. Her descriptions of the Australian bush are real, her characters are believable and multi faceted and speak to each other like real human beings. I knew at once I was in for an enjoyable read.I am very glad I have never worked in an office culture where employees who have barely any experience of hiking and camping are expected to go bush for three days with people they don't even like. To me it seems a recipe for disaster and in this case it really was. The story of their tragedy is told slowly in alternate chapters between those of Falk and his partner as they try to solve the mystery of what really happened. The ending is neatly done and not overly dramatized. (well just a little maybe (view spoiler)[the scene at the falls. He just had to jump in didn't he! (hide spoiler)])I liked the way Harper has brought Aaron Falk back to her second book and will be very happy if she continues with him as the main character of a series.

  • Andrew Smith
    2018-11-05 05:24

    I’d really enjoyed Harper’s debut novel The Dry which introduced us to Federal Agent Aaron Falk and explored a mystery from his past, amid the worst drought in a century in a small Australian town. It was tense and atmospheric and I loved the Aussie setting and the brash characters – a refreshing change from my normal diet of American crime fiction. So I was delighted to get my hands on this follow-up book, but would it suffer the curse of many second novels? Nah, not a bit of it!A group of six women set off into the Australian bush on a corporate team building event. They will hike to their overnight stops where stores of food will be awaiting them. It’s a family firm and the daughter of the company founder is leading this group. At the same time her brother is leading a separate group of male colleagues on a different route. The problem is that on the second day the female group manage to get themselves lost! The backdrop here is that Aaron and his female work partner, Carmen, are investigating the company for potential money laundering activity and one of the women lost in the bush is their mole. Aaron has received a voicemail message from his insider, Alice, (left in the early hours of the morning) but the signal was so bad he can only make out two words – and they’re not exactly comforting. Aaron is also under pressure from his bosses to deliver up potentially incriminating documents and he’s totally reliant on Alice for this. The story is then picked up in alternating chapters: we continue to follow Aaron and Carmen as they make their way out to the trekking area and what has now become a search for the women but we also now flip back in time, slightly, to track the party as they set out on their trek. This structure works really well in terms of eking out the story at a pace that builds and then maintains tension whilst slowly letting events unfold. As we learn more about the six women it becomes clear that there are anxieties and rivalries aplenty. Eventually the group is found, but one member is missing – yes, Aaron’s mole. The five returning women are questioned but Aaron learns precious little about the disappearance of Alice. It’s going to be a while before the account of the trek party itself catches up to the point of her disappearance and so it becomes harder and harder to predict how events will play out.It’s a brilliantly told tale that had me hooked from first to last and I’m delighted to say that the ending was (for me) as satisfactory as the rest of the story. If I have an issue at all with this book it’s that Aaron himself remains a bit of an enigma. We know of his family history and we therefore have an awareness of what has helped shape him, but we know pretty much nothing else. His flat is sparsely decorated and his enthusiasm for any pastime other than reading seems absent. Who is this man? This, of course, might just offer up more opportunity for Harper to put some flesh on the bone in book 3. I hope so, but either way I’ll be at the front of the queue when that one comes out.My thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley for providing an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Cindy Burnett
    2018-10-26 06:43

    Force of Nature is an outstanding sophomore outing for Jane Harper following her equally outstanding debut novel The Dry. While The Dry took place in a flat, drought-filled area of Australia, Force of Nature shifts to the rugged Giralang Ranges with Aaron Falk arriving there to investigate the disappearance of a whistle-blower (Alice Russell) partaking in a wilderness corporate retreat (which I will never, ever agree to do after reading this book!). Aaron Falk is paired with a female detective Carmen Cooper, and they make a fabulous duo set on uncovering exactly what happened on that corporate retreat. The story alternates between the present and the day-by-day chronological account of the five women’s adventure gone awry. The pacing is perfect, and the numerous red herrings and realistic twists and turns create an outstanding story. For a fair amount of the story, I worried that the resolution was going in a direction that I would dislike immensely. Thankfully, Harper took the story down another path, and the ending is phenomenal.My favorite things about this book are Harper’s descriptions of the setting, the method Harper uses to tell the tale, and the side story concerning Falk’s regrets about his strained relationship with his deceased father. The author describes the Giralang Ranges so beautifully and effectively that I felt I was climbing through the mountains with the five women. The choice to have the story unfold through the alternating timelines was ingenious. The tension builds as secrets are revealed. When I am reading a dual timeline story, I generally like one better than the other and am eager to get back to the one I like whenever I am reading the other. In Force of Nature, both time periods are extraordinary and contribute equally to the plot and resolution of what happened to Alice. Last, I am pleased that Harper continues to focus on the personal life of Aaron Falk and uses Carmen to help him rethink the way Aaron views his father’s actions towards his son.I highly, highly recommend Force of Nature; it will be one of the top mysteries of 2018. Kudos to whoever designed the cover also – it is simply perfect. Thanks to Flatiron Books for my copy. All opinions are my own.

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2018-10-19 11:47

    3.5★ (rounded up to 4 because I like her writing too much to round down to 3)“The Melbourne hiker was still missing. The road gently swung to the north and suddenly Falk could see the hills of the Giralang Ranges on the horizon . . . he had grown up in a place not unlike it. Isolated terrain, where trees grew thick and dense on land that was reluctant to let anything escape.”Aaron Falk and his new off-sider are off to the bush to follow the hunt for the missing hiker, Alice Russell. What interest could the Australian Federal Police have in a woman who’s been lost while hiking with a group? Seems she’s instrumental in their investigation into suspected money laundering by the company she works for.I am a big fan of Harper’s first novel, The Dry, which took place in drought-affected rural Victoria. This could easily have been called The Wet, because although it takes place in the same Australian state, the action takes place in the rain in steep, heavily wooded ranges where it’s easy to get lost.The writing is as good and as descriptive as the first novel. I just didn’t care about any of the characters or what happened to them. The story is about a corporate team-building camping trip in the pouring rain, which just made me feel cold and miserable the whole time. The main characters are the women, one of the whom is the boss, two of whom are twins, and two of whom went to high school together and had a year ‘roughing it’, camping and such, as much as their posh girls’ school allowed. They did learn to use a compass, light fires and such, so you’d think the trip would go well.You’d be wrong. One of the sisters wants to use the compass while the other is in charge of the maps. The fact that they have a love-hate relationship doesn’t help. The chapters go back and forth between Falk and the Alice-hunt, and the women from the first day they hike off into the wet woods towards the waterfall. There’s a men’s team and an undercurrent of something desperate taking place ‘at home’ that the boss of the men’s team and Alice are both anxious to get back and take care of. This is on top of the secret investigation and Falk’s urgency to find Alice and whatever information she’s unearthed at work.He reflects a fair bit on the filth which money-laundering perpetuates, including drugs and child exploitation. Of course it’s a lousy business, but it didn’t seem like a good enough reason for him to be traipsing around in the freezing wet bush after an informant. And it sounded a bit preachy.Alice is a prickly individual. Even her boss, Jill, is wary of her, thinking that “being around Alice was like owning an aggressive breed of dog. Loyal when it suited, but you had to stay on your toes.”There seem to be rather a lot of things that go bump in the night along with ghost stories about the serial killer who used to live in the area and is he really dead and/or are the stories true about his son picking up where dad left off?“She put up her hand. ‘Shh.’ They all heard it at once. A crack. Jill held her breath, her ears ringing in the void. Nothing. Then another crack. This time the broken rhythm of debris snapping underfoot was unmistakable. Jill took a fast step backwards. Lauren turned, her face grey in the stark light. ‘There’s someone out there.’”The past history between the women, the problems at home, the urgency to get back and then the fights that break out when the women get lost, and the recriminations about who bullied whom back at school, and which twin has an addictive personality - all that on top of the AFP investigation and then the awful weather felt like several plot lines that didn’t seem well-meshed together.But I’ll look forward to her next novel in spite of my disappointment with this one.

  • Ginger
    2018-10-15 06:46

    Excellent second book in the Aaron Falk series!Jane Harper went in a completely different direction with this book regarding plot and characters. The 1st book in the series, The Dry was more of a personal story and murder mystery surrounding Falk.Force of Nature is more of the typical detective mystery genre with a missing woman. The missing woman, Alice Russell has agreed to work with the Australian Federal Police in regards to her present company, BaileyTennants.So, when she goes missing on a team building exercise in the Giralang Ranges, Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen Cooper need to investigate to find out why. Is this something to do with their ongoing investigation with BaileyTennants on dirty money and questionable financial transactions or is it a simple human error of getting lost in the woods?The book alternates between the present with Falk and Carmen helping with the search and rescue on trying to find Alice and the past when the 5 women of the team building exercise get lost in the Giralang mountain range.And yes, those chapters were fun to read on how the group gets along and survives in the outback. Or do they?!Why did Alice go missing? Was it because she simply got lost or is it something more sinister?! You don’t find out until the end and it’s a fun, romp of a ride getting there.Well done Harper on putting out another great book in the Falk series. Looking forward to continuing this series in the future!

  • Brenda
    2018-11-11 11:23

    Five women go into the wilderness of the Giralang Ranges and only four return. How they chose these specific women to go is never explained, but why would you go with women you don’t like?! I had some difficulty keeping them straight in my mind, but eventually found all five of them insufferable to some degree.The book is about what happened to Alice, but also about family relationships. There is quite often mention of Aaron’s father, twins Bree and Beth, Lauren's and Alice’s daughters, Jill and her family. The problem is if you don’t care about the characters, you don’t really care about their family issues.Federal Agent Aaron Falk and his partner, Carmen Cooper, investigate financial crimes. Their contact/source for their current case is the ONE woman who didn’t return. I must say it got awfully old reading “Get the contracts.” I really like Aaron and I wanted him to shine in this book as much as he did in The Dry, but I had a hard time accepting his and Carmen’s involvement in the missing person case.As someone who has spent lots of time camping and hiking in forests and wilderness, I immediately got the cold and rainy atmosphere of this book. I’m sure the outfit that organized the retreat would not let inexperienced people go without well-marked trails and maps, without prerequisite safety equipment and supplies, and without regularly checking on them.My conclusion is that this is just an okay book, and I hope there’s a third Aaron Falk book that’s much better.

  • Tammy
    2018-10-13 05:42

    This is a plot that has been written and written and written again. Nice follow up to The Dry but not noteworthy.

  • Jean
    2018-10-21 08:34

    In 2016, Jane Harper presented us with The Dry, which many of us counted among our favorite reads of last year. Now, she’s at it again with her follow-up novel in the Aaron Falk series, Force of Nature. In the debut novel, Falk was home in the rural town of Kiewarra, Australia, for a funeral in the midst of a terrible drought and got caught up in the midst of a murder investigation. This time around, he and his new partner, Carmen Cooper, go searching for a missing woman who has been feeding them information in a money- laundering scheme that they’ve been investigating as financial agents in the Australian Federal Police force.Alice Russell is one of five women on a wilderness retreat in the Giralang Ranges as part of a team-building exercise for their company. There is a men’s group also, but except for the first night, there is no contact with the men, as they are on a separate trail. The women include sisters Beth and Bree McKenzie; an old school chum – or at least, acquaintance, of Alice, Lauren Shaw; and finally, Jill Bailey, daughter of the company’s owner and now one of the head honchos. Her brother David is with the men’s group but showed up late. His story seems to change a couple of times. This happens with all of our hikers, as we learn throughout this story.Unlike the first book, which almost had me feeling parched and hot, this story made me want to reach for towels extra layers of clothing, and a steeping mug of tea. It seems to be always raining, or at least damp and chilly. This adds to the eerie sense of uneasiness that I felt throughout the entire story. From the onset, we know that five women set out on the weekend trek. Only four return.Jane Harper nimbly switches between scenes of the campers’ misadventures while they struggle to follow the trail and then back to Falk and Cooper as they join the state police to search for the missing woman. In the process, we get the distinct impression that the group of five is a not-so-tightly knit bitch club. Even on the first night, the strain is evident, but as the difficulties begin to mount, personality flaws emerge and tempers flare. No one, especially Alice, would be a candidate for a “works well with others” award. On the AFP side of things, Aaron’s trip to Giralang brings with it memorabilia he has found from his father’s hiking days and opens the door a crack for Carmen to pose some personal questions. These types of questions have a broader reach that is central to the book’s theme: How strong is the bond between parents and children or even between siblings. What would any parent do to protect a child? How strong is family loyalty? How much can be forgiven? When it comes to parenting, we see examples of teenagers in difficult situations, perhaps of their own doing. Could their parents have done more? Is it nature or nurture? The chapters alternate, giving an inside look at what occurs when the map is misread or when arguments break out, and as our police investigators ponder the disappearance of their mole, feeling the pressure of their bosses get the contracts, when all they have to go on is a scant, broken message, “help her.” Each chapter ends at a tense moment, making it nearly impossible to stop reading. The BaileyTennants Company group is not your typical scout troop out for a weekend backpacking adventure. They could have had an enjoyable time, for the surroundings, particularly the falls, sound beautiful. However, once trouble starts, fear and panic set in. All they can think of are the dangers – the cold, the damp, lack of food and water, and the thing no one will say – the history of serial killer Martin Kovac. It was almost like reading a bedtime bogeyman story, with all the things that go bump in the night! I wish there had been more to like about these women. While I felt sorry for them in this situation and for their personal situations in their family lives and their pasts, I didn’t find anything that drew me to any of them, except their plight. I also found myself wishing that the author had mentioned just a little bit about Aaron Falk’s past as it related to his experience in The Dry. Perhaps it’s best, because Force of Nature really could be read as a standalone. We do get quite a bit of information about him, thanks to Carmen. At least we know of his regrets. What about Carmen? She is a minor character and seems quite likable, but I’d have liked to know her a bit better as well. The park with the gloomy weather is the perfect setting for something to go wrong, which begs the question, why were there no safeguards in place to ensure the participants’ safety? Granted, there were predetermined stops with provisions, but no one checked to see that they reached their appointed areas by nightfall. The author doesn’t include this buffer in her story.Two things that I think the author does quite well are setting the tone with place and conditions. The park is in a wild, remote location without creature comforts. The weather is wet and dreary, which really sets the tone for the campers as well as the search party. The second thing I think Harper does quite well is she shows us how people respond under pressure. Each is under stress in daily life, and the situation on the retreat exacerbates it. For the group of women, the weekend together becomes a pressure cooker. We see that there are agitators and peacemakers and those who simply simmer under the surface. So, what happened to Alice? You won’t hear it from me!Thanks to NetGalley, Flatiron Books and the author for the ARC copy of this wonderful book. The opinions stated are my own.4.5 stars

  • Melisa
    2018-11-05 10:20

    DNF. I gave The Dry 5 stars, this is just not my time for this one. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of ARCs I have at the moment and it’s cutting into the time I spend with the books on my TBR. The struggle, y’all.

  • Lori
    2018-11-05 09:30

    Harper has written another terrific novel in her Aaron Falk series. Twists and turns round every corner. I really like that the beautiful Australian landscapes play such an important role in these... shes like her own character. Looking forward to more adventures with Mr Falk.

  • Sarah
    2018-10-24 08:46

    ​Sometimes you wonder if the second novel following a five star best seller will measure up. Well, you don't need to worry about that with this one. Aaron Falk is back !! ​ It's definitely five star and will be in my favorites. I would recommend to anyone who seeks a great thriller. I really enjoyed this one Aaron Falk is working with a partner this time, and he and Carmen are supposed to get some documents from a whistle blower (Alice) at the company where she works. The company is planning an outdoor retreat at the same time to focus on teamwork. The story focuses from Aaron and Carmen to the five women that are going on the retreat. Five women go in to the Giralang Range, but only four come out. The authors description of the ranges and the wet windy backdrop are equal to the drought conditions of Falk's hometown in ''The Dry" She has an incredible way of bringing you in to the story. It's brilliantly constructed and shows what it's like when people get out of their comfort zone. I like the way the story focused on how complex relationships can be between women.I guessed who did it about three fourths of the way through, but I was wrong. Those are the kind of books I like. It's a must read !Thanks again Lisa for sending this to me from Australia xoxo

  • Whispering Stories
    2018-10-17 10:20

    Book Reviewed by Stacey on www.whisperingstories.comBaileyTennants Accounting Firm had organised a corporate team building exercise in the Giralange Ranges, Australia, a dense woodland, with streams, waterfalls etc that stretches on for miles and miles. The Ranges were also once home to the notorious serial killer, Martin Kovac.The firm had selected two separate groups for the exercise, a male and a female group, made up of four chosen employees and one company executive each. The challenge was to spend three nights in the Ranges, where the groups would have to navigate themselves from one side to the other with just a map and a compass. Camp sites had been arranged for each night with food and water left for the groups. They set off on Thursday afternoon, after handing in their mobile phones, and were to be out the other side by 12pm on Sunday.When Sunday arrived the male group were out by 12, but the female group were nowhere to be seen. With panic setting in, relief was short lived when at 6pm the women emerged, albeit injured, but only four had returned, where was Alice Russell?Force of Nature is a mild thriller, but one that kept me guessing the whole way through and I had come up with numerous reasons for Alice’s disappearance. It had me hooked right from the start and I enjoyed every minute of it.The book is split into two separate points of view, Federal Agent Aaron falks and his partner Carmen Cooper, and the women, with their POV time stamped too.Agent Falks had been investigating BaileyTennants for suspected money laundering and Alice had been his inside informant, so he had a vested interest in the case, especially when he also received a call from Alice the night before, in which he thinks he can hear the words ‘Hurt Her’.As I was reading I kept on thinking, I know the name Aaron Falks, but couldn’t place him, then it suddenly came to me. He was the Federal Agent involved in Jane Harper’s first book, The Dry. I can’t believe I got part way through the book before I realised they were connected.The plot and the characters were both very realistic and I could perfectly visualise not only the people involved, but also the scenery which was so vivid. It felt at times that I was walking with the group, with the soggy wet ground making my feet cold, overgrown bushes and tree that whipped you as you past them. Branches snapping, making you nervous as to whether someone was watching, following you. Oh, and that rain that never seemed to stop.Whilst I enjoyed the book from beginning to end and, I didn’t guess what had actually happened to Alice, which is something unusual in thrillers, because I’ve normally worked out what happened by the time it is revealed, I also felt a little let down too.I reached the end with unanswered questions and started to wonder whether I had missed the answers, but realised that there were so many of them, I couldn’t of missed them all. Seen as this book is the second in a series I did wonder whether the answers would be revealed in the next book, but then except for Agent Falks, the first two books aren’t connected, so I doubt this is the case, but you never know.It truly is a wonderful book. The storyline naturally and easily flowed as Ms. Harper’s writing is superb. I fully invested my time and enjoyed every minute of it. I was actually sorry to reach the end as I was that involved in the plot. I now can’t wait for the next in the series – Please tell me there is going to be a next?

  • Pauline
    2018-11-05 09:42

    I really enjoyed Jane Harper's book The Dry and I was thrilled to receive a copy of her new book Force Of Nature. A group of five women on a bonding activity deep in the Australia outback go missing. Four of them are eventually found but one member is still missing. The second book in the Aaron Falk series was an exciting read and I can't wait to read more from this author. I would like to thank NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • Carolyn
    2018-10-14 11:39

    It’s good to see Aaron Falk back in this second novel by Jane Harper. The setting this time is not the hot, dry farming country but the rugged wilderness of a mountain range in Victoria. Five women are sent out on a wilderness trek as part of a corporate bonding exercise, but something goes wrong and hours late only four return, badly battered and shaken. The missing woman has been supplying information to Aaron on financial misdealings in the company and he becomes concerned that his involvement with her has somehow put her in danger. As with The Dry, the environment is an important feature of the novel. In this case, very wild and atmospheric with impenetrable dense bush and forest, fast flowing rivers and difficult to follow trails. The smell of the cool mountain air and the damp earthy undergrowth is almost tangible. Most of the time it is raining and damp and the women are miserable. Clearly none of them enjoy hiking and camping, although two of them share some experience of the wilderness from their school days. It also becomes obvious that they do not like each other very much, which becomes a hindrance when the going gets tough and they need to work together to survive. The story is slow to unfold but is gritty and tense, alternating chapters relating the events that occurred on the trek with the subsequent search for the missing woman. The characters are complex with problems in their home and family lives that they have kept hidden from their colleagues. However, the tough conditions experienced on the trek bring raw emotions to the surface that collide and explode with devastating consequences. While I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as The Dry, it is also a very accomplished novel with evocative writing and realistically portrayed characters. 4.5★