Force Of Nature by Jane Harper

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On a workplace team building exercise, five women head into the bush in Australia. At the end of the trip, only four emerge. As the women start to tell their story, it’s clear that someone is lying. What really happened on that trip? Did someone find out that the missing woman was also an informant to Federal Agent Falk, who was investigating the company for tax fraud? The pressure is on him to find the woman and find out what happened before the trail gets cold and someone gets away with a very big crime…

This book was so Australian it made me homesick. I loved the turns of phrase, I felt like I could hear the twang of the accent, and the smell of the gum trees. I really liked that, it’s a very well written novel that really gives you a sense of place without reams of description.

Perhaps more importantly, it’s a good mystery. It unfolds in alternating chapters of the investigation and the trip of the group of woman into the bushland on their hike. Things unfold nicely, with a good sense of pacing and tension, and there are plenty of little revelations along the way. One thing that I liked about this story is that the woman that is missing is notoriously difficult and obnoxious, which not only means that it could be anyone who was involved in her disappearance, but also that you’re not sure how sorry you should really feel for her. She’s certainly not a classic victim.

I really enjoyed this thriller. I didn’t guess the ending, I liked the setting and the characters all felt unique and well delineated. It kept me guessing and wanting to know what happened next. This is the second book I’ve read by Jane Harper, the first being The Dry which had some of the same characters in it, and was also a really good read and a good mystery. I think I’m a Jane Harper fan.

Read It If: one for mystery and thriller lovers, this has a good, interesting plot and his well told.

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