Series: Aaron Falk #2
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Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track.Only four come out on 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 encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that's what the corporate retreat website advertises.Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker, Alice Russell. Because Alice knew secrets, about the company she worked for and the people she worked with.The four returning women tell Falk a tale of fear, violence and fractured trust during their days in the remote Australian bushland. And as Falk delves into the disappearance of Alice, he begins to suspect some dangers ran far deeper than anyone knew.
Jane Harper is so good at making the Australian outback almost a character itself. This book was so atmospheric, I could swear I smelled the mud and felt the claustrophobia of the trees closing in around me.
So five women, all co-workers, go into the outback on a corporate team-building exercise, but only four of them come out. Alice has gone missing, but did she wander off on her own like she’d been threatening to, or did something more sinister happen?
We get this story in two different timelines, one in the present when detective Aaron Falk is investigating Alice’s disappearance, and the other during the women’s time in the outback, letting us see the events that led up to Alice going missing. Alice isn’t very well-liked, and our time with the group of women shows us why, and how each of them could have been involved in making her disappear.
I have to say, I was pretty sure I knew where this would end up, but I was wrong, and happy to be so. Force of Nature is a compelling read, and once I started I couldn’t put it down; I read it all in one sitting. If you’re looking for a good, creepy read that keeps the pages turning, you won’t go wrong with Force of Nature.