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4.5 STARSLater, 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 It s no secret that I adored Jane Harper s 2017 US debut The Dry, but that didn t ensure I would love her sopho novel and follow up in the Aaron Falk series Force Of Nature So many times I ve read a solid entry from a debut author, only to be let down by their subsequent stories and eventual rea 4.5 STARSLater, 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 It s no secret that I adored Jane Harper s 2017 US debut The Dry, but that didn t ensure I would love her sopho novel and follow up in the Aaron Falk series Force Of Nature So many times I ve read a solid entry from a debut author, only to be let down by their subsequent stories and eventual realization that maybe they were just a one hit wonder Not here though Harper has proven she deserves to write alongside the big dogs and has cultivated quite an international following, which isn t an easy feat for someone relatively new to the scene Even though this book has a completely different feel than the first, I think it works well and is a worthy follow up to The Dry.The greatest difference in Harper s two novels is the style, format, and flow of the plot In our first novel, there wasof a traditional police procedural investigation In The Dry we had a gruesome domestic drama with classic murder mystery, while sprinkling in some backstory for our main character Falk We get a straightforward introduction with a typical back and forth of his childhood experiences and what brought him to where he is now In Force Of Nature, things are switched up a big and, while it is still a procedural, it s not as rigid in it s investigation and our team has to improvise and think of new ways to solve a mystery with no evidence and no body There was definitely a higher level of suspense throughout, a taut tension that is only enhanced by the back and forth narrative of the ladies hike and present day investigation.There was a lotgoing on in this book, and I think that is attributed to a different style of characterization between novels one and two Novel one was all about the slow burn murder mystery, and we are introduced to various characters in the investigation and get to know them in a classic Agatha Christie style, if you will Novel two is still a slow burn, but I felt the growing suspense made the pages fly by much faster this go around There are multiple side plots interjected here, some are red herrings and others are vital to the story, but the characterization is muchof a mixed bag of goods chapter POVs are constantly being switched around and, just as we get a grip on one person, we find ourselves following a new one This worked REALLY well for me and felt it kept the shorter chapters moving quickly while keeping my brain whirring.Harper took a risk by cultivating such an unlikable character in Alice, but I think it was beautifully done and added an extra layer of emotional tension that the story wouldn t have had otherwise We get little pieces of who she is from all the characters except Alice herself, and I felt this was one of the strongest aspects the story had to offer I love a tale where each character is tied to the others in various ways that do not become apparent until the conclusion, and that s exactly what the author delivers with Force Of Nature The underlying theme of how our humanity and moral beliefs tend to take a backseat when we feel threatened and in danger was so incredible the subtle tinge of pack mentality is present initially and then grows as the peril increases and ramps up the heart rate in a way few books are able to present in my reading these days.The final chapter gave me a bit of hope that we may be revisiting Aaron s hometown to, not only check in on some remaining characters from The Dry, but also to gaininsight into his personal life and his tumultuous relationship with his father that he is still processing I really enjoyed this angle of the story and felt Falk s emotional walls starting to come down was a huge step in connecting the reader with his character further If you re looking for a top notch procedural full of suspense and quality writing, look no further You ll want to start with The Dry if you re new to the series, as these books are not really meant to be read as stand alone novels, but trust me it s worth your time Highly recommended and obviously I m beyond excited for the next installment Many thanks to Lisa Jordan for sending me a copy all the way from Australia You officially wear the crown of best Goodreads friend 3 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 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 disappearanceThe Drywas 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 isfocused 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 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 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 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 evenso since it was Excited to read this, her second, and I ll just say that the infamous sopho 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 mana 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 evenso since it was Excited to read this, her second, and I ll just say that the infamous sopho 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 stillwaiting.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 If we didn t pass her, and she didn t make it back before us, what happened I love Jane Harper This is my second book of hers I ve read first was The Dry and this was just as gripping Five women walk into the Australian bush for a team building exercise with their office But only 4 of them make it out Alice is the character that is missing not a spoiler, we find this out in like the first chapter and quite frankly, I could not stand her I gave 0 fucks about what happened to her TheIf we didn t pass her, and she didn t make it back before us, what happened I love Jane Harper This is my second book of hers I ve read first was The Dry and this was just as gripping Five women walk into the Australian bush for a team building exercise with their office But only 4 of them make it out Alice is the character that is missing not a spoiler, we find this out in like the first chapter and quite frankly, I could not stand her I gave 0 fucks about what happened to her The chapters switch between the present, where the police and search teams hunt desperately for Alice and flashbacks to when the women were in the outback, and what caused everything to go so horribly wrongYou get paranoid out there though, your mind starts to play tricks The characters are all flawed and believable I enjoyed their different personality clashes and the way they behaved in life threatening circumstances Overall, I enjoyed all the twists and turns in the plot You don t find out what happened until the very end and it keeps you hooked Will definitely be ordering The Lost Man nextI don t know Maybe we can t help how we are Maybe we are born a certain way and there s nothing you can do about it 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 beenof Aaron Falk However, this is still a worthy readFive 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 Fal 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 beenof Aaron Falk However, this is still a worthy readFive 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 isdeveloped than he was in The Dry, but I wantedof 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 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 lookin 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 wantedFalk We seeof his personality and personal issues in The Dry I wanted a littlehim personally and hopefully we get a littleof 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 Seeof my reviews at www.openbookpost.com *DOWNLOAD EBOOK ☟ Force of Nature ⇰ Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy trackOnly 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 advertisesFederal 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 withThe 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 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 contin 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 I ve returned back under for this one But, instead being in the outback, we are now in the wilderness of Australia for the sequel to The Dry Our favourite agent Falk, who has recovered from his harrowing ordeal in The Dry, is back in the search for a woman who has been lost on a corporate excursion into the bush lands in the Giralang ranges.It s a mystery of magnitude as Falk has been working with the missing woman in order to prosecute her boss and his company Her missing in the cold, wet br I ve returned back under for this one But, instead being in the outback, we are now in the wilderness of Australia for the sequel to The Dry Our favourite agent Falk, who has recovered from his harrowing ordeal in The Dry, is back in the search for a woman who has been lost on a corporate excursion into the bush lands in the Giralang ranges.It s a mystery of magnitude as Falk has been working with the missing woman in order to prosecute her boss and his company Her missing in the cold, wet brush, has forced his own guilt to surface.Was it as forceful and The Dry Falk still remains on an aloof, introverted but highly likeable guy This ismystery than thriller and it still delivers some twists and drama but seemed to lack the oomph that set the Dry apart Great descriptions of this harsh and desolate land Still an enjoyable one and hope there s a 3rd in the Falk series 4