REVIEW: Force of Nature by Jane Harper
FORCE OF NATURE by Jane Harper is exactly the type of thriller I love to read. Full of wilderness survival and the heightened tension caused by the situation, this book is an exciting foray into a modern whodunit.
Two groups set off on an organized hike through the bushland of the Giralang Ranges in Australia. The women and men are separated for this corporate group challenge. It’s supposed to be a team-building exercise to improve their working environment. When one of the women goes missing, is anyone safe? Federal Agent Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen Cooper join the investigation when they realize the missing woman is their informant for another crime.
Falk and his partner aren’t experienced in bushcraft, so their journey is expected to be harrowing. Falk’s memories of his father clarify him better as a person. A little sexual tension with his partner add to his inner struggles. The real kicker, though, is the serial killer history of the area they’re searching.
I could feel the creepy coming on that had been building by the last quarter of the book. Who did it? What will the DNA tell? Is anyone out there? Where is Alice? Jane Harper’s method of telling a story captivates from the beginning and I can’t wait to turn the next page. She also made me hungry for Pasta Bolognese. I could smell the garlic sizzling in the pan and see the sauce thicken. No fair making me hungry AND scared!
I love how Jane Harper lays out a story. We meet all the personalities and are given hints about what may or may not have happened. The layers start as we gather for the search for the missing person, then we’re guided backwards in time to “see” what transpired before she went missing. I especially love the outdoor wilderness setting in the Giralang Ranges.
Having experienced THE DRY by Jane Harper in audio, I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy reading FORCE OF NATURE as much. The bonus of an accented narrator telling the story has its benefits. But, it didn’t take long to get hooked on reading FORCE OF NATURE. The only negative is that I finish this author’s books too fast and am left hungry for more.
I can’t say FORCE OF NATURE is better than THE DRY because they’re so different. Both are good for varied reasons. I did like the less gory nature of this book. It didn’t freak me out as much with ghastly images. I really loved the wilderness setting and the survivalist instincts in FORCE OF NATURE. The twists kept me guessing, mistakenly making me fear for the characters. What I love most about FORCE OF NATURE is that the end feels more polished than THE DRY. I seem to know Falk better this time around and I like his plans for the future, which shows his heart. The polished feel of the book is the reason I rated this one slightly higher than the previous story.
I highly recommend Jane Harper’s books to thriller fans. She has mastered storytelling that’s very addictive.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Category: Wilderness Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Publisher: Flatiron Books; First Edition edition (February 6, 2018)
Rated 5 out of 5 – Recommended Read!