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Aaron Falk Mystery #3

by Jane Harper

Exiles by Jane Harper X
Exiles by Jane Harper
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2023, 352 pages

    Feb 6, 2024, 368 pages


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  • Kate G. (Bronx, NY)
    A Fitting Conclusion
    Jane Harper has said this is her conclusion to the Aaron Falk series and like the previous 2 books it is well written and compelling. Weather plays much less of a factor in this novel, it is set during a beautiful Spring week. Aaron has traveled to the Marralee Valley to be godson for his friend, Raco. He does investigate 2 deaths, but they occurred 1 and 6 years prior. As well, he is not on the clock; these are musings and thoughts in his spare time. The characters, though plenty, are clearly different from each other and while I wanted to slow down and savor my time with Aaron, I just kept turning the pages.
  • Susie J. (Fort Wayne, IN)
    Exiles with Aaron Falk
    Jane Harper is well known for her clever mystery novels which include outstanding character development and detailed development of her setting - and this book certainly does not disappoint readers with regard to either. This time she takes us to South Australia's wine country, the Marralee Valley, where the annual Food and Wine Festival is just underway, and Aaron Falk, the friend of a local vineyard owner, shows up to star in his third novel by Harper. In this book we see real character development in Falk, as he not only fulfills his investigative role, but also steps outside it to engage in a personal relationship. Readers will enjoy seeing him in this light.

    There are many characters in this novel for him to interact with, and early on I began to write them down as a means of remembering each and to focus on their connections to one another. This broad cast makes the buildup of her mystery a bit more tedious than usual, and if there is a weakness in the plot, I believe this is it. As usual, there is much detail, both for setting and characters, but with such a large character list, and a week-long festival, the plot bogs down somewhat.

    The last third of the novel makes up for this in every way, however. We have all our questions answered, the is mystery solved, and Aaron Falk's character is more fully developed than ever. The books conclusion is satisfying and exciting in every way - including an interesting shift in writing style I have not seen the author use previously.

    This book's mystery simply felt as if it took a bit longer to resolve than her previous works, but it is well worth the time spent reading.
  • Mary H. (Latham, NY)
    Slow Beginning but Good Plot
    Exiles is the latest book by Australian author Jane Harper and the third in the Aaron Falk series. Once again, this author has created a solid mystery with an intriguing plot and a variety of twists and turns.

    From the prologue we learn that a young mother has gone missing from the annual local festival and left behind her six-week old baby parked in her carriage. The infant is not noticed until the festival is closing at the end of the evening at which time the mom's disappearance is also discovered.

    The book begins one year later where, in spite of the best efforts from local police and concerned friends, no trace of the mom has been found. This is followed by a very long, slow moving first half of the book. There are many conversations and a lot of over descriptions of scenery but very little action.

    Just past the midpoint, the pace picks up--some viable suspects emerge and a second unsolved crime involving a fatal hit and run is given more attention. This section provides a much better sense of the characters' personalities and possible motives for the disappearance. The last fifty pages are a head spinning ride where both crimes are resolved.

    I have long been a fan of Jane Harper and have read everything she has written. However, this one surprised me by the uncharacteristic uneven pacing of the story. That being said, I would still recommend the book because of the second half and stunning conclusions.
  • Vicky R. (Roswell, GA)
    Another good mystery
    I've read all of Jane Harper's books. She always writes a solid mystery and this one is no exception. This story has a slow build to get to the true meet of the matter but once you got there it did keep you guessing until the end. Her books in my opinion are good mysteries but do not belong in the thriller category that they are sometimes placed into. She does have a way of building her characters so that they are extremely lifelike and I enjoyed the personalities of all of the characters in this particular story.
  • Bette K. (Beverly, WV)
    Why Exiles?
    Since finishing Exiles, I've been trying to think why the author used that title. Certainly the author had a thought process in mind, which is succinctly explained in the first paragraphs.
    But the other thread of the novel focuses more on the mystery, who-done it of the story.
    And it's a great story! I read most of the novel on the day I received it. It is really fun and the author is a great story teller. The story takes place in Australia and there is a definite Australian vibe in the writing style and development.
    The characters are so likable- I was reluctant to suspect any of them as the culprit though each of the main players is part of a friendship group that may or may not be implicated in the story. Some of them are teenagers who play a big part in investigation.
    I really enjoyed this book. There are no real messages or philosophy- just a really entertaining mystery. It's mature and well written and engaging,
    If you love mysteries and fine character development, this is up your alley.

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