Reader reviews and comments on Force of Nature, plus links to write your own review.

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Force of Nature

A Novel

by Jane Harper

Force of Nature by Jane Harper X
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2018, 320 pages
    Jan 8, 2019, 352 pages

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There are currently 41 reader reviews for Force of Nature
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Frances N. (San Francisco, CA)

Five women on a corporate retreat in Australian bush
I was given this ARC by the publisher through BookBrowse. However, I had an interest in the author because a friend had raved about Harper's first book, The Dry, and I had meant to put it on my library request list. Now I am even more eager to read that one.

This is the story of five women forced into a corporate retreat/hike into the Australian bush. Five very different, complex personalities and issues. When they do not turn up at the end point, a search ensues and only four are found.
A very intense story and the missing woman, Alice, is a real piece of work and one wonders how she survived as long as she did under the trying situations.

Lots of drama and suspense and personal stories and situations; this is the second book in the series featuring Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk who is recovering from injuries suffered in the first book.
Patricia H. (Norman, OK)

Corporate Retreat Gone Wrong
As a reader of The Dry, I was looking forward to another great story and was not disappointed. Corporate Retreats for team building and leadership skills are fashionable, and this story centers around a retreat gone wrong. Four of the five female participants return expecting the fifth to have arrived before them.
As the story continues we learn more about each of the women as well as the organization for which they work. Each of the women is facing desperate family crisis about which they are worried. As they move along the trail they pick up the wrong track leading them deeper into the Giraland Range and into deeper concerns for their well-being.

Hovering over them is the mysterious disappearance of a young girl and the murder of three others decades ago. As times goes on instead of trust building and team work old dislikes and hostilities emerge making the journey more difficult.

What happened to Alice? Is she simply lost or has something more tragic found her. Each of the women offer a piece of the puzzle but time will tell.

I strongly recommended the novel. It is well written and a great treat. The author is able to keep the intensity high and the story-line moving. I read the novel in one sitting and was not disappointed in the time spent.
Barbara F. (Santa Monica, CA)

Tense and Suspenseful—Hard-to-Put-Down Whodunit
It's been awhile since I've not gotten impatient or disinterested in a book I'm reading. Definitely not the case with Force of Nature! The author juxtaposes the present time with the unfolding back story of the disappearance of Alice, a woman taking part in an 'Outward Bound' team building weekend in the Australian wilderness with a group of colleagues.
None are very enthusiastic about going, but Alice has even more of a reason back home with her a possible scandal involving her teenage daughter and also her whistleblower cooperation with Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen Cooper.
It's a taut, suspenseful whodunit with lots of twists and turns—keeping me on the edge of my figurative seat until the end. The unraveling of what happened with Alice and the other involved characters was a genuine surprise. I usually figure out who the perpetrator(s) are out much sooner, but Harper kept me guessing till the end.
For fans of well-written, plot and character-driven page-turners, this tense, atmospheric novel is an excellent choice.
Mary Beth K. (Lima, OH)

Very Suspenseful
I was really excited to be selected to review an advance copy of Force of Nature.

"Force of Nature" is a step above author Jane Harper's previous novel, "The Dry." It is a fast-paced mystery and very hard to put down. When you're not reading, you find yourself asking, "Where could Alice be?"

The company schedules a mandatory multiple day outdoor team building game with the co-workers. Men are dropped off at one point in the great outdoors while the ladies are dropped off on another trail You're in the bushlands of Australia in the Giralang Ranges and when it gets dark, it's really dark. The wildlife and the terrain aren't the only things haunting these hikers. Their past creeps up on them too as personalities flair. After a long day of hiking, the goal is to reach a campsite with additional supplies. But what if you fail to get there as you've lost your way and are off track? What if a serial killer happened to trudge these very same woods in the past and may have a son set on revenge. You have to ask yourself what you would do in this situation.

Federal Agent Falk is back in this novel, along with Carmen Cooper, and they have to put the clues together in order to find Alice. Carmen is a good match with Falk. The story goes back and forth from the past to the present and in some novels that can be annoying but in Force of Nature it flows easily.

Force of Nature will not disappoint. The entire time I was reading this book, I could see it as a future movie. It's a great read.
Terri O. (Chapel Hill, NC)

Harper Is a Force to Be Reckoned With
Force of Nature is Jane Harper's second mystery featuring Federal Agent Aaron Falk and it's just as good, if not better, than her first book, The Dry. Once again, Harper has penned a layered and suspenseful tale with complex and believable characters. The story involves the disappearance of Alice Russell while she is on a team-building retreat in the Australian bush with four female colleagues. The women become lost in the bush and then Alice goes missing. The four other women make it out of the bush but they all claim not to know what happened to Alice. Falk becomes involved because Alice is an informant in an ongoing case. The story switches between the current search for Alice and flashbacks of what happened to the five women in the bush. The flashbacks have a Lord of the Flies quality, as the frightened women turn on each other as their situation becomes more desperate. Harper's descriptions of the bush are vivid and downright terrifying, as the vegetation becomes more dense and the trees close in on the lost hikers. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next book in the series. This book would appeal to fans of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad books and anyone who enjoys complex, atmospheric mysteries.
Constance C. (Bristol, RI)

Jane Harper major voice in contemparary fiction.
I did not like The Dry, so was a little leery of reading Force of Nature. I was pleasantly surprised, this is one of the best 2017 thrillers. And hope the author continues this series with Aaron Falk, excellent character. This book had well developed characters and a good plot, compelling reading to the end, could not guess what the ending was going to be. Did not go to the end and peek. Hope to see more of this type of story telling.
Barbara E. (Rockville, MD)

A Force of Nature
This is a thrilling mystery about the disappearance of a woman during a group team building hiking weekend in the Australian bush. From the first page I was hooked and almost finished in one sitting. The story unfolds from the point of view of the detectives and then alternates with an account of the women's trek. The characters are fascinating and well-drawn, and Harper's Detective Falk is complex and intriguing. I highly recommend this book. Because there are a number of references to events from Harper's first book, The Dry, it would help to read the books in order.
Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)

Liked this one as much as her first one
I was very impressed with Jane Harper's first book - The Dry - and looked forward to reading her new title Force of Nature. I wasn't disappointed. She brings back Aaron Falk from her first book and gives him a new partner - Carmen Cooper - to investigate financial crimes. Still in Australia, they are called out when a women who is cooperating with their investigation turns up missing on a bushland trek as part of a team building exercise. The exercise quickly descends into a Lord of the Flies relationship when the women take a wrong turn and find themselves lost in the bush with no food or water.

I like her characters, think she writes wonderfully, find the setting interesting and the story believable. She does a great job of creating suspense. Here are the first lines from the prologue: "Later, 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." Doesn't that make you want to read more?

Beyond the Book:
  Australia's National Parks

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