Reviews of Exiles by Jane Harper


Aaron Falk Mystery #3

by Jane Harper

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


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Book Summary

From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jane Harper comes Exiles, a captivating mystery about a missing mother.

Federal Investigator Aaron Falk is on his way to a small town deep in Southern Australian wine country for the christening of an old friend's baby. But mystery follows him, even on vacation.

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Kim Gillespie's disappearance. One year ago, at a busy town festival on a warm spring night, Kim safely tucked her sleeping baby into her stroller, then vanished into the crowd. No one has seen her since. When Kim's older daughter makes a plea for anyone with information about her missing mom to come forward, Falk and his old buddy Raco can't leave the case alone.

As Falk soaks up life in the lush valley, he is welcomed into the tight-knit circle of Kim's friends and loved ones. But the group may be more fractured than it seems. Between Falk's closest friend, the missing mother, and a woman he's drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge. What would make a mother abandon her child? What happened to Kim Gillespie?


Someone else was already there.

Aaron Falk felt faintly, if unreasonably, annoyed as he pulled up next to the other car. The turnoff had been as hard to spot as he'd remembered, almost swallowed by the bushland towering over both sides of the road. It was so well concealed, in fact, that Falk had blithely assumed that what was waiting at the other end of the track would be his alone. Not so, he could see now as he touched the brake and suppressed a sigh.

Falk hadn't been alone there last year, either. Greg Raco had been in the passenger seat then, Falk following his friend's directions as they neared the end of their eight-hour drive. Raco had ignored the sat nav, especially after they'd crossed the Victorian border into South Australia. His high spirits had been infectious and they'd chewed through the kilometers, taking turns trading news and picking the music. Raco's newborn son was being christened that weekend, in the same church where Raco and his brothers had been...

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Harper fans who have missed Aaron Falk in her last few books will be happy to see his return in Exiles. I thought this was Harper at her best (Maribeth R). This is Jane Harper's third book featuring Aaron Falk and — good news — you don't need to read the first two to enjoy Exiles. In fact, with all the things happening in Aaron's life, this would be an excellent place to start (Bill B). A good mystery keeps you guessing, leading the reader down different paths. A great mystery keeps you unbalanced and on the edge. Then, just when you think you have it solved, something or somebody else comes up. The writing is excellent! The story completely sucked me in. I loved it (Rita J)...continued

Full Review (852 words).

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Media Reviews

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Enthralling ... Once again, Jane Harper triumphs with an intelligent, beautifully crafted crime novel...Harper's characters, old friends with individual secrets in a close-knit community, are masterfully rendered. Her landscape is, as ever, no mere backdrop but rather a vivid panorama central to the drama.

New York Times Book Review
Falk's investigation is a terrific one, but what makes the book memorable is Harper's skill at plumbing personal mysteries.

Sun Sentinel
Harper's skillful plotting and her ability to create fully fleshed out characters shine in Exiles.

The Washington Post
I loved Jane Harper's debut novel The Dry and was happy to see the return of her beloved character Aaron Falk…Harper's vivid depictions of Australia make for a rich, moody and atmospheric reading experience.

Booklist (starred review)
Another all-consuming mystery from Harper...Fans will relish Falk's intuitive 'spider sense' moments here, and they will be amazed at the simultaneously shocking and tender ending.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Writing at the top of her game, Harper effectively uses whodunit tropes to explore her characters' hidden lives. Readers interested in literate and nuanced mysteries will be eager to see more of Falk.

Library Journal
A strong entry in a series best read in order.

Author Blurb Ann Cleeves, New York Times bestselling author
Fine writing and addictive storytelling.

Author Blurb David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Once again Harper proves that she is peerless in creating an avalanche of suspense with intimate, character-driven set pieces that are as exquisitely engineered as the inner workings of a Steinway. Harper's legions of fans will exult in reading Exiles.

Reader Reviews


I hope this is not the end of Aaron Falk
EXILES is further proof of Jane Harper’s writing skills. Here is another of her literate mysteries/thrillers. This book will grab you from page 1. Aaron Falk is again the main character when he visits his friends the Racos to be their son’s ...   Read More

very highly recommended procedural
Exiles by Jane Harper is the very highly recommended procedural and the third installment of the series featuring Aaron Faulk. Set in Southern Australian wine country, Australian Federal Investigator Aaron Falk is going to the christening of a ...   Read More

Another Excellent Harper Mystery
I was thrilled to be chosen to review this book. I've read everything by Jane Harper and she never disappoints. She always keeps me interested till the very end. What I love about this book, is you don't have to have necessarily read the other ...   Read More

Great characters and location
I thoroughly enjoyed Exiles. The way the characters, both young and old, devolved as the story progressed kept me hooked to the last page. I know the South Australian wine region and it was captured on the page so vividly as was the atmosphere of ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

A Quick Tour Through South Australia's Wine Region

Map showing locations of sub-regions of South AustraliaJane Harper's third novel in the Aaron Falk series sees the Federal Police agent returning to the fictional town of Marralee, located in South Australia and home to an annual food and wine festival where a woman went missing the previous year. Harper is known for providing evocative descriptions and details for her Australian settings, and Exiles brings readers to the heart of South Australia's wine region.

The region consists of six sub-regions: Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale, and Adelaide Hills. The state of South Australia is roughly 1,200 km or 750 miles across, so the sub-regions vary in climate and topography.

Clare Valley is the farthest north, and known primarily for its dry Riesling ...

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