June 12, 2018
Lost in the Australian Bush….what would you do?
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Genre/Categories: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Detective, Suspense, Australian
Five women go on a hike in the Australian forested wilderness and only four return. As the women grab their backpacks and reluctantly set out, not one of the five women attending this three-day, mandated, corporate, team-building retreat is thrilled about the prospect. When four of the five women emerge from the woods battered and bruised, an investigation is launched to find the fifth woman. Federal agent Falk returns to help the investigation, and the story alternates between the present day investigation and the women’s experiences as the hike unfolded a few days earlier. Was the fifth woman murdered?
Amazon Rating (June): 4.2 stars
If you’ve read The Dry, you’ll recognize Jane Harper’s ability to develop intriguing characters and a tangible and distinct sense of place, which in the case of Force of Nature is mountainous, wet, cold, dark, desolate, and windy. Described as an atmospheric thriller, Force of Nature was a just right read for me as a highly sensitive person. There is tension, but not too scary or unbearable. A person is missing, but it’s not overly terrifying for the reader. For me, the most dynamic parts of the story are the complex and strained relationships, the plot-driven story, and the setting.
My only (slight) disappoint is that the romantic in me wished there had been more personal closure for Agent Falk since I am under the impression that his appearances are limited to her first two books. That being said, I did appreciate the “adult” way Falk’s attraction to his colleague was written by Harper; i.e. no YA “insta love” or overly passionate or unrealistic romantic escapades.
Jane Harper is a new author (this is her second work), and I’m confidant I’ll enjoy following her for years to come! Although the two books can be read as stand alones, I think Force of Nature is a richer reading experience if you’ve read The Dry first as it introduces the character and background of Agent Falk. Also, I think The Dry is slightly more suspenseful with more plot twists. However, I rate each book as a solid 4 star read.
Recommended: I recommend Force of Nature for readers who are fans of Jane Harper and The Dry; for fans of atmospheric mysteries and crime fiction; for those who are looking for an undemanding, easy reading yet engaging, well written, and unputdownable vacation read; for readers who are looking for reads with limited profanity, violence, etc; for readers who might have visited the Giralang Range of Australia; and for book clubs. Jane Harper’s second work is on par with her first, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
My Rating: 4 Atmospheric Stars
Force of Nature Information Here
Meet the Author, Jane Harper
Jane Harper’s debut novel The Dry is an atmospheric thriller set in regional Australia.
The novel won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2015 and rights have since been sold in more than 20 territories.
The Dry was a No.1 bestseller in Australia and has been optioned for a film by Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea’s production company, Pacific Standard.
Jane worked as a print journalist for 13 years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne with her family.
Have you read Force of Nature or is it on your TBR?
Have you read The Dry?
Happy Reading Bookworms!
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Links For Summer Reading:
More about summer reading for children in this link: The Ardent Biblio: How to Design a Summer Reading Program For Your Kids
In case you missed it: my post highlighting some diverse reading recommendations for MG children here.
Friday, I’ll review Backman’s new release Us Against You……sequel to Beartown.
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“Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children” an absolutely delightful book that has inspired me to continue writing to my grandchildren. Also, “The House at Pooh Corner” A. A. Milne. I’m looking for Pooh “wisdom” and examples of friendship to share with my 21 grands. Pooh is timeless and we can all learn from him and his friends.
Wonderful reading selections! The Roosevelt book is not on my radar…I’ll check it out! Thanks so much for commenting.
[…] Force of Nature by Jane Harper Genre: Crime Fiction (stand alone….you do not have to have read The Dry before reading her second book). This title was on my Spring TBR and I’m still on the library wait list). ***Update: Solid read. 4 stars. Falk continues as a main character in this atmospheric mystery set in the isolated woods of Australia, and I enjoyed it just as much as The Dry. Force of Nature Review Here. […]
‘Sounds fascinating! I am not familiar with this author and will definitely check for her books. Thank you for sharing at Words on Wednesday! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures
Thanks for stopping in and commenting Marci! Hope you enjoy Jane Harper’s titles! Happy reading!
[…] Force of Nature by Jane Harper 4 Stars (Full Review Here) […]
[…] I would like more closure on the Aaron Falk storyline (her third book dropped his story line). (full review here) […]
[…] Dry or Force of Nature by Jane Harper (both) 4 […]
[…] ***UPDATE: 4 Stars. My review of Force of Nature here. […]
[…] Continue here for my review of Force of Nature by Jane Harper … […]
Hi – I also read The Dry and agree with you that I think it was slightly more suspenseful. I think I will continue to read Jane Harper’s books. Thanks for the review!
You’re welcome! I enjoyed her first 2 more than her 3rd but others loved it! She writes a solid atmospheric mystery!
Yes, I haven’t read The Lost Man and I see that she has a new one, The Survivors. We’ve read the first 2 for our mystery book club at the library where I work.
I was disappointed that only books 1 & 2 involve Agent Falk. I had hoped he would be a carryover character.
[…] Stars. Atmospheric, slow-burn mystery by the author of The Dry, Force of Nature, and The Lost Man. Review coming […]
[…] read Jane Harper, you know that she has a reputation for writing atmospheric mysteries: The Dry, Force of Nature, and The Lost Man. The Survivors follows in this tradition (although I find the mysteries somewhat […]
[…] Dry and Force of Nature by Jane […]
[…] Falk, an investigator we met in The Dry and Force of Nature, returns in this story that is set in Southern Australia’s wine country. The occasion is a […]