Exiles [Book Review] #Mystery @MacMillanAudio

 Exiles by Jane Harper

Set in Australia, Exiles by Jane Harper is a slow-burn mystery and #3 in the Aaron Falk series. (can be read as a stand-alone)  The story features generous sides of family and friends drama and a budding romance.

Exiles by Jane Harper (cover) Image: the top of a ferris wheel is seen over the tops of several trees

Genre/Categories/Setting: Fiction, Mystery, Detective, Family Drama, Community, Australia

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links

**This review may contain spoilers.

My Summary of Exiles:

Thanks #NetGalley @MacMillanAudio for a complimentary listening ARC of #Exiles upon my request. All opinions are my own.

“We see what we expect to see.”

Aaron 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 baby christening where Falk is the Godfather. The christening was supposed to take place a year earlier; however, a missing mother and her abandoned baby upset the community and the christening was postponed for one year. The mother disappeared from the town’s annual festival and Falk, although not involved in the case, has his curiosity piqued about the unsolved case once he arrives in town. While plans progress for the family christening, Falk wonders if the cold case is connected to another death in the small town, Falk conducts behind-the-scenes inquiries and pieces clues together. He unexpectedly finds himself attracted to a beautiful woman.

My Thoughts:


Although Exiles is not exactly a page-turner, it is well crafted and does build suspense and tension for a dramatic ending. I would say that 80% is slow-burn and the last 20% is faster-paced.


Jane Harper has developed a reputation for writing atmospheric mysteries filled with vivid details, and Exiles does not disappoint. Establishing a strong sense of place, the author draws complicated characters, reveals complex relationships, and creates a multilayered plot for a satisfying story.

Falk Returns

I was thrilled when I heard about the return of Aaron Falk! Harper’s first two books feature Falk and then he disappears for the next two. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed, so I was happy to know that Harper hadn’t abandoned him and that he was part of a planned trilogy all along!  Even though Exile is #3, it can totally be read as a stand-alone.  ***SPOILER*** Exiles gives the Falk character the closure and hope for a happy future he deserves. In fact, I felt more engaged with the slow-burn romance than I did with the mystery! Readers who are attached to Falk will want to read Exiles!

Audio Format

Because Exiles is a slow-burn mystery and highly atmospheric and not especially fast-paced, I’m highly recommending the audio format. The narrator kept me engaged in the story when I might have set aside the print version. For me, the Australian accent is delightfully engaging and the narrator sounds like the Falk I imagine!


As I’ve already mentioned, Exiles is also a slow-burn (closed door) romance which I’m totally here for! I need Falk to have a happy ending. The budding romance was the most engaging part of the story for me.

Recommending Exiles

I’m definitely recommending Exiles (especially the audio format) for fans of Jane Harper and atmospheric mysteries, for fans of Aaron Falk, and for those who appreciate gently-told mysteries.

***Contains Spoilers”””
Content Consideration: domestic abuse, toxic relationship, death, grief

Related: I have also reviewed The Survivors and Force of Nature by Jane Harper

My Rating:  4.5  Stars

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Exiles by Jane Harper (cover)i Image:

More Information Here (audio recommended)

Meet the Author of Exiles, Jane Harper

Author of Exiles and The Survivors, Jane HarperJane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year, the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 2017. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.


Is this mystery on your TBR? Are you a Jane Harper fan?

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  1. Great review Carol . I loved this book and the fact that the mystery unfolded quite slowly. It’s nice to read a mystery/crime book that goes at a slower pace sometimes as a lot of them are very fast with lots of action. The sense of place is something I have loved in all of Jane Harper’s books and I do love Falk.

  2. Thanks for sharing your review of Exiles. I’ve read and enjoyed The Dry and Force of Nature and really like the way she brings the atmosphere of Australia into the story. Happy reading!

  3. I don’t mind a slow burn book when the writing is good as well as the ending. Wonderful review, Carol.

    • I think so Laura…..but perhaps it seems a little slower because the romance was more intriguing (to me)! The ending although faster paced was a bit anti climactic. It’s still a solid story though…especially if you prefer more gently told stories.

      • Thanks Carol. It really depends on how much character development there is and how plot centered it is. I definitely prefer books that capture your attention from the beginning. Some type of angst , mystery etc…..

      • The beginning captured my attention, characters are well developed, and the resolution is fast paced…but the whole middle is slow burn! You could download a sample to read or listen to!

  4. Jane Harper’s book have been on my TBR and I need to get to them! I appreciate gently-told mysteries and am not opposed to a slow-burn romance. I’m looking forward to reading this!

  5. Excellent review, Carol. I just finished listening to The Dry, and have the next one cued up ready to go. I’m glad that Falk will get a happily ever after. I connected to him right away and wanted everything to work out for him. I hope to get to this book soon and will definitely be listening to it.

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