Tag Archives: Jane Harper

Blog Tour: Force of Nature by Jane Harper

force of nature new

Today I’m absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Jane Harper’s latest novel, Force of Nature.  I absolutely loved The Dry (you can see my review here), and so I was thrilled to receive a copy of Harper’s follow up, which brings Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk back into our lives.

Is Alice here?  Did she make it?  Is she safe?

In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice’s welfare.

Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.

Five women on a team building exercise head out into the Giralang Ranges with camping equipment and essentials for surviving in the wilderness for three days.  Phones are left behind, not that they’d be much use in this remote area.

Three days later, only four women make it to the final checkpoint, arriving several hours late.  No one knows where Alice Russell is, or how or why she disappeared.  And survival in the wilderness with limited supplies and experience won’t be easy…

The Dry was always going to be a tough act to follow, but I think that Harper has succeeded in Force of Nature.  I was swept away by this novel, eager to know what had happened to Alice, although I couldn’t really bring myself to care about her character – it was the mystery I wanted to solve.

Force of Nature alternates between the investigation in the days immediately after Alice goes missing, and what happened during the three days the women were out in the wild.  Whilst exercises such as this are meant to build trust and to encourage team work and cooperation if not friendship, it’s clear from the beginning that these five women are never going to get along.  Alice in particular is painted in a poor light – aggressive and cruel, she’d be a nightmare to get on with in any situation.  Whilst I didn’t care for her personally, I did want to find out what happened, however, and I enjoyed the gradual reveal of what had taken place during their time in the great outdoors.

So where does Aaron Falk fit in?  As a member of the financial crime unit, missing persons aren’t part of Falk’s jurisdiction, but Alice Russell was helping Falk and his partner, Carmen, in their latest investigation into BaileyTennants – the company that the five women work for.  This raises questions as to whether Alice’s disappearance was a result of misadventure or foul play, and I love the way in which both options were kept open and entirely plausible, keeping the reader on their toes until the denouement, which did come as a surprise to me.  I loved how the novel ended though – all the clues were there, but so subtly delivered that I missed them along the way.

Force of Nature follows on from The Dry, but can easily be read as a standalone, as the references to the previous novel are kept to a minimum.  I would absolutely recommend reading both, however, as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them, and I’m hoping that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Aaron Falk.

Force of Nature is available to purchase in hardback and eBook.  Many thanks to Grace Vincent and Little, Brown Book Group for my review copy, and to Kimberley Nyamhondera for the invitation to take part in the blog tour.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Make sure you check out the other fantastic stops on the blog tour today:

Force of nature 8 Feb

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Blog Tour: The Dry by Jane Harper

I’m absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Dry by Jane Harper which will be published tomorrow – 12 January – by Little, Brown.

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Rating: ★★★★★

Aaron Falk left his home town of Kiewarra 20 years ago.  Against his wishes and his better judgement, he has now returned to the small farming community for the funeral of his one-time best friend, Luke Hadler, after Luke shot his wife and son before turning his gun on himself.

Aaron wants to get the visit over and done with as quickly as possible – Kiewarra brings back a lot of bad memories – but when Luke’s parents ask him to investigate the death of Luke and his family, he can’t refuse.  Aaron works as a Federal Police Investigator in Melbourne, but he’s out of his jurisdiction, and he teams up with the local police officer, Greg Raco, who also has a few questions over the apparent murder-suicide.

The Dry successfully weaves together the investigation into the Hadler family’s deaths with another, older mystery that was never successfully solved, although plenty of people have their opinions about what happened on both counts.  I don’t want to say too much about the second element, as I think that it’s something best discovered by the reader, but the two mysteries come together really well, and both add a great deal of intrigue to the novel.  And I really liked the way that parts of the novel are told through flashbacks giving the reader hints towards both mysteries.  This is a device that can sometimes result in a disjointed novel, but I thought that Harper used it really well in The Dry, and those sections fit seamlessly into the novel, helping to enhance the story.

I absolutely loved the small-town setting of Kiewarra.  It’s one of the those towns where you’ll always be a newbie if you weren’t born there, and where everyone knows each other’s secrets, family history and comings and goings.   This is a town with plenty of family feuds, and Aaron’s return does cause a few sparks for those who thought they’d seen the back of him.  The tense, almost claustrophobic atmosphere is also enhanced by the drought that Kiewarra has been experiencing for the last two years.  Detrimental to the farming community and local economy, it’s easy to understand why tempers are short, and why Aaron’s questions often rub people up the wrong way.

The Dry is, quite simply, astounding.  You’d never know that this is Harper’s debut from the quality of – it has absolutely everything.  It’s well written, has great, well-rounded characters, the mystery has plenty of twists, turns and red herrings, and everything is neatly tied up by the end of the novel.  I absolutely loved it.

The Dry will be published on 12 January.  Many thanks to Grace Vincent for providing a copy for review.

Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour:

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