Fiction · Mystery · Psychological Thriller · Thriller

Force of Nature by Jane Harper – Book Review

Five women go on a hike.  Only four return.  Jane Harper, the New York Times best selling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?
When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.
But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods.  And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker.  In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers.  But did that lead to murder?

Force of Nature is the second book of the Aaron Falk series by Jane Harper.  I have read the first book (and if you haven’t yet, I can’t even begin to say how much you should remedy that situation…just read my review), but it can be read as a standalone with very minimal confusion in the general plotline; however, some of Falk’s backstory will be lost.  Still, if you haven’t read it, I HIGHLY recommend doing so.

Two things make this book (and Jane Harper’s writing in general) so exceptional: the character development and the environment in which the book is set.  The characters and their backstories were so deep and complex, and you truly begin to question everyone and their intentions.  For each of them, you were constantly questioning how far they would go to protect themselves and how far they would go to protect their families.  In addition, I absolutely adore Falk as a character because he’s just so…genuinely (yet endearingly) flawed.  He has experienced so many tragic happenings in his life, and his personality and reactions truly feel authentic to his background.

You wouldn’t want to be lost out there for too long.  It’s the panic that gets you.  Everything starts to look the same after a few days, makes it hard to trust what you’re seeing.

In addition to the character development, the setting truly made this book as suspenseful and thrilling as it was.  Similar to The Dry, the setting created a true sense of dread.  I felt as though I was truly in the woods with the hikers, no discernible trail to be found, fearing what I could not see beyond the trees.  In addition, the dark history surrounding the trails made me question why in the world some company would think it was a good idea to start an corporate retreat outing at that location of all places?!

This was an excellent, slow burning, atmospheric psychological thriller with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.  I seriously did not see that ending coming (and ask my husband…I always guess the plot twist for every show we watch on Netflix #SorryNotSorry).  Get your copy today!




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