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?
I love when a synopsis doesn’t give too much away. It gives you just enough information to hook and bait you into wanting to read the book. The synopsis for this book does just that. All you really need to know is that five women, on a corporate retreat, headed out into the wilderness and only four of them came back. Hook, line, and sinker!
Aaron Falk is back with his new partner, Cameron Cooper. They work for the financial unit in Melbourne, in other words – they find the money. So why would they have an interest in finding the missing hiker? In an attempt to not include spoilers I will let you read the story to find out.
Once again, Jane Harper does a terrific job giving the reader a very rich book by using climate. The first book in this series, The Dry it was very hot and dry, aiding in creating a very intense story. In this book, Force of Nature it is cold, wet, and muddy. Holding true to the title, these women are up against nature in a very unpleasant environment adding to the extremely stressful and frustrating situation they are in.
I enjoyed the chapter layout. The first half of each chapter is focused on Falk and Cameron’s search for the missing hiker. The second half of the chapter follows the five women, starting with day one on their three-day wilderness retreat. This format works really well! I enjoyed watching the investigation getting closer and closer to what happened on the retreat, until both worlds finally collide. I found the last quarter of the book to be quite intense and I was very intrigued to find out what happened to the missing hiker.
I enjoyed this book, but I had a lot of trouble connecting with the characters, so for that reason I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected to. I found all the women to be quite unlikeable to the point of being annoying at times. I do like Aaron Falk and his partner Cameron – when we got to know them on a more personal level these two characters started to come to life and I found them very likeable.
This mystery was alright, but I’m afraid it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me quite like the previous one in the series, The Dry.
*Thank you NetGalley, Flatiron Books, and Jane Harper for the opportunity to read and review this book for my honest opinion.
My Rating: 3.5/5
Series: Aaron Falk, #2
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 2/6/2018
Pages: 329 (eBook)
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