Force of Nature
Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.
The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – in just a matter of days she was to provide the documents that will bring down the company she works for.
Falk discovers that far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. But does it include murder?
I think I created a problem in my own mind when I kept comparing this book to The Dry – a book I absolutely loved. Force of Nature is Jane Harper’s second book in the FPA Aaron Falk series and whilst the protagonist is the same character, he is back in a more reflective way – I feel his story here is one of healing, the crimes in the narrative forming a backdrop to Falk’s inner turmoil that is resolving/ healing as the pages turn. Whilst I did enjoy this read, the tempo was much slower than I had anticipated.
Further I could not but help thinking Belanglo State Forest and the infamous Milat crimes each time I turned a page, I don’t know if this was an unintentional or intentional memory that the author was using to build drama – but it didn’t work for me – maybe the association was too fresh in my mind, too well known?
Despite the slower pace this was an enjoyable but not a breathtaking read. I do however look forward to seeing the next journey the author takes the protagonist on.