Category Archives: Jane Harper

**Blog tour** Force Of Nature by Jane Harper #BookReview @Janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK

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Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for the Force Of Nature by Jane Harper. I was a huge fan of the first book in the series THE DRY and it’s a book I would highly recommend. If you are looking for a different type of crime thriller that doesn’t involve a serial killer or gruesome scenes that you are going to love The Force Of Nature, so what’s it about? Read on to find out

Book description

FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK…

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 reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged landscape 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 – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

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Force Of Nature by Jane Harper is the second book in a series featuring Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk, yes it can be read as a standalone but if like me you prefer to start a series at the beginning I would highly recommend you read The Dry first. From the start this book has such a different feel to it, we leave the blistering heat and claustrophobic setting of a small town in the outback and move to the cold, wet and hostile environment of the remote Giralang Range. The author has a flair for describing her settings in great detail, so much so that you feel you are there amid the harsh terrain, the howling winds and the torrential rain, the sense of isolation the author evokes is palatable from the start.

Can you imagine trekking through the wilderness with your work colleagues? Putting your trust in them? Reliant on each other to survive? All in the name of “team building” no? well that’s pretty much the premise for this book. Aaron Falk and his partner Carmen are called to the Giralang Range, when Alice one of the team members goes missing. Force Of Nature is told in alternating timelines, you have chapters that take the reader back in time to follow the women on their hike, and then you have chapters featuring Aaron and Carmen in the present assisting the search and slowly revealing the details of Alice’s disappearance.

Force Of Nature reminds me very much of the traditional “whodunnit”, where the focus is more on the characters and guessing whose behind the skullduggery and the why, rather than the fast paced, gruesome crime thrillers many of us are use to reading. Jane Harper focuses her time on building on the tension and suspense, which some readers may find off putting, but personally I enjoyed the more sedate pace.

As Jane Harper reveals more details of the five women life’s I found myself scrutinising everyone of them with suspicion. The author very realistically portrays the woman’s behaviour and emotions set against the backdrop of an isolated environment where their instinct to survive far outweighs their allegiance to their work colleagues. Force Of Nature is a complex tale that explores themes such as grudges, bullying and family ties, shrouded in mystery and secrets, that draw the reader in making for an engrossing read. Force Of Nature is a book I would recommend to those who enjoy a crime thriller with a heart and aren’t a fan of the more gruesome crime thrillers that are on the market.

Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (26 Sept. 2017)

My thanks to the publishers for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

About the author

Jane 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.

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The Dry by Jane Harper #Bookreview @janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK

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Book description

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

So I’ve finally got around to reading The Dry by Jane Harper, shameful I know and I must be one of the last bloggers on the planet to read this book (hangs head in shame). This book was HUGE on it’s release way back in January 2017, everyone was talking about it well apart from me of course, book bloggers raved about it and it’s one of the most popular books on bloggers top reads of 2017. So was The Dry worth the wait? am I kicking myself for not reading it before now? Well here are my thoughts…… 

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This novel has the most intriguing prologue, it’s one of those that leaves you desperate to flick to the last chapter of the novel to read the outcome, I never I should add but I was very tempted. Atmospheric and beautifully written, The Dry is part police procedural, part murder mystery. This compelling novel transports the reader to a small farming community in Kiewaara Australia. the towns people are ravaged by feelings of resentment and distrust that are exacerbated by the worse drought in a century. The author paints a bleak but realistic portrayal of a town and it’s community. Jane Harper describes the town, the constant heat and the desperation of the towns people with such conviction, Kiewarra felt oppressively claustrophobic, and those feelings stayed with me until I reached the final pages of this captivating novel.

The Dry begins with the suicide of Luke, which could potentially be connected to a death years earlier. The protagonist, Aaron Falk, returns to Kiewarra for the funeral and finds himself investigating Luke’s death to determine what really happened. As he pursues the truth, secrets emerge, and passed resentments surface. The author has created an array of characters that are credible and well depicted, at some point I suspected each character of “wrong doings”, I just love it when an author keeps me guessing, it always makes for a more enjoyable read. The author narrates the story in the present, but she also includes extracts from Falk and Luke’s past, which explore the events leading up to Falk being accused of murder as a teenager, not only do these extracts give you insight to Falk’s character but they add to the simmering tension.

The Dry isn’t a fast paced mystery by any means, it’s more of an intricate slow reveal, the author entices the reader with small titbits, deftly leading the reader to a dramatic Conclusion. Now normally I’m not a fan of a slow paced thriller, but I’m actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel I relished the slower pace, the atmosphere, the characters and the intricate plot, so much so I read it at every opportunity. The author has written a tense and evocative thriller and one that’s worthy of all its hype, it’s definitely a book I would highly recommend to those who enjoy a murder/mystery where a fast pace is not your first priority. I’m thrilled I’ve read this book so late in the year, as it means that The Dry was my last read of 2017 so I definitely feel I have finished my year of reading on a high. I know one thing for sure, I won’t be leaving it a year to read Force Of Nature the second book in the series

Buying links:       Amazon UK 🇬🇧   Amazon US 🇺🇸

Publisher: Little, Brown (12 Jan. 2017)

Print Length: 336 pages