When reading this book while watching cricket in Adelaide recently several people, who had read The Dry, noticed what I was reading and asked me what I thought of the book. I was able to tell them that Force of Nature was also definitely worth reading.
Jane Harper's second novel is once again set in Victoria - this time in dense bush on a mountain range. A corporate character building hiking exercise ends in disaster when Alice, one of the participants, disappears. As Alice had been assisting Aaron Falk and Carmen Cooper in a financial investigation regarding the company, BaileyTennants, these two members of the Federal Police assist local police with the investigation. Not only is the area where Alice disappeared thick bush but the area has a reputation as four women disappeared in the region twenty years earlier.
The author reveals the story gradually. Each chapter consists of a section describing the search for Alice while a second section gradually reveals what happened during the the three day hike. It soon becomes clear that there is tension and history between the women in the group and what was meant to be a character developing exercise results in total disarray among group members. We also learn more about Aaron Falk and his relationship with is father.
It is great to have another Australian crime writer who allows the landscape to be a focal part of the story as the mystery is revealed. I look forward to reading the next novel by Jane Harper.