Force of Nature: A Novel

Force of Nature: A Novel

by Jane Harper


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250105653
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 11,920
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jane Harper worked as a print journalist for 13 years before writing her first novel, The Dry, a #1 international bestseller. Originally from the UK, Jane lives in Melbourne. Force of Nature is her second novel.

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Force of Nature: A Novel 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hoped this would live up to the excellence of The Dry and was not disappointed. While its plot sweltered in the drought, this one weighs us down with the cold, wet misery of a group of women lost in the wilderness. It has a few holes like the exact nature of the corporate crime Federal Agent Aaron Falk and his partner are investigating with the help of the now missing hiker...and don't Australian search and rescue teams use dogs?! I know it was raining a good deal of the search, but not always. Still, those questions don't stop me from awarding it with 5 stars as Harper's excellent writing and complex characterization elevate it.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
“It wasn’t any one thing that went wrong, it was a hundred little things. It all kept adding up until it was just too late.” Force of Nature is the second book in the Aaron Falk series by award-winning Australian journalist and author, Jane Harper. A late-night call has AFP agent Aaron Falk and his Financial Intelligence Unit partner Carmen Cooper heading for the Giralang Ranges. A corporate team-building weekend has gone wrong and one of the participants, Alice Russell, is missing. Alice is the whistle-blower in their current case, so Falk and Cooper are concerned that her actions have been exposed to their target, resulting in some sort of retaliatory action. But when they arrive, the local Police Sergeant shares his own concerns: that Alice may be a victim of Sam Kovac, the son of notorious serial killer, Martin Kovac, whose killing field was in the Giralang Ranges. And as they question the remaining members of the party, they become aware of just how unpopular Alice was with her colleagues. Could she have come to harm at their hands? Or has the pressure simply become too much, prompting her to disappear off the scene? Has it anything to do with certain photos and clips spreading on social media? Falk’s second outing is easily as fine as his first. The narrative alternates between Falk’s observations as he investigates, and the account of events during the weekend from the perspective of each of the four remaining participants. It soon becomes apparent that none of those questioned is completely candid about what happened, or what they know. The storyline is highly credible, with several twists and red herrings keeping the reader guessing right up to the exciting climax. Harper effortlessly evokes the Australian winter mountain landscape, and her characters are typical of those one might encounter in an office environment. Falk’s inner monologue and his dialogue with Cooper give the reader insight into his career choice and personal history, and reinforce his integrity. This is another excellent example of Aussie Crime Fiction and, whether or not it features Aaron Falk, more from Jane Harper will be eagerly anticipated.
Anonymous 26 days ago
TiBookChatter 4 months ago
A corporate retreat goes wrong, leaving a missing woman behind. In theory this should have been a real page-turner but in reality it was a story that I really just wanted to give up on. However, because it’s gotten plenty of good reviews from bloggers I respect, I pushed myself to finish it. Me, pushing to get through it didn’t pay off. A group of catty women head into the wilderness on a corporate retreat. None of them are properly equipped for the elements and when they get lost, they cannot for the life of them pull together as a team and figure a way out. Plus, they aren’t being honest with one another so when one of them goes missing, a woman no one likes, no one really cares about her disappearance. In my opinion, having this unlikable character be the missing woman was a big mistake because I didn’t care if she was found or not. The added background story of what was going on with the woman at the time of her disappearance really didn’t add anything to the story so I’m not even sure why it was included. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this one.
JLeighG More than 1 year ago
Force of Nature is a suspenseful mystery book. It will keep you guessing until the end who did it. The multiple POV gave the unique experience of seeing the events unfold from the past along with seeing things unfold in present time. It meshes together so well. Every character is unique. Also, even though this is the second book in a series it can be read as a standalone. I was never confused by any parts of this book. I can’t wait to read more of the series.
Candice_S More than 1 year ago
One of my very favorite things is finding a new author. One of my second favorite things is finding a character that I love, and then finding out that there are multiple books featuring that character. Aaron Falk is one of those characters for me. I read The Dry last month, and completely fell in love with Jane Harper as an author. I had been recommended this book extensively from fellow bookworms, and everyone was completely right – this book was the exact recipe of what I love in a story, complete with a lead character who was the perfect mix of flawed human and respectable hero. Imagine my considerable glee when I found out immediately after finishing that book, that there was ALREADY A SECOND BOOK FEATURING FEDERAL AGENT FALK! Which I immediately added to my collection, and which I immediately bumped to the top of my reading stack. I was not disappointed – Force of Nature is, I daresay, even better than The Dry. Synopsis: Five colleagues are sent on a corporate retreat into the forest wilderness. One of the women does not return – and the stories on why from the four remaining women don’t add up. Aaron Falk has a particular interest in the missing woman – who was working as a secret source on his current case – and finds himself trying to untangle where everything went wrong. This book was perfectly paced – moving back and forth between the present-day investigation and what happened on the trip over the previous 4 days, the tension and suspense kept increasing with each page. I inhaled this book, largely because with each new chapter I was more and more reluctant to put it down without figuring out exactly what did happen to Alice. Jane Harper is remarkable at swiftly moving a plot forward without losing track of the small, complex details that make the story. Without question, my favorite part of Jane’s stories is how she creates the environment of the story so vividly that it becomes like a character itself. I find myself so easily transported into imagining the terrain, the weather, the damp, the feeling of being watched, the tension of being lost. When I can lose myself so entirely into a story, it is the mark of a perfectly crafted piece of work. Most importantly – I loved how Jane moved Aaron’s story forward. I loved the small details that tied Aaron back to the events in The Dry, without revisiting that story in detail. I like to see a character stay consistent, while still having the ability to grow and expand. Jane nails it on both fronts – and left me wanting to see what happens next for Aaron. I have my fingers anxiously crossed for book #3 in the Aaron Falk series. Overall, this is a strong 5 star read for me. For my fellow bookworms who love a good crime mystery with a healthy dose of character drama – Jane Harper is the author for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Forces of Nature is a great follow up to The Dry. Love the storyline and the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harper's first novel, The Dry, is definitely upstaged by the second installment of the series. Force of Nature paints a subtle and yet disturbing story of a company retreat gone wrong. The double helix structure that flips back and forth from the doomed camping expedition to the ongoing investigation is well done and constantly holds the attention of the reader.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
I really loved Jane’s first novel, The Dry so I was hoping this second novel was going to be just as fantastic as the first. The funny thing was, I kept having to remind myself as I read, that these were grown women that I was reading about and not teenagers. I just couldn’t believe grown women would behave this way. It was like a free-for-all as they verbally and mentally stabbed each other on a corporate retreat. I also had a hard understanding how not one of these women knew how to read a map and no one thought this might be important to know before they went on this adventure together. The novel begins as a group of tired men walk out of the brush, having just finished a corporate retreat out in the wilderness. They have made it! The men now have to wait for a group of corporate women who had their own separate retreat to return to this pickup site so they can return home. Panic sets in as the women make it back for Alice was not among those who have returned. How could she had gotten lost when she left before the other women did? We travel back in time to hear how the women’s retreat went as Federal Agent Falk reappears and it was nice to have Falk back after having him in The Dry. Falk is tied to this investigation and it’s not just because he is working the case. Falk knew Alice before this investigation started so as they begin to unravel the case, Falk’s prior interest in Alice comes into play. It seems that the instant these women are left alone on this retreat, the claws came out. Who in their right mind thought putting these women together would be a good decision? They all seemed liked pests as they go at one another, either behind their backs or right to their faces. It didn’t just start on this retreat, oh no, this has been building and the gloves are coming off! The author decided that we need more drama as the women come upon an evil cabin. I loved the idea of this cabin, the aroma and the filth was sufficient for me but this cabin had a greater story, a story I didn’t feel was necessary for this novel. I was glad to see Agent Falk back in this novel and I enjoyed Jane’s writing. I wasn’t too thrilled with all the women’s battering that was taking place during this novel. I did enjoy the side stories that surfaced and how they all tied in to one another. I look forward to more stories by Jane.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Distinct characters, each with own agenda. Not predictable. ThE reader can relate to many people and incidents within the story but each reader in his or her own way.
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
Force of Nature by Jane Harper is a highly recommended thriller set in the Giralang mountain range north of Melbourne, Australia. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk, from Harper's debut novel The Dry, is back. Five women from the BaileyTennants accountancy firm set out on the trek in the Giralang range while on a corporate wilderness retreat, but only four return. From the start, before the team building exercise went awry, it was clear that the participants were all reluctantly participating. After all, it is one thing to work with your colleagues and another to go hiking in the cold and rain through the wilderness with them. When the women are late for the pickup time, and then finally make it out of the wilderness minus one member and different stories, it is clear that something happened. Federal agents Aaron Falk and Carmen Cooper become involved when the missing woman, Alice Russell, turns out to be their informant in their investigation of the accounting firm and an on-going money-laundering scheme. It is unclear if her disappearance has anything to do with their case, because Alice seems to be universally disliked for any one of a number of reasons. Adding to the mystery is the legacy left by a serial killer who murdered young women in the same area twenty years ago. He is dead, but is there a copy-cat? I appreciate the well-developed characters and setting. The novel expertly portrays the distrust between the five women and reasons for it, including Alice's cruelty and bossy behavior in the present and the past. The women and their backgrounds are slowly revealed, along with current circumstances that influence their relationships with each other. The weather and location both add additional dimensions to the story - wet, gloomy, cold, and dark, oppressive, somewhat sinister. There is also more insight into Falk's character for those who read The Dry, although Force of Nature can be read as a stand-alone novel. The narrative helps propel the plot forward as it alternates between Alice and the other women, revealing their secrets and past relationships, and Falk's thoughts and investigation. Harper's writing is just as brilliant this time and Force of Nature can also be described as engaging, extremely well-written, and finely paced novel. It's not quite as perfect as The Dry, but, then, Harper set her own bar so high with her first novel. Certainly Force of Nature is worth reading and held my rapt attention to the perfect ending. 4.5 Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Flatiron Books.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
BaileyTennants Accounting Firm had organised a corporate team building exercise in the Giralange Ranges, Australia, a dense woodland, with streams, waterfalls etc that stretches on for miles and miles. The Ranges were also once home to the notorious serial killer, Martin Kovac. The firm had selected two separate groups for the exercise, a male and a female group, made up of four chosen employees and one company executive each. The challenge was to spend three nights in the Ranges, where the groups would have to navigate themselves from one side to the other with just a map and a compass. Camp sites had been arranged for each night with food and water left for the groups. They set off on Thursday afternoon, after handing in their mobile phones, and were to be out the other side by 12pm on Sunday. When Sunday arrived the male group were out by 12, but the female group were nowhere to be seen. With panic setting in, relief was short lived when at 6pm the women emerged, albeit injured, but only four had returned, where was Alice Russell? Force of Nature is a mild thriller, but one that kept me guessing the whole way through and I had come up with numerous reasons for Alice’s disappearance. It had me hooked right from the start and I enjoyed every minute of it. The book is split into two separate points of view, Federal Agent Aaron falks and his partner Carmen Cooper, and the women, with their POV time stamped too. Agent Falks had been investigating BaileyTennants for suspected money laundering and Alice had been his inside informant, so he had a vested interest in the case, especially when he also received a call from Alice the night before, in which he thinks he can hear the words ‘Hurt Her’. As I was reading I kept on thinking, I know the name Aaron Falks, but couldn’t place him, then it suddenly came to me. He was the Federal Agent involved in Jane Harper’s first book, The Dry. I can’t believe I got part way through the book before I realised they were connected. The plot and the characters were both very realistic and I could perfectly visualise not only the people involved, but also the scenery which was so vivid. It felt at times that I was walking with the group, with the soggy wet ground making my feet cold, overgrown bushes and tree that whipped you as you past them. Branches snapping, making you nervous as to whether someone was watching, following you. Oh, and that rain that never seemed to stop. Whilst I enjoyed the book from beginning to end and, I didn’t guess what had actually happened to Alice, which is something unusual in thrillers, because I’ve normally worked out what happened by the time it is revealed, I also felt a little let down too. I reached the end with unanswered questions and started to wonder whether I had missed the answers, but realised that there were so many of them, I couldn’t of missed them all. Seen as this book is the second in a series I did wonder whether the answers would be revealed in the next book, but then except for Agent Falks, the first two books aren’t connected, so I doubt this is the case, but you never know. It truly is a wonderful book. The storyline naturally and easily flowed as Ms. Harper’s writing is superb. I fully invested my time and enjoyed every minute of it. I was actually sorry to reach the end as I was that involved in the plot. I now can’t wait for the next in the series – Please tell me there is going to be a next?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Force Of Nature is just that. A force to be reckoned with. Jane Harper is a terrific, talented, and gifted storyteller. I did not want this great story to end. I was completely absorbed and overtaken by the misadventures and troubles produced by a simple hike in the outback and its ramifications for all involved. I could not wait to turn the page. When it ended, all I could think of was when Ms. Harper was going to write another outstanding novel. Force Of Nature is the second installment in the Aaron Falk series. He is a Financial Crimes federal police officer in Australia. I enjoyed the slight but nuanced cultural differences between the United States and Australia. This added color, character and texture to what is already a great series not to be missed.