Forces of Nature by Jane Harper Review

Title: Forces of Nature

Author: Jane Harper

Narrator: Steve Shanahan

Publisher:  Wavesound Audio

Format: Audiobook

Publication Date: September 26th, 2017

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars 

Source: Libby (Overdrive)

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track.
Only four come out on 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 encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that’s what the corporate retreat website advertises.
Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker, Alice Russell. Because Alice knew secrets, about the company she worked for and the people she worked with.
The four returning women tell Falk a tale of fear, violence and fractured trust during their days in the remote Australian bushland. And as Falk delves into the disappearance of Alice, he begins to suspect some dangers ran far deeper than anyone knew.
Jane Harper knocks it out of the park again. I delayed reading this book, because I wasn’t sure Force of Nature could stack up against The Dry, but it was just as strong even if it was an entirely different kind of book. I do admit to wondering how she is going to keep the action going considering Aaron is in the finance division, but I’m definitely up for the adventure!

I liked that this book rotated between the different group members. Normally I don’t like point of view switches, but this book drops you into the middle of a dynamic that the reader has no way of navigating without them. These women had a TON of baggage as they headed out onto this trip, and most of it was interpersonal. Bre and Beth are twin siblings, Lauren and Alice are childhood friends (although friends is a bit of a stretch), and Jill is viewed as the leader and therefore outcast. It was a twisty story, and in the end I’m not sure that I liked any of the women.

We did learn more about Aaron and his current life which was nice since The Dry was so full of his past. It was a good reminder, that he had grown up and wasn’t that same scared kid that left Kiwarra. Also I’m writing this review 2.5 months after listening to this book, and I still remember the characters names and the names of the places which tells me that I did love this book as much I thought I did. 4 out of 5 suspenseful stars.