The Force of Nature

The Force of Nature by Jane Harper

This is a re-read for me.  My library’s book discussion group chose this book for our October read.  As a rule, I have not been a big fan of re-reading books because there are just too many great books .  Why “waste” time re-reading something I already read? I am seriously rethinking this opinion! 

I originally read this book last year and I didn’t remember enough to intelligently discuss it.  So I had to reread the book.

The premise: This is a story of a corporate team building event gone wrong. Two groups (5 women, 5 men) take off into the Australian outback for a 3 day hiking/camping retreat.  The story is focused on the women’s group because while 5 go in, only 4 come out.

If you read The Dry by Jane Harper, you will recognize Aaron Falk, as he makes his first appearance in that book.  We learn that Falk was investigating the higher-ups of this company for mob related crimes. We learn that the missing woman was helping him gather incriminating evidence against them.  But what we really want to learn is what happened out there and how was it related to his investigation?

The narration alternates between several characters (none of whom seem happy to be on the retreat or investigating it), so we get multiple perspectives on what’s going on and we never know if the narrators can be trusted.

Just one day in, the women lose the trail and end up off course. If you’ve ever been lost in the woods (even for just a few minutes) you can probably imagine how terrifying if would be!  They quickly turn on each other as they struggle to find their way.

This is a twisty mystery with lots of the great outdoors blended in!  If that sounds good to you, pick it up! (While it does contain a few references to things that happened to Falk in The Dry, you do not need to read that first.)

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