Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Another Arron Falk crime story.

Five women set off on an executive bonding expedition across the outback. Only four come back. Alice Russell, the missing woman, happens to be the informant providing key information to Falk’s team’s investigation into financial crime, which his why Falk and his partner Carmen get involved.

This is therefore a story of the search for the missing woman, followed by the investigation after her body is found. Of course the other women in the group all have reasons to dislike Alice. The fact that this particular area had been terrorised by a serial killer of young women about 20 years earlier adds a complication, as do issues at home involving Alice’s daughter. The story of the women and the expedition unfolds until we get to the inevitable denouement.

I have seen this book publicised with blurb announcing that Force of Nature is more impressive than The Dry. Sorry, but it is not. Compared with that tour de force, this is competent and workmanlike. It is certainly well written and structured: there was no danger of my losing interest.

But it’s not exceptional. I see that I gave The Lost Man 8 out of 10. Force of Nature is not quite as good : 7 out of 10.

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