Saturday, 10 February 2018

Force Of Nature - Jane Harper BLOG TOUR



Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?


Following The Dry, Jane has picked yet another superb setting for The Force Of Nature, Giralang Ranges, and it comes with it's own history, that of Martin Kovac, a serial killer that still haunts the area, continuing to haunt everyone's memories and nightmares.
Five women are on a corporate team building hike run by Executive Adventures, only four make it to the end. Federal Agent Aaron Falk of the Melbourne Financial Investigations Unit returns, this time with colleague, Carmen Cooper. They have been looking into financial corruption and money laundering at Bailey Tennants, the company of which the 5 women work for, and no one knows that Alice Russell is in the process of accessing and handing over crucial documents over to Falk and Cooper. 

When Aaron receives a voicemail from Alice from which he makes out the words 'hurt her' and as Alice is the one team member to not make it to the end of the trail with her team, Aaron feels guilty, suspecting the worst thinking that they endangered her life. The couple come across so human and real because Falk and Cooper are constantly concerned about what happened to Alice but their bosses are only persistent in demanding to get a hold of the documents she was going to hand over no matter what.
It's safe to say I've missed Aaron Falk since our first trip in Australia during the draught of his home town, so it was a lovely reunion even if not exactly on the best of terms. Its lovely to see Aaron as part of a pairing once again. Carmen seems like just the perfect match for him in a professional matter when it comes to with ways of thinking etc..Carmen also proves to be instrumental in Aaron coming to terms with the guilt he holds when it comes to the death of his father, a man well acquainted with the Girlang Ranges.

The story follows the search for Alice and the parallel narrative that tells us what happened amongst the group of lost women as they struggle in the dense bush land, cold, wet, hungry, thirsty and desperate to survive.

Jill Bailey is the head of her team during the hike due to her executive position in the company, this is as hard as always because throughout Alice is constantly hacks away at her authority in her efforts to return to Melbourne to be with her daughter, Margot. It's clear quite quickly that Alice is not nice, holding tightly to her mean and nasty streak that just gives rise to a host of suspects with a motive to do away with her on the hike. 
Alice has a dark history with Lauren Shaw that goes back to their schooldays. Lauren is a vulnerable woman, unable to cope at work as her daughter, Rebecca, whom we find out had descended into the deep depths of misery with mental health issues after an incident at school. Beth is on probation after leaving prison having battled drug addiction and in the process of trying to mend her battered relationship with her twin, Breanna. As the women's situation deteriorates, the rifts, rivalries, conflicts, resentments and jealousies surface, destined to lead to violence. Aaron slowly begins to piece together the mystery of the missing Alice.

Jane Harper once again gives us a strong image of the location in the Girlang Ranges with her beautiful and detailed descriptions of the landscape and the dangers within it, with the howling winds and driving rain. Jane' psychological insights make her complex characters and their development authentic to the reader. Her writing is so vibrant that I felt I was right there with the lost women as they stumbled their way through the bush, hunger and fear contributing to their downward spiral as they turn on each other and Alice. The strongest recurring theme is the issue of just how far parents are prepared to go for their children. It's a beautiful underlining theme if I must say so.

Jane yet again blew me away with Force Of Nature, The Dry swept me off my feet and I'm pretty sure FON just made sure I didn't get back up on my feet. It's a thoroughly enjoyable read, gripping you with each page turn. I cant recommend this book any more than The Dry, just if you ever pick up a copy be prepared for the twists and turns the books take, allow all of the factors throughout the story to take a hold of you and try your best to figure it all out before you get to the end because as always I did horrific at trying to piece together what had happened until I read it out. I can not leave out the fact once I finished the book and closed the pages I held it to my chest and just sat there stammering like an idiot it had taken that much of an effect on me. It's an easy 5/5 for me and I can't wait to read more of Janes writing as she clearly has such a way with words.


Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year and the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne. Force of Nature is Jane’s second novel.

For further information please contact Grace Vincent, Senior Publicity Manager / 020 3122 6590

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