Force of Nature by Jane Harper (Mystery / Thriller)

Writing: 4.5 Plot: 5 Characters: 4.5

I love Jane Harper — this is her second book written and the third that I have read. I seem to like them best in reverse order of their writing which bodes well for the future!

In this book, five women set off on a multi-day trek into dense bush as part of a corporate retreat (note to self: Never go on a corporate retreat of this sort! Never!). Only four of them come back. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk — who features in Harper’s The Dry — gets involved as the missing woman has been an informer for his work in the Federal Financial Investigations Unit. Lots and lots of complexity, psychology, strange relationships, suspicion, and suspense. Told in chapters alternating between what Falk and his partner are discovering and what actually happens during the four days the women are out. As the personalities of the five women slowly unravel during their ordeal, Falk is simultaneously coming to terms with his own.

A complete page turner — a kind of modern-day, corporate version of Lord of the Flies amidst threads of money laundering, serial killers, anorexia, and fear.