Let's Talk Books

First Impressions Friday: Force of Nature

It’s Friday already which means, it’s First Impressions Friday. For those who are unfamiliar, #FIF is a weekly meme created by J.W. Martin. The goal is to talk about a book you recently started reading then, share you first impressions, predict what you think will happen, and say whether you think you’ll enjoy it, etc.

“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.”

FORCE OF NATURE by Jane Harper, is her follow-up to her excellent debut novel, THE DRY. A novel I thoroughly enjoyed and so, have high expectations for this one too. Again, it features police detective, Aaron Falk, as he investigates the circumstances behind a missing person—and the key executive in a financial scandal he’s investigating—as an outward-bounds course goes awry.

It has all the right ingredients to be another hit—people dropped in the deep end over-coming impossible odds, while at odds with one another—certainly, I’ve heard good things already by those who’ve read it. That said, I’ve been avoiding reading any reviews, as I would like to make my own mind up first. And then, maybe compare notes with others.

Second novels in a series can always be tricky, and fall short for any number of reasons, not least, expectations from readers who, like me, having enjoyed a first novel, hope for big things. Sometimes an author can catch lightning in a bottle twice, oft times though, a second novel never quite hits the mark. I’m open to seeing how this one unfolds. Especially since it’s been near on a year since I read Harper’s first novel.

Let the in-fighting begin—I’m predicting a mammoth hit!


  1. I finished this one a bit over a week ago and i liked it a lot!
    Most of the references they made to the first book i even remembered. Some others tho… i was thinking “what was this?” 😀

    • Alexandra says

      I’m now quite a way through and loving the dynamics in this one. So far so good. The women bitching is fun. I’ll probably have it finished by tomorrow, as I’m racing through it. Harper is great with her characters. ☺️

    • Alexandra says

      Oh, I’m loving it so far, and totally dialed in to this one. And, I hear, Harper has another book coming out later this year. Fantastic!

  2. Both of these books sound great. I really want to read The Dry now. Fingers crossed its sequel delivers.

    • Alexandra says

      For me, THE DRY was outstanding, and one of those few books worth the pre-hype. I thoroughly enjoyed it and, so far, I’m enjoying this one two. Which is similar but different, if you know what I mean. Review to come soon.

  3. The Dry is still on my wishlist. I don’t really like reading two books by the same author after one another, even if they were really good but it seems like I’d better not wait a long time with this one!

    • I know what you mean, Inge. I’m like that with Louise Penny’s books. Thankfully, it’s usually several months between reads. And, as I read THE DRY when it came out, it’s now been quite a few months since, so am happy to leap back in and find out what’s going on in FORCE OF NATURE.

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