Five women 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. At least that's what the corporate retreat website advertises.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.
Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.
Force of Nature is on sale in Australia (Pan Macmillan), the United States (Flatiron Books) and the United Kingdom (Little, Brown). Force of Nature has also been sold to more than 20 foreign language territories.
Read Chapter 1 here first
Drawn with exceptional complexity
Force of Nature returns to the severe, unforgiving territory of the bush — and it is even more impressive than The Dry
The book is gratifyingly chilling, for the human horrors of the story but even more so for the women-against-nature survival battle
Harper's talent for plotting is propelled by fluent prose. A superior thriller
Harper, anything but a flash in the pan, has again raised the bar for emerging crime writers
A heady brew that sends the reader reeling. Once again Harper leaves you gagging to know who did what