cover image Force of Nature

Force of Nature

Jane Harper. Flatiron, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-10563-9

Australian author Harper follows her bestselling debut, The Dry, with a gripping tale of an elemental battle for survival. Federal agents Aaron Falk and Carmen Cooper are investigating the role of a respected Melbourne accounting firm in an extensive money-laundering scheme with the help of insider source Alice Russell. Then she vanishes during a team-building wilderness expedition that includes the chief executives of the company she has been working to expose. Pressed by their bosses to get the remaining documents needed for the probe and worried that Alice may have met with foul play, Falk and Carmen head for the rugged Giralang Ranges to aid in the search. Once in the bushland, they discover that the beautiful, brainy, but unabashedly cruel Alice had no dearth of enemies, ranging from her bullied assistant to a fellow executive who’s been her frenemy since their years together at an exclusive private school. Although certain plot strands seem contrived, Harper once again shows herself to be a storytelling force to be reckoned with. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Feb.)