cover image Exiles


Jane Harper. Flatiron, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-23535-0

Bestseller Harper’s stellar third outing for Aaron Falk (after 2018’s Force of Nature) takes Falk, of the Australian Federal Police’s financial division, back to the town of Marralee, the site of a popular food and wine festival. A year earlier, Falk was in Marralee when a tragedy occurred. During that year’s festival, 39-year-old Kim Gillespie left the stroller containing her five-week-old daughter in the stroller storage area—and disappeared. Despite frantic searches, Kim never turned up, though her shoe was found in a nearby reservoir, leading to the belief that she drowned there. Falk agrees to revisit the mystery at the behest of Zara, Kim’s teenage daughter, and Greg Raco, a friend of Falk. The inquiry suggests a possible link to another unresolved case—the hit-and-run death of accountant Dean Tozer six years earlier, also coinciding with the Marralee festival. Writing at the top of her game, Harper effectively uses whodunit tropes to explore her characters’ hidden lives. Readers interested in literate and nuanced mysteries will be eager to see more of Falk. 5-city author tour. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Jan.)