Force of Nature by Jane Harper review – five go feral in the outback

One missing, four traumatised … In this gripping follow-up to The Dry, police detective Aaron Falk investigates an outward-bound trip that loses its way in the bush

Jane Harper’s 2017 debut, The Dry, was an international bestseller, and has been optioned by the production company behind the film of Gone Girl. Force of Nature, her second novel, looks likely to attract similar enthusiasm for a screen adaptation. It is a gripping procedural, with the narrative chops and assured pace of a Hollywood thriller. Elevator pitch: Deliverance with oestrogen, or a menopausal Picnic at Hanging Rock.

First introduced in The Dry, Aaron Falk is a police officer in the financial investigation unit in Melbourne. Along with his partner, Carmen Cooper, he has pressured Alice Russell, an employee of family-run conglomerate BaileyTennants, into cooperating with them in building their case against the company for unspecified financial peccadilloes. But Alice ...