This week we’ve chosen Force of Nature by Jane Harper for Book Beginnings on Fridays.

Book Beginnings is a fun meme hosted by Rose City Reader blog. To participate, share the first sentence or so of a novel you are reading and your thoughts about it. When you are finished, add your URL to the Book Beginnings page linked above. Hope to see you there!



Force of Nature by Jane Harper

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Force of Nature was published in February 2018, but somehow I managed to snag a used copy at the bookstore. Yes! (That doesn’t happen very often.)

Summary:   “Five women go on a hike. Only four return.” Australian Federal Agent Aaron Falk needs to find the missing woman, Alice Russell, because she is key to his latest case.

Aaron Falk was also the main character of Jane Harper’s previous novel, The Dry.

First Sentence of the Prologue:

Later, the four remaining women could fully agree on only two things. One:  No one saw the bushland swallow up Alice Russell. And two:  Alice had a mean streak so sharp it could cut you.

First Sentence of Chapter One:

“Don’t panic.”

Federal Agent Aaron Falk, who until that moment had had no plans to do so, closed the book he had been reading.


First of all, isn’t that an incredible hook? Don’t you want to know what happened to the fifth hiker, the one who didn’t come back? The fact she had a mean streak makes it seem likely that foul play was involved, doesn’t it?

I love a novel with a powerful setting. Harper uses her bushland setting to create an ominous atmosphere.

I also like the wry humor of the first part of Chapter One

As a writer, I noticed right away that the first chapter has a lot more dialogue than her previous novel. The Dry had a lot of exposition, with sparse dialogue. I’m wondering how that will change the pacing.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?