Force of Nature: A Novel
by Jane Harper
Hardcover- $13.53

Goodreads Choice Award Finalist (Mystery & Thriller, 2018)
BookBrowse Best Books of 2018
Winner of the Prix Polar Award for Best ...

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  "Force of Nature -- an awesome storn" by nbaker (see profile) 01/15/18

It was a "You had me at hello" moment, when I read the book cover and it said: Five women go into the woods on a hike -- only four return.

This story had a bit of everything -- greed, corporate greed, friendship, broken friendship, secrets and secrets about to be told. It all begins with a family-owned business (BaileyTennants), a business that has been under the watchful eye of the feds for awhile and as soon as their insider gets the goods, via contract copies, the entire organization is going to implode.

What could be better than one of those weekend long, character strengthening, trust building togetherness hikes in the woods alone with only your corporate co-workers? Yep - the vacation from hell to which you have to act as if you've just been awarded the golden parachute. Now if you separate this lovely group into males and females -- different hiking trails for each with a stipulation of no cell phones, just a backpack containing your tent and water with provisions provided at a daily checkpoint (if you can find it), you can already start to feel the estrogen levels rising in one group. Say no more -- mother nature can take care of the rest of the visual effects.

Eventually all of the "happy" contestants emerge from the depth of the woods, save one. The local police are called in, along with the feds that have been working with their selected corporate "insider". With all forces at work, the story then unfolds.

My attention was captured from the very beginning of this book. You know you are reading something good when you have to put on your silencing headphones to read the last chapter so that no outside noise or stimuli can interrupt that intrigue that has been mounting chapter by chapter. The outlay of the book was perfect, overlapping each chapter with the first morning of the hike and then the feds first morning after discovering someone is missing. The next chapter lays out the afternoon of the hike followed by the first afternoon after the hike with the feds. Each mouthful was carefully laid out to complete a beautiful pallet of tastes, like dining at a fine restaurant where each course seamlessly leads up to the next.

I would loved to have given the book 5 stars, even though it aroused that 5-star feeling of wanting to pick up the book at every free moment, but there were a few things in the story line that I felt were unwarranted, contrived to steer the reader in a different direction. The corporate employees had a few too many ties together for my comfort level, but it still didn't inhibit my ability to sit back and enjoy the trek.

There is truth in the saying "too close for comfort", and when you put too many women together surrounded with nothing but nature, you will soon find a force to be reckoned with. Force of Nature was certainly a study in human behavior. To all of my co-workers, you can rest assured that I will NOT be suggesting we go on a "Corporate Adventure" together, but don't be surprised if someday I suggest you "take a hike".

 
  "force of nature" by Carolynr (see profile) 05/19/18

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

this story is second in a series about a police officer....you do get the sense that the two police officers have worked together and there is a history but nothing that would make you read the first book first.
Not a bad story....a few twists and turns, but basically predictable.

 
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