“The delight of this spell-bindingly suspenseful thriller lies in the slow revelation of what really happened to the missing woman.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This was a cracker of a read!
I loved The Dry which was Jane Harper’s debut novel for the way it incorporated the effect of nature and surroundings on the behaviour of people.
This book also has a nature theme, be it nature surrounding us or the nature of people around us!
Five women go on a hike in the bushland,a little way from Melbourne, as a team building exercise mandated by the company they all work for.
Only four return and the fifth, Alice, seems to have disappeared!
Aaron Falk and his federal police partner Carmen get involved in the case as Alice was their unwilling insider contact in her firm, for their investigation into money laundering.
As searchers come back tired and empty handed everyday, the story moves back and forth between the search and the incidents that led to the five women getting stranded and then losing Alice.
What happens when you feel stranded and hemmed in on all sides and survival depends on being able to get that one last gulp of murky water or that piece of stale bread?
It would test people who had any kind of friendly relationship with one another and these are five women who have a lot of history and resentment between them.
With the bushland stretching in all directions, the memory of a serial killer who operated in the area years ago in the background, and the frequent clashes regarding how best to find their way out, the women move deeper and deeper into trouble.
The search operation, the questioning of the four who returned and the efforts of Falk and Carmen lead to a scintillating finish.
The switching back and forth between the present and past ensured higher anticipation levels while reading because both narratives stop tantalisingly!
For me it was a 5* read.
Added 4th March 2018