First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Jane Harper, and Macmillan Audio for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
Jane Harper is back with another thrilling police procedural featuring Aaron Falk. In story full of emotion and tense revelations, Harper strikes a chord for many readers and offers a sensational piece that is sure to entertain. Harper has kept me enthralled with all three novels in the Aaron Falk series and this is likely her best. Eager to see what Harper has on the agenda next, I hope this novel impresses other series fans and those who enjoy something with a great Australian flavouring.
A young baby is found on the grounds of a local festival in rural Australia. Her mother, Kim Gillespie, is nowhere to be found. While the baby is safe, it is the complete vanishing act has everyone baffled. People speculate, but this does not help in the search for Kim or strengthen the foundation that is a motive to abandon a little one.
A year later, plans for the baby’s christening coincide with an updated plea for news about Kim, who remains at large. Federal Investigator, Aaron Falk, is part of the group that has gathered, hoping that he can find a clue as to where Kim might have gone. While Falk hopes to work with the family, he notices things are not as bucolic as they first appeared in this small Australian community.
While things are slow to prove fruitful, Falk refuses to dismiss the gut reaction he has about Kim Gillespie and her disappearance. He discovers more about her past and how she was treated as a teen, particularly around the festival that is playing out around them. What demons lurk in the shadows and might they explain Kim’s disappearance? Falk will stop at nothing in his own policing style to get answers and bring news to those who need it most. With flashbacks that cover a variety of time periods essential to the story’s foundation, this is perhaps Harper’s best Falk Nobel to date. I am eager to see what other series fans think and how Harper will build things from here.
While there are many authors who have been successful in the police procedural genre, those who differentiate themselves have earned by additional praise. I have enjoyed Jane Harper’s Aaron Falk series from the start and can only hope others echo this sentiment. The writing is strong and has a great “Aussie flavour” that never gets tiring. While I appreciate Harper’s stand-alones as well, it is this series that always impressed me most.
Kudos, Madam Harper, for a great read with moments of quaintness amongst the heightened drama.