Thursday, January 19, 2023

Exiles by Jane Harper


Federal Investigator Aaron Falk is headed off on vacation, something that doesn't happen often in his busy work life.  But this vacation is a promise; he has agreed to serve as the godfather of his friend, Greg's, new son.  The ceremony was supposed to happen a year ago but didn't due to a tragedy.  His friend's niece, Zara, had lost her mother back then and she hasn't yet been found.  Greg's brother, Charlie, hadn't been with Kim by then.  They had separated and Kim had married another man in the close-knit group, Rohan.  She had a new baby and the couple and their baby had driven down to attend the festival everyone in town went to.  But sometime that night, Kim disappeared.  She left her new baby in the stroller in the stroller area and was gone.  

A year later, the ceremony is back on but Kim's disappearance hasn't been forgotten.  There have been no sightings of her since that night and most people believe she committed suicide by slipping into the reservoir where her shoe was found.  Zara is determined to find out what happens and brings Aaron into her search.  Aaron thinks she is probably in for a disappointment but his investigative nature can't quite let things slide.  He starts to look into the case.  He also get reacquainted with a woman who lives in the town and whom he'd met a year or so earlier.  She makes him want to evaluate his life and see what is truly important.  Can Aaron find out what happened to Kim for his friend's family?

Aaron Falk has been featured in several of Jane Harper's novels in the Australian settings she uses.  He is an interesting character in and of himself and his inquisitive mind makes him the perfect person to be in law enforcement.  This novel fleshes out his character in a different way and gives the reader insight into Australian natures and how the typical rural life unfolds.  The mystery is tight and ends with a surprising revelation.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.  

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