by Jane Harper

Monday, October 30, 2023

Featured image for Exiles

The third, and I’ve heard, final, book in the Aaron Falk series. If it is the last one then I think it’s a sensible move by the author. This one is back on a case where, as I think the first book was, Aaron has a personal connection rather than a work one, and the book is, in my opinion, so much better than the second one as a result. I wasn’t really sure if I was going to enjoy it, and it took a while to get going, but in the end I really enjoyed it.

This one sees Aaron visiting his friend Greg Raco at his family’s home for the christening of Greg’s baby son. This is an event that’s been delayed a year since just before the original date Greg’s sister-in-law Kim went missing leaving her own baby daughter behind. This was also the opening night of the local food festival, and they are using the opening night of the next food festival to make an appeal to witnesses to Kim’s disappearance as well as to reschedule the christening and related family get-together. Yes, it’s a super clunky kind of a setup, and that put me off initially. But I kept picking up the book again and getting more involved in the story each time. There are lots of moving parts, lots of characters, but once I got over the setup, that made the book feel real. It’s one of those stories that’s more about the people than the mystery but that’s a good thing.

I’m not going to spoil anything but there were things about the ending that I thought were pretty obvious from the beginning, but they didn’t spoil the book for me, if anything I was pleased to find I was correct. I’m finding Jane Harper to be an inconsistent author, some of her stuff is brilliant and other books are distinctly lacklustre. Happily, though it has its lacklustre moments, this book is closer to the brilliant end of the spectrum and I’ll certainly be anticipating her next book, though I’m happy to leave Aaron at the end of this book.