I’ve read every Jane Harper crime thriller and this is the best one so far. Aaron Falk, her investigator in previous books The Dry and Force of Nature, is visiting friends in a small Australian town. It’s a year since his last visit, and a year since local woman Kim went missing from a seasonal funfair, leaving her newborn baby behind.
Despite himself, Falk is drawn to find out what happened. Exiles is more than a straightforward mystery. Harper makes us think about small town truths and lies, and about secrets and complicity. So often, women victims in crime thrillers are just ciphers, but here we focus on Kim increasingly as the story progresses. To say more would be to give spoilers, but I was left certain that Harper had dealt with difficult issues thoughtfully and with justified passion.
I like my crime fiction to take me to a completely different place, and Exiles brings small town Australia to life. An excellent read.