2023 Buzz Photo Contest

Author Spotlight: Jane Harper

Cindy Burnett
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Exiles by Jane Harper

Jane Harper's latest book is the third in the Aaron Falk series.

This week, I am spotlighting one of my favorite authors, Jane Harper. Harper is Australian and sets her highly atmospheric mysteries there. Her series starring Aaron Falk includes The Dry, Force of Nature, and the upcoming Exiles (publishing Jan. 31). The Dry was made into a movie starring Eric Bana, and she has written two standalones, The Lost Man (one of my all-time favorite mysteries) and Survivors (a Feb. 2021 Buzz Reads pick). 

What makes Harper’s books so outstanding? She is a master at understanding pacing and propelling a story along with just the right momentum. Each chapter ends with enough of a cliffhanger that the reader feels that they have to read just one more chapter. Her mysteries are intricately and carefully plotted making it almost impossible to predict each book’s ending, but when the story is done the ending makes perfect sense. In addition, the books are incredibly atmospheric; I always feel like I have visited Australia when I finish one of her novels.

I am often asked who I have enjoyed interviewing the most on my podcast, and Jane Harper is certainly at the top of the list. Accordingly, I am so excited that our literary salon, Conversations from a Page, is hosting her on her book tour for Exiles next week. We are one of only six stops, and if you are interested in joining us, you can find more information here.

I recently included Exiles as one of my Jan. 2023 Buzz Reads picks:

Jane Harper returns with her third book in the Aaron Falk series following The Dry and Force of Nature. Exiles can easily be read as a standalone, and readers will not feel lost in the story if they have not read the first two. With her signature style and evocative writing, Harper brings South Australia wine country to life when Aaron Falk arrives to serve as godfather to his closest friend’s baby son.

While there for the christening, Falk, who is a federal investigator, finds himself drawn into both the case of a woman who went missing a year ago during the town’s annual wine festival, abandoning her child in the parking lot, and a years-old unsolved murder. As he works to solve both cases, Falk also begins to re-evaluate his own life choices. Harper is my favorite mystery writer, and Exiles’ compelling story and vividly drawn setting permanently cement her first-place position for me.

See the other four Buzz Reads picks for January here.

Earlier this week, I was a guest on Houston Life where I highlighted five brand-new 2023 releases. If you are looking for a new read, check it out here.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her award-winning Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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