‘Exiles’ by Jane Harper

Author : Jane Harper
Title : Exiles
Series : Aaron Falk #3
Pages : 360
Publisher : Pan MacMillan
Publication date : February 2, 2023
Source : Netgalley


A mother disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night. 

Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes. 

A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family. 

Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. 

As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears. 

Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth…


One year ago, Kim disappeared from a busy festival. Leaving behind her baby in a pram, she just vanished into the dark and warm Spring night, and was never seen again. One year on, friends and family are gathering for a christening. Among them, Aaron Falk. Might he be able to solve the mystery surrounding Kim’s disappearance?

Few authors depict small town life as well as Jane Harper does, and it’s exactly that which always gets me excited about her books. These small communities look out for each other. Maybe sometimes they know too much about one another’s business, but they’re also always ready to help someone when necessary. So having a member of that community vanish the way Kim did, impacts all of them. Not knowing what happened or where she is casts a dark shadow over her friends and family. Kim’s teenage daughter refuses to give up the search for answers.

That said, I really felt the mystery element of this story took much of a backseat. ‘Exiles‘ seemed to be more about Aaron, his choices and events in his life that have led him to where he is now. He is not as much on the fringes of the investigation, and I use that term loosely, as he was in the previous book. Aaron is constantly listening, picking up clues along the way, realising that we only see what we expect to see. Still, it often felt as if very little was actually happening. The pace and the lack of action, so to speak, wasn’t right for me at the time.

As the third book in a series, I think this one reads rather well as a stand-alone. It’s most definitely a treat to be able to hang out with Aaron Falk one more time, but on the other hand I wondered about the need for it. In my opinion, neither this book or the second one in the series lived up to ‘The Dry‘, and I truly feel, in the grand scheme of things, ‘Exiles‘ might be the weakest one of the lot. (Please don’t take my word for it as I’m very much in the minority!)

Despite what I just said, I did enjoy ‘Exiles‘ for what it was, although not as much as I’d expected to. I absolute adore Jane Harper’s writing. Her descriptions are so vivid, you almost feel like you’re right there in Australia, seeing the sights, smelling the various scents. I half expected a snake to jump out at some point. The ultimate reveal of what happened to Kim is one I feel I should have figured out myself. I didn’t, but at that point I suppose I’d almost forgotten that’s what the story was about since there seemed to be so very little crime solving happening.

If anything, if ‘Exiles‘ is indeed the end of this series, then it’s a lovely send-off to a beloved character. One who is trying to figure out if maybe there is more to life than work after all. Yet, it does somehow leave the door open for more. Who knows.

Amazon UK

Exiles is published on February 2nd. My thanks to the publisher for the advanced review copy, which I received via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  15 comments for “‘Exiles’ by Jane Harper

  1. January 31, 2023 at 9:51 am

    I like to think we might see Aaron Falk again somewhere along the line…

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2023 at 8:22 am

      The door most definitely doesn’t feel closed. And I’m sure we’ve all learnt by now that those small Australian communities are full of danger 😉.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. January 31, 2023 at 9:58 am

    Definitely left open…


  3. January 31, 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Glad to see that her descriptions are still amazing, I’ll be on the look out for any snakes! I definitely preferred The Dry to Force of Nature so it’l be interesting to see what I think of this one when I get to it! Fab review x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. January 31, 2023 at 3:58 pm

    I love your review, Eva, as you’ve left so much to my imagination and curiosity💜 Not sure if I’m ready for the series to end but am grateful you felt it would be okay if it does.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jo
    January 31, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    Very much looking forward to this, although I agree that The Dry was much better than Force of Nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • February 1, 2023 at 8:17 am

      I always think it’s because Aaron really had no place in that book. He was so far removed from the investigation, you ended up wondering why he was there in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. February 1, 2023 at 5:56 am

    Lovely review Eva. The Dry is definitely the outstanding book of this series. ❤📚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. February 4, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Oh yes, we indeed had a similar reading experience! It was so different than the first two books, and I agree that The Dry is still the strongest by far. It was a shame there wasn’t more focus on the mystery itself, and I was surprised I hadn’t guessed the truth about Kim either.


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