Exiles by Jane Harper: A review
Exiles is an atmospheric mystery set in the wine country in the south of Australia. We find investigator Aaron Falk there as he attends the christening of the son of his friend, Greg Raco. Aaron has been asked to be his godfather, so he is there in a completely civilian and social capacity, not as a financial federal investigator.
However, there is a mystery here to be investigated. A year previously, a young mother had gone missing from the area, leaving her baby in a stroller in the parking lot at the annual wine festival. She has not been seen since and the mystery of her disappearance still troubles the community.
The mother had been married to Greg Raco's brother Charlie and voluntarily leaving her baby behind would have been completely anomalous behavior for her. The family asks their friend Aaron to look into the case further for them and try to find out what has happened to the missing mother.
This is a complicated mystery with multiple layers and it develops slowly, flowing between past and present timelines. Jane Harper takes great care in describing the personalities of the characters and the geography of the area in which the action takes place. Her descriptions of the vineyards and of the sunrises and sunsets there are quite vivid and memorable. I imagine it as a really beautiful place.
Aaron Falk is an interesting character and in Exiles we see him torn between different possible career paths. Is there a career change in the offing for him? Guess we'll have to read the next installment to find out.