If you are looking for thrilling page-turners that always have you guessing what might happen next, Jane Harper is a great option. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered all of her books in order so you can find the perfect match for your next suspenseful endeavor.
About Jane Harper
Jane Harper was born in Manchester in the UK in 1980. When she was 8, she and her family moved to Australia, where they lived in a suburb just outside of Melbourne. Harper and her family moved back to the UK when she was a teenager and Harper eventually attended the University of Kent, where she studied English and History.
Harper completed a qualification for journalism after she graduated and got a job working as a reporter trainee for the Darlington & Stockton Times. Later she became a senior news journalist for the Hull Daily Mail, and after many years of doing that, she ended up moving back to Australia in 2008.
In Australia, she worked for the Geelong Advertiser until 2011, then started a business reporting role job. It was 2014 when Harper submitted a short story that got chosen for the annual fiction addition in the Big Issue, and this accomplishment inspired her to start doing more creative writing.
In 2016, her first novel The Dry came out, and she’s been writing novels ever since.
Now, Harper lives in Bayside Melbourne with her husband and their two kids. Her most recent novel, Exiles, came out in January 2023 and it has been a big success. Harper continues to write and doesn’t seem to plan on stopping any time soon.
Jane Harper’s Accomplishments
Jane Harper has written 5 books that are all bestsellers. They have been published worldwide in over 40 territories and currently, she’s sold over 3.5 million copies.
Jane Harper’s novels have received a multitude of awards. These include, but aren’t limited to, the CWA Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, the Gold ABIA for Book of The Year, the Australian Indie Awards Book of the Year, the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year, and the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery Thriller and Best Mystery Debut.
Her novels have also been shortlisted for various awards, including the Australian Book Industry Awards’ general fiction book of the year in 2021, the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2020, and the Colin Roderick Award in 2021.
There was a movie made about Jane Harper’s first novel, The Dry, which came out in January 2021 after being delayed due to COVID-19. The movie stars Erica Bana as Aaron Falk, and it was a hit when it came out. Making over $20.5 million at the Australian box office, it became one of the highest-profiting film opening weekends ever in Australia.
Themes and Genres in Jane Harper’s Books
Jane Harper mainly writes crime, thriller, and mystery novels that are full of suspense and unexpected plot twists. All of her books take place in Australia, a lot of them featuring the unforgiving landscape of the Outback.
Since they all feature investigations and detective work, most of Harper’s novels explore themes of justice. They examine the ways in which law enforcement succeeds in delivering justice and the ways in which it fails.
Another common theme in Jane Harper’s stories is friendship. We read about characters who were best friends as children and how they drifted apart, we read about old friends reconnecting, and we read about good friends who have been together for years.
Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, also touches on the theme of climate change. Though it never explicitly talks about climate change, The Dry is all about the town of Kiewarra in Australia becoming drier and how the population is affected. The drier climate leads to poverty in the town, and the book mainly focuses on how this change affects the humans that live there.
Overall, Harper’s novels explore important themes while keeping you engaged and interested in what happens next. She writes excellent mystery novels that almost anyone will enjoy, focusing on the human experience and how people are influenced by what happens around them.
All Jane Harper Books In Order
The Dry (2016)
Federal Agent Aaron Falk hasn’t been back to his hometown in decades, but when his best friend Luke dies, Falk returns for the funeral. Falk and local authorities wonder what happened to Luke, thinking there may be more to his death than it seems.
Twenty years ago, Falk was accused of murder and Luke was his alibi. The only thing that kept Falk safe from prosecution was Luke’s testimony saying that they were together during the time of the murder. But people have pieced together that Luke wasn’t telling the truth, and now that he’s dead, things from the past are resurfacing.
On top of that, Falk is investigating Luke’s death to figure out what really happened. And as he uncovers more clues, he finds that the town is full of secrets that he never thought possible.
The Dry was Jane Harper’s first book, published in May 2016. Since then, it’s gained numerous awards including the UK Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel in 2017, the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery Thriller and Best Mystery Debut in 2017, and the Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year in 2017.
There is also a film adaptation of the novel, which was set to release in August 2020. The release date was delayed because of COVID-19, but it eventually was released in January 2021 in Australia and New Zealand. The film broke box office records and made it one of the highest-profiting film opening weekends in Australia ever.
Force of Nature (2017)
Five women who work together are forced to go on a corporate retreat in nature, and they aren’t looking forward to it. They reluctantly gather their things for the hike that awaits them and begin walking down the path.
But the mundane hike turns gruesome when only four women return from the woods. One of them has vanished, and everyone has a different story about what happened.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk is assigned to the case, and he is invested in uncovering the truth. He ends up in the forest, looking for any secrets and signs of foul play. Falk is led down a path of betrayal, secrets, and lies, and he is forced to ask the question: Is one of these women a murderer?
Force of Nature was released in September 2017, and it is the second book in the Aaron Falk series. It became a bestseller and has had lots of success, winning awards including BookBrowse Best Books of 2018, The Prix Polar Award for Best International Novel, Davitt Awards Shortlist for Adult Crime Novel 2018, and BookRiot’s 25 Best Suspense Books from 2018.
This book is a fast-paced, page-turning novel full of wit and suspense, and like Harper’s other stories, you won’t want to put it down.
The Lost Man (2018)
Nathan and Bub Bright are two brothers who haven’t seen each other in months, but they reunite at the fence line that divides their two cattle ranches in the Australian Outback.
Unfortunately, they aren’t meeting under happy circumstances: their third brother, Cameron, is dead.
The brothers may live 3 hours apart, but they are still each other’s nearest neighbors in the desolate place where they reside. Nathan and Bub have no idea what might have caused Cameron, the middle child who ran the family homestead, to venture out alone.
Nathan, Nathan’s son, and Bub all go back to Cameron’s home, where Cameron’s wife, daughters, and mother are waiting. Together they all grieve the sudden and unexpected loss.
But soon people become suspicious, wondering what could’ve led to Cameron’s death. Nathan begins to uncover secrets that have been long buried, and questions start popping up. If someone forced Cameron into death, Nathan intends to find out who it was and why they did it.
The Lost Man is another great mystery by Jane Harper. Taking place in the brutal Australian outback, it’s a powerful story of secrets and suspense that’s bound to have you thinking about it long after the last page.
This book is a standalone novel that won the Barry Award for Best Mystery/Crime Novel in 2020 and was shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2020.
The Survivors (2020)
Kieran Elliot has a good life in Sydney with his girlfriend and their baby, but his past still haunts him. Now, Kieran and his family go back to Kieran’s hometown, where they are helping his parents pack up to move out of their house.
But going back home brings up memories from the past when a reckless mistake changed the course of Kieran’s life forever. He’s been struggling with guilt for 12 years, and despite creating a new life for himself, Kieran still feels horrible.
Then things get even worse when one of Kieran’s friend’s roommates is found dead on the ocean shore. Soon an investigation is happening, and secrets that have been long hidden suddenly make their way to the surface, threatening to change everything.
The Survivors was published in September 2020 and Stephen King called it Harper’s “best [book] yet”. Full of chilling scenes and intricate plots, The Survivors is hard to disappoint.
This book was shortlisted for both the 2021 Colin Roderick Award and the Australian Book Industry Awards’ general fiction book of the year in 2021.
Federal Investigator Aaron Falk is attending the christening of his friend’s baby in a small town in Southern Australia. He is ready for a relaxing vacation, but mysteries can’t seem to leave him alone.
The weekend that Falk arrives in town is the one-year anniversary of the weekend of Kim Gillespie’s disappearance. On that fateful day one year ago, Kim left her baby in a stroller at a busy town festival and slipped away into the crowd. To this day, Kim hasn’t been seen again.
When Kim’s oldest daughter asks anyone with information to come forward, Falk can’t help but get curious about the case. He and his old friend Raco decide to contact Kim and help solve the mystery. And as clues get uncovered, more secrets begin coming to light.
Published in January 2023, Exiles is Harper’s newest book at the moment. It is the third book in the Aaron Falk series, and it’s just as mysterious and suspenseful as the other novels in the series. Exiles is a New York Times Bestseller and debuted at number one on Australia’s best selling charts, and it’s another captivating hit from Jane Harper.
Do you have to read Jane Harper’s novels in order?
Jane Harper has written one series containing three books, which is the Aaron Falk series. Since these all feature stories that are wrapped up in the end, you don’t have to read them in order. Still, reading the series in order will give you the best reading experience and keep you acquainted with the characters.
As for Jane Harper’s other two novels, they can be read in any order since they are standalone stories.
Is Aaron Falk in all of Jane Harper’s books?
Aaron Falk is a recurring character in 3 of Jane Harper’s books so far, but he isn’t in all of them. The Lost Man and The Survivors are both standalone novels that don’t feature the character of Aaron Falk.
What movie is based on a Jane Harper book?
The Dry is Jane Harper’s first book which came out in 2016, and there is a movie based on the book that was released in January 2021.
Is Exiles a sequel to The Dry?
What are the bestselling mystery thriller books of all time?
1. “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown (2003)
2. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (2012)
3. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson (2005)
4. “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie (1939)
5. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins (2015)
6. “In the Woods” by Tana French (2007)
7. “The Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris (1988)
8. “Angels & Demons” by Dan Brown (2000)
9. “The Firm” by John Grisham (1991)
10. “The Shining” by Stephen King (1977)
11. “Kiss the Girls” by James Patterson (1995)
12. “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett (1930)
13. “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler (1939)
14. “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton (1990)
15. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)
16. “Along Came a Spider” by James Patterson (1993)
17. “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris (1981)
18. “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
19. “Mystic River” by Dennis Lehane (2001)
20. “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn (2006)
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