Read the dry by Jane Harper Online

the-dry

A small town hides big secrets in this atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by an award-winning new author.After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fleA small town hides big secrets in this atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by an award-winning new author.After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets....

Title : the dry
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 29906581
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the dry Reviews

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2019-01-07 02:07

    I know it's early days, but I have a feeling this will be a top read of 2017 for me; I'll go as far as saying if I had read it last year it would have been in my top 2016 reads. The writing is excellent, the pacing was quick with fully fleshed characters, and the ending was satisfying without being too cut and dry. Half the fun of this story is, even if you guess at the who, you probably won't guess the why until it's revealed. This was a perfect example of a book being extremely dark and terrifying without being overly graphic for the shock value."It wasn't as though the farm hadn't seen death before, and the blowflies didn't discriminate. To them there was little difference between a carcass and a corpse." Your attention; I have it, right? Those are powerful opening lines, and when placed within the full fledged prologue you have one of the most intriguing and gripping introductions to a book I have ever read. Please don't misunderstand, this isn't a break neck thriller that you rush to read in one sitting; it's more the slow, delicate sipping of a fine wine that you tend to gradually chug more quickly as you reach the bottom of the bottle. If someone asked me how I felt a police procedural should be written and what details should be included I would simply hand them a copy of this book and tell them to read it. I feel privileged to have found such a golden story to catalogue in my mind so early in the year; the complex web of deceit and lies in this farmland of Australia completely captivated me to the point I actually found myself trying to piece together the various mysteries while doing other daily activities.While the writing was excellent and the mysteries were well done, what placed this book in 5 star land for me was the depth and beauty given to the characters. I was so engrossed in these people that I actually felt present for each conversation; the descriptions of the setting were so incredible that I thought I would break out into a sweat at any moment from the drought I was mentally present for. I honestly can't think of a single complaint of what I would change about this book. While you may guess correctly on the "whodunnit" in both present day and past mysteries (due to a limited pool of characters to choose from) you likely won't guess why. I had missed a tiny clue, just as our characters did, which caused me to go down the wrong path and find myself just as shocked as the police officers. I adored the way the author chose to slowly unravel the plot and how she really ramped up the tension and action near the end where I felt my heart about to beat out of my chest. I'm attaching a footnote regarding the triggers in this book, so feel free to browse it at the end of this review if it's a concern for you. As I was browsing on Goodreads, I noticed this is set to be the first installment in a series featuring our main character Falk. I'm really torn on this, as I felt the ending was perfect as it was. I'm one of the few who doesn't like everything neat and tidy, and while The Dry gave us plenty of closure, it left a few things open which I felt gave the book that final umpf of power to shine above the rest. I'm a little worried that a series will continue to focus on beating that particular "openness" to death to the point nothing is left vague. On the other hand, I'm dying for more Aaron Falk! I'd love to see him handling more cases and I would really love to see a return of many other characters like Raco and Gretchen, but also some minor ones like Jamie and the doctor. Rambling now, but needless to say highly HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Please put this on your radar folks if you haven't yet. If you enjoy an excellent mystery that is a police procedural not heavy on the mundane details, this is for you. Incredibly well done and I'm absolutely FLOORED that this is a debut novel. I believe we'll be seeing much more of Harper to come.Thanks Lisa Jordan for sending me your personal copy last year. She mailed it all the way from Australia and it's been a blast discussing the creepy crawlies (read monsters) that live (read prowl) in the area there. You all are brave souls! *Trigger warning- if you've read the plot summary then you know the premise is a father shooting his family and then himself-the mystery is whether he truly was the guilty party or if someone else was and framed it to appear that way. While the author did a fantastic job of writing with respect and caution on such a disturbing subject, there is brief discussion of the shooting of the young son that may be disturbing for some readers. Overall, the story isn't graphic and the violence is mainly implied.

  • Emily May
    2019-01-06 00:59

    Luke Hadler may have had a light on waiting for him when he came home, but something else from this wretched, desperate community had seeped through that front door and into his home. And it had been rotten and thick and black enough to extinguish that light forever. The Dry actually makes me feel vindicated in my rating and review of Ritter's Bonfire last year. I got some criticisms that I was being too harsh toward a debut author; that a lot of thrillers follow a familiar format but that doesn't make them bad. Then, in swoops Harper here, a debut novelist, writing a mystery/thriller story whose foundations are very similar to Bonfire (and other works in the genre) and yet it is utterly gripping.You know how the bare bones of these stories go. The protagonist is a small-towner who leaves and becomes a cop (lawyer, P.I., etc.) in the big city, then returns to his/her hometown to figure out some unfinished business from the past and solve a new crime. They, of course, get caught up in the small town politics and tensions. Bonfire tried on this premise - unsuccessfully, in my opinion. Flynn did something very similar in Sharp Objects. The whole notion of "genre" generally relies on authors playing by a certain set of rules. Whether these recycled narratives work, however, depends on the details. Are the characters interesting? Is the writing compelling? Do we care? I think Harper did a great job on all three.Firstly, The Dry is atmospheric to an intoxicating extent. Harper uses really evocative description to make you feel the burning heat and the suffocating lack of moisture amid the drought in this rural Australian community. The sun blazes. The blowflies hover. It's the perfect place for a murder.Aaron Falk returns to his hometown after twenty years away to attend a funeral. The funeral is for his old friend Luke Hadler, Luke's wife Karen, and his six-year-old son Billy. The story goes that Luke cracked under the stress of financial pressure and shot his family, leaving only baby Charlotte alive, before putting a bullet in himself. But there's just enough doubt to make Falk question this popular verdict.Along with local police newbie, Raco, Falk finds himself drawn into the case, as well as the lives, tensions and conflicts of the people in the town. His own past gets dragged up and Falk is forced to question whether there might be some connection between what happened to Luke's family and what happened all those years ago.The author expertly leads us down several roads that turn out to be red herrings and manages to pull out a dramatic and surprising conclusion. If you're a suspicious mystery reader like me - as in, you suspect everyone - then you might guess who did it, but I doubt very much you will guess the whys. And I personally think this is what makes a good mystery - the unveiling of the tale and the whys of the crime are good enough to make it okay if you guess whodunnit.A really impressive start to this new series starring Aaron Falk. Sign me up for the next book!Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  • Paromjit
    2018-12-18 01:54

    This is an astonishingly good crime fiction debut by Jane Harper set in Australia. Aaron Falk and his father were run out of their home in Kiewarra over twenty years ago over rumours of Aaron's hand in the death of Ellie Deacon. It was ruled a suicide and Aaron had an alibi, his best friend Luke. Aaron has returned to Kiewarra for the funeral of Luke, his wife, Karen and his son, Billy. It appears that Luke shot his family and then himself due to their poor financial state caused by the unrelenting drought. Aaron is now a financial investigator with the Melbourne Police and Luke's parents do not believe their son is responsible for such unforgivable acts. They ask a reluctant Aaron to see what he can find out.There is a mean and nasty streak running through the local community compounded by the never ending and relentless heat. Led by Mel and Dow Deacon, the old rumours about Aaron having a hand in Ellie's death are resurrected and a vociferous campaign against him begins. They are determined to hound him out for a second time and are not above using underhand and dirty tactics to achieve their aim. Aaron joins forces with local cop, Sergeant Raco, who has his own doubts about Luke's guilt. Evidence soon accrues that suggests Luke is innocent of wiping out his family. Aaron's memories of the past come to the fore and the mystery of Ellie's death runs as a concurrent thread. Aaron and Raco slowly begin to uncover the secrets, lies and fears buried in Kiewarra. The closer they come to the truth, the more they unsettle a killer willing to ignite a conflagration in a place ill equipped to handle it. The truth behind Ellie's death also begins to become clear.The author does an excellent job in bringing Kiewarra alive and the disparate characters that inhabit the place. It is a closed and intense community where people hold on to grudges and feelings with such fervour, as though letting them go would result in the disintegration of the self. The drought threatens livelihoods, and the heat raises stresses sky high. This is a well written story with a compelling narrative. The character development is so well done. The tension and suspense keep the reader totally enthralled. Cannot wait to see what Jane Harper writes next. Highly recommended and brilliant read. Thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.

  • Kristin (KC)
    2019-01-09 20:54

    *4.5 stars!*What a book. I had to sleep on this one. Not like, right on top of it, it was just a little to the left of my pillow, but I needed time to process. It’s not as though this read was so incredibly intoxicating that I couldn't wrap my head around it—quite the contrary, actually. The pace is steady and slow, verging on dull at times but never quite crossing that line. The plot itself is packed with twists, but they felt gentle and weren't especially shocking. So what did it for me? The atmosphere. The mood this author was able to ignite within me through words alone. The setting. The conditions of the “dry” land and the desperation of a small Australian town facing the disastrous effects of a two-year drought. All of this came alive. Even the school kid’s artwork in this story displays a dire tone…brown grass and dead cows. Talk about getting a message across. Now pile onto that a young girl's unresolved death lingering in the stale air; the recent murder of a mother and son; the suicide of a husband, and a town full of suspects. I’d say the tone is expertly set, and yes, it’s bleak and dreary and despairing and you can feel it. You can see it. You can almost taste it — And that’s how well this author has created this world. As for the intricacies and puzzles of the plot, I’d say they were decent and held my interest fairly securely throughout. However, nothing *wow’d* me as much as the visuals drawn out and the theme—solid, creative, and original—keeping present until the very end. Definitely recommend to thriller readers seeking a slower pace, but one that still delivers some substance.

  • Suzanne
    2019-01-05 21:02

    5 unflinchingly bright hot stars for 'The Dry'Love having reading friends to share books with! Thanks Mel. Very glad to have unexpectedly stumbled across this one, considering I’d had a recent conversation with my local bookstore manager where she’d mentioned it’s their top seller. I always ask her what is the current best seller. Best seller it is.A dazzling debut where again I am left wondering, what’s debut-ish about this work? The entire read I was chopping and changing my mind about who killed this young family in cold blood. I was wary of Gretchen, wondering why the school Principal was so often at the local pub. Loved the writing, soft hearted at times ‘…washed down with a decent shiraz – he felt he was a little bit in love with her himself.’ This reader was a bit in love with protagonist Faulk, love a character that is capable and a teeny bit flawed. My 18-year-old self would have warmed to him, as did a young Ellie here in this story.The harsh landscape explained to a tee. ‘It was terrifying. It was a flash of hell. The land was drier now than it had been then. This would be no slow burn.’ ‘They rolled and burned for a thousand hours until a pair of thick gloved hands reached down and hauled Faulk back by the shoulders.’This is an author to watch out for, and I smiled to read her dedication – “To my parents, Mike and Helen, who always read to me.” So to you all, I wholeheartedly recommend this non-put-down-able book to Australian fiction lovers, thriller lovers and supporters of Australian Women Writers. Would love to know what you think.

  • Elyse
    2018-12-24 03:09

    "Officially the worse conditions in a century" .....Melbourne, Australia."The weather pattern had a bad name" ----"El Nino" ----in "The Dry"."El Nino" refers to "the little boy", so named because the pool of warm water in the Pacific near South America is often at the warmest around Christmas. The original name, El Niño de Navidad, traces its origin centuries back to Peruvian fisherman, Who named the weather phenomenon in reference to the newborn Christ. "The Dry", itself refers to the long standing drought .....The afternoon heat was a scorcher. No rain meant no feed. "And no feed made for difficult decisions as the tiny-town shimmered under day after day of burning blue sky".THIS NOVEL is as WONDERFUL as everyone is saying with MARVELOUS CHARACTERS--that makes this book so darn GOOD!!!"First on the scene, the flies swarmed contently in the heat as the blood pooled black over the tiles and carpet. Outside, washing hung still on the rotary line, bone dry and stiff from the sun. A child's scooter lay abandoned on the stepping-stone path. Just one human heart beat within a kilometer radius of the farm"."So nothing reacted when, deep inside the house, the baby started crying". Aaron Falk....takes center stage in this story. He returns to his hometown-Kiewarra after having been away twenty years to attend the funeral of his old childhood friend, Luke Hadler. Aaron and his father left town years ago - after it was implied that Aaron had a role in the death of a young girl named Ellie Deacon. Aaron is now a Federal investigator of financial crimes-- and Luke's parents, Gerry and Barb Hadler, ask Aaron to stay in town after Luke's funeral to investigate the truth. Aaron says - he's not a murder investigator.... but Luke's parents said, "we've come to you. You're the police". Aron insists that he doesn't do that type of work anymore that he's on the financial side dealing with money. Barb thinks money may have played a part of it besides....Aaron knew Luke better than any of the town police. They are hoping Aaron will clear his name...... and find out what really happened for the death of his wife Karen and their little boy Billy. And even the facts around the baby - Charlotte.... who was found alive in the house of a murder scene. We have two storylines:1. The present family murder case of Luke, Karen, and Billy. 2. The past death of Ellie Deacon. Ellie was friends with both Luke and Aaron as teenagers. The only truth we know early in this story is that BOTH Aaron and Luke lied the night of Ellie's death. Ellie was found dead in the river with rocks in her pockets -- so did she commit suicide or did somebody kill her? And why did Luke and Aaron both lie that night? Many questions run through the readers mind as the story unfolds in this tightly constructed lyrical novel. For me ---One of the biggest pleasures was the conversational voices among the characters. I understand there is going going to be a follow-up story.......which leaves me questions about the ending of this book.... and looking forward to meeting Aaron Falk again. Readers who love Tana French - will love Jane Harper's stellar talents, just as much!!!

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
    2018-12-19 21:59

    I blame Aaron Falk. He just made me add a new shelf on Goodreads. Series. You see, I don't like book series. With a few exceptional characters preceding Aaron Falk (Harry Potter, Christian Grey, Edward Cullen, Kinsey Milhone) have I read an entire series. It's just too much of a commitment and then I feel guilty if I miss a book in the series. I will not be missing any book that Aaron Falk is in. Ever. No way, no worries, mate.I am so late to THE DRY party that I almost didn't read it. Finally, feeling caught up and proud of myself for all my ARC reading, I picked up one of the few hardbacks I have actually bought and opened up.“It wasn’t as though the farm hadn’t seen death before, and the blowflies didn’t discriminate. To them there was little difference between a carcass and a corpse." --Jane Harper, The DryWhat a terrific first sentence! Jane Harper, you hooked me at page 1, sentence one.As a reader, I am immediately FEELING this dusty, angry, Australian farm town as it reels from one of the worst droughts in history. I could hear the flies buzzing, see the rabbits eating the last bits of vegetation and smell the despair of the townspeople as they try to hang on to their livelihoods without any rain. I have not experienced this type of magical transportation in a long time. It is perfectly intoxicating.Stay with me, because that is just the setting of the book. Now, add a hardworking federal cop, Aaron Falk, who has relunctantly come back to his hometown for the funeral of his best friend. Aaron Falk is not a perfect hero, he has issues and secrets, but he tries to do right by his friends and he knows something is wrong here. Aaron's childhood friend, Luke, has been accused of murdering his own family before turning the gun on himself. Aaron and Luke shared a secret many years ago which we learn of during the investigation of the family murder. Does this old secret have anything to do with Luke killing his family? Aaron Falk is a tough nut to crack. The author shares just enough about him to make you want more. He is interesting, smart. A loner, a good guy, but what makes him tick? Oh, I'm a devoted fan. I will follow Aaron Falk through every one of his next books, even if there are fifty more to come. Is this a character or plot driven mystery? BOTH! Plus, that Aussie setting! It is so real, you better keep your chapstick handy for the parched lips you develop while reading. Sidenote: As I was reading THE DRY, Oregon's beloved Columbia Gorge was on fire for weeks (still is). Portland was enveloped in smoke, ash and heat! So hard to breathe! My own atmospheric reality definitely contributed to the transforming ability the book had on me- haha. Not to diminish this captivating story in any way. It stands on it's own, even if you read it at the North Pole!

  • Julie
    2018-12-27 00:19

    The Dry by Jane Harper is a 2017 Flatiron Books publication. This is my kind of mystery/thriller!When Aaron returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke, he intends to make a retreat back to his life as a federal agent, as quickly as possible. But, Luke’s grieving parents ask him to use his talents to look into Luke’s financial affairs, in hopes of finding answers as to why their son killed his wife and son and then shot himself. The chances are slim to none that Aaron would find anything to ease their pain, but he feels he owes them a favor, so he agrees to stick around a few more days. Before long, Aaron finds himself partnered up with a local investigator in an all-out search for clues that would shed light on the events leading up to the murder/ suicide. In the process, they uncover startling evidence that will change everything they thought they knew. The Australian location, in a town suffering through a severe drought, where the heat is nearly unbearable, has the entire town unusually edgy, which paints a combustible atmosphere riddled with irritable tension from start to finish. The shocking murder/ suicide is a compelling mystery full of unexpected revelations and surprising twists, but the secondary thread that takes up equal space in the novel, is a haunting cold case story centered around the death of a friend of Luke’s and Aaron’s back in their youth. Aaron and his father were both suspects in the girl’s death, and left town under a cloud of suspicion. Can Aaron find out what really happened after all this time? Dual storylines can be tricky, but both stories weave between the past and present with amazing fluidity. The story is bleak, almost gloomy at times, with little or no relief along the way, but the characterizations are so vivid and the story so taut, the heaviness became an asset and is part of what made the story so absorbing and moody, along with all the hidden small town motives, suspicions and secrets that came roiling to surface. While the subject matter may not be for the faint of heart, with such dark and emotional themes at play, the story has practically everything fans of this genre could ask for. It’s a police procedural in some ways, a twisty psychological thriller in others, with strong suspense and thriller elements added into the mix for good measure. The exceptional writing provides a wealth of depth, which sets this one apart from the typical mystery thriller. I am tingling with anticipation for the next book in this series! I think Aaron Falk is going to be big hit. 5 stars

  • Larry H
    2019-01-05 23:16

    Wow, this was really a great book! I love it when books which are hyped actually live up to the praise they're getting, and Jane Harper's The Dry definitely did.This book had everything—great writing, a terrifically evocative setting (I felt hot every time I read it, and it wasn't just because I'm running a fever, and I kept expecting everyone I came into contact with to speak with an Australian accent), interesting character development, and lots of twists and turns. It's amazing to think that this is Harper's debut novel, because it felt like a book written by a virtuoso.Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra, the small, rural Australian town where he grew up, when he hears that his childhood best friend, Luke, is dead, along with Luke's wife and young son. Actually his return for Luke's funeral isn't by choice: he's summoned by Luke's father, who threatens to bring to light an old secret that Luke and Aaron shared if he doesn't come home. Years ago, their friend Ellie Deacon drowned, but it turned out she was murdered. Luke and Aaron were each other's alibi that night, although neither really asked where the other one was. Many in the town suspected they lied."They'd all been so tight. Teenage tight, where you believe your friends are soul mates and the bonds will last forever."Kiewarra has been ravaged by endless drought and the townspeople are on edge, coupled with the tragic circumstances around the deaths of Luke and his family. Given that Aaron and his father fled the town years ago, after both were accused of being involved in Ellie's death, many people in town, including Ellie's ne'er-do-well father and violent cousin, still aren't happy to see him.As much as he wants to get out of Kiewarra as quickly as he arrived, Aaron promises Luke's parents that he will look into what really happened the day Luke and his family died. Partnering with a local police officer, Aaron tries to make sense of who could have been involved, and they both quickly find more than their share of secrets and lies, and Aaron must come face-to-face with an unending supply of childhood memories, some good, some bad. But the more they dig into the crime, the more they uncover, and the more hostile the townspeople become.Is this crime related to the lie that Luke and Aaron told all those years ago, or was something else afoot? Are those still trying to cause people to suspect Aaron's involvement in Ellie's death actually involved in Luke's? Did the drought so destroy this town and any sense of hope that someone felt compelled to murder, or did Luke just snap under pressure one day, like so many believe? These are questions Aaron and his police partner need to find answers to, but will danger find them first?The truth is, a lot of times I'm hesitant to read crime or mystery novels where you actually have to figure out who the perpetrator is, mainly because I feel this way:Harper really did her best to keep you guessing, although that didn't stop me from suspecting nearly everyone at one point. "Wait, you seem sympathetic? You did it," I thought. But while I wasn't completely surprised by the way she resolved the story, I still was surprised at the motivation behind it until the very end. And there was one revelation about the second mystery that baffled me, so I'm going to need to reach out to someone else who has read the book to see if I understood the plot correctly.All told, this is a tremendously suspenseful, exceptionally well-written book that really blew me away. Lately I've been reading crime novels that have been more novel than crime, which hasn't been a bad thing, but The Dry was really a crime novel. If this is Harper's debut, I can't wait to see what comes next, because she hit a homer with this one!!See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....

  • Matt
    2019-01-03 00:56

    Succumbing to some of the biblio-peer pressure surrounding Jane Harper's debut novel, I thought I ought to make a little time and see what she had to offer. Australia has been hit with one of its worst droughts ever, turning fertile lands into blobs of brown. In the community of Kiewarra, rain has not fallen in upwards of two years, only adding to tensions. An emergency call is made and authorities arrive at the Hadler farm to find a bloodbath. Luke Hadler appears to have killed his wife and son, before turning the gun on himself. The town chalks this up to extreme duress and a cloud of murder-suicide hangs over the town, which accompanies the scorching sun. When Aaron Falk returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, townsfolk whisper. Falk is forced to remember what happened two decades before, when a friend, Ellie Deacon, was found dead in the river and a note addressed to him turned up. His alibi is flimsy and turns out to have been concocted with the help of Luke, though they thought the secret would prove impenetrable. While Falk has made a name for himself in the Federal Police, he remains that teenager whose name was bandied around as having been responsible. Falk faces those awkward memories as he tries to better understand what could have pushed Luke to kill his family, with whom he was apparently very proud when last they chatted. Falk works with some of the local authorities to investigate the deaths, turning up small inconsistencies. Could someone have harboured animosity for twenty years and finally sought revenge for Ellie's untimely death? Could Falk be next on the list? Working to uncover what might have happened on the Hadler farm, Falk must clear his friend's name, while standing firm as the past rears its ugly head. A wonderful first novel that allows Harper to show that she is someone to be taken seriously in the genre. Perfect for mystery fans and those looking for a superior story to enthral and entertain.Harper has made a wonderful first impression on me with this novel, developing a strong police procedural alongside the complexities of small-town Australia. Aaron Falk serves as a wonderful protagonist as he keeps the narrative moving forward with his investigative skills, though the darker past that he has been forced to revisit keeps readers wondering about this man until the final sentence. This hint at a less than pristine Falk allows Harper to introduce a number of other characters whose importance varies, while pushing the narrative forward. Kiewarra proves also to be effective as a setting, as it mixes that proximity to big city life with the quaint farm living that has become destroyed with the current drought. A community that holds grudges while wanting to envelop its citizens away from prying eyes, Harper uses these traits to further enrich her narrative. Harper's use of flashbacks throughout, rather than straight recounting dialogue, gives the reader a great deal of insight and provides a true 'revelation' perspective throughout the story, as if the reader were witnessing some of the events that had been mentioned in passing. The reader learns much from these glimpses into the past and it provides a telling connection to the larger story. Overall, a wonderful piece that should provide momentum for a series, should that be the route Harper wishes to pursue. Curious readers should not take the title to be indicative of the quality or presentation of the novel, but that stocks at booksellers will disappears as swiftly as an Australian brushfire. Get your copy today and you will not be sorry! Kudos, Madam Harper for such a great start you your published career. I can see that many others have come to like this work and I cannot wait to get my hands on whatever you have coming.Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

  • Mary Beth
    2019-01-08 04:11

    This was the first book in a new series and I was really surprised on how much I loved this book. The book is utterly addictive, and I found it hard to take a break from it, reading it within a couple of days. Jane has managed to create realistic characters, dealing with very realistic situations. You often feel that you are standing in Aaron Falk’s shoes, as you start to feel his emotions moving through your body. My favorite part about this book was how everyone was a suspect. When I had finally settled on a killer, I would have to change my mind, chapters later, and did so throughout the book. Then, when I had discovered who it was, I was shocked at the reasoning behind the murders. I couldn't believe that this was the author's debut novel. I am so happy that this is a series.It is set in the fictional town of Kiewarra several hours drive from Melbourne. It is a hot, dry prolonged spell and the people are getting antsy as the heat roils around the dusty roads. Things are dying… and people are too.When a farmer and his family are found shot dead, the community readily accepts that hopelessness and desperation have caused the father, Luke Hadler, to murder his wife and son and leaves his thirteen month daughter alive, before turning the gun on himself. His childhood friend, Aaron Falk, returns to Kiewarra to attend the funeral. Luke’s parents beg Aaron, a federal agent with the Financial Intelligence Unit in Melbourne, to look into Luke’s finances to see if things were really so dire that he committed murder-suicide. It doesn’t take long for Aaron to think things may not be what they seem and, with the help of the local police sergeant, Greg Raco, he begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths at the Hadler farm. Aaron's return also re-awakens an old mystery from when he was a teenager where his friend Ellie was found dead in the river.This was an easy five star rating for me. I could easily vision everything in my head while writing my review. It definitely met the Wow factor for me. I cannot wait to read book two in the series.

  • Norma
    2019-01-13 00:03

    Holy Cow!  What a wonderful book!  This book definitely had all my senses on high alert while reading this one!  The mood, the atmosphere, the setting, the tone, the format….."Her goodbye as she left was as dry as the fields."THE DRY by JANE HARPER is an absolutely engrossing and compelling whodunit crime mystery / thriller that drew me in right from the very first chapter to the very last page!JANE HARPER delivers a clever, atmospheric, suspenseful, impressive, and very descriptive read here which was well-written and told in tandem from a past mystery and linking events of a family murder in the present.  What really grabbed my attention with this story was the extremely vivid portrayal of place and time.  The setting surrounding the dry conditions of this small town in Australia was so vivid that it had me desperately wanting and waiting for the rain to pour!The novel kept me guessing as the mysteries gradually unfolded, although there was nothing real surprising with the reveal it was the way that the author delivered this story that made this book an exceptional read.  I also really enjoyed Aaron Falk’s character and will wait patiently to read the next book in this series. To sum it all up it was an entertaining, exciting, tense, steady-paced, and a quick read with a very satisfying ending. Highly recommend!!All of Brenda & my reviews can be found on our Sister Blog:http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...

  • Maureen
    2018-12-28 00:05

    *4.5 STARS*First things first, applause for author Jane Harper, who's put together this cracking storyline set in the Australian farming community of Kiewarra. Luke Hadler allegedly killed his wife Karen and young son Billy before turning the gun on himself, but is this tragedy as cut and dried as it appears?Federal Police Investigator Aaron Falk returns for the funeral of his childhood friend Luke, but he faces animosity and threats regarding the suicide of Ellie Deacon some twenty years ago. Ellie was a friend of Aaron and Luke, but there were rumours that the teenage boys were complicit in her death.Luke's mother pleads with Aaron to investigate this more recent tragedy as she believes Luke was innocent and that someone else carried out the murders. Aaron joins forces with local cop Sergeant Raco, and so begins this riveting and complex investigation.Kiewarra is a small community where memories are long and grudges even longer. The characters serve the story well, the plot is compelling, and the fact that the community is suffering a drought of epic proportions only adds to the simmering tensions already in place. I can unreservedly recommend this excellent debut novel.*Thank you to Netgalley, Little, Brown, and Jane Harper for my ARC in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

  • Kevin Ansbro
    2019-01-16 23:06

    I was drawn to this arid Australian crime thriller by a desert storm of five-star reviews, not to mention the fact that this was the Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year.Hmmm…*Fold his arms and sighs*I’m not saying that this was a bad book … it was OK … though the storyline (for me) was flat, improbable, slow-paced and bereft of suspense.Apart from that, it was fine!Bland federal agent, Aaron Falk, returns to the small Outback town of his childhood for the funeral of his best friend (and his best friend's immediate family) and is drawn into an unofficial investigation as to how they really met their deaths.Here is a list of just some of the things that niggled me:1) The book is titled The Dry. It’s set in the heat of the Outback in middle of the worst drought to hit Australia in a century. Yet I didn’t get any real sense of the suffocating heat, nor do I remember flies being swatted from any number of sweaty faces.2) Aaron Falk is in town and just happens to be on the financial intelligence side of criminal investigation (how very convenient for the purpose of the story). 3) The dialogue was unconvincing. I mean, don’t rough, tough, leather-necked Aussie men in the middle of the Outback ever use the f-word? I know Crocodile Dundee didn’t, but come on! 4) I guessed who the killer was the moment he/she was introduced! As subterfuge goes, that’s pretty average.5) I found it difficult to connect with any of the characters; most were portrayed as small-minded and insular.So, for me (and I seem to be swimming against the tide), this novel was several shrimps short of a barbie. But almost everyone else likes it, so please, please don’t take a blind bit of notice of anything I’ve said!

  • Cheri
    2019-01-15 01:52

    4.5 Stars”The Outback is impossible, forever and it’s freeNo way can I find an end to what it means to me”Sing You the Outback John WilliamsonMere days ago, I was inundated by water. Water, water, everywhere… Rivers overflowing … and suddenly I find myself transported to a land where rain hadn’t fallen in nearly two years.”The drought had left the flies spoiled for choice that summer.” The farmers told themselves that the drought wouldn’t last, said those words to each other, and to themselves, silently whispered like a desperate prayer. ”Outside, washing hung still on the rotary line, bone day and stiff from the sun. A child’s scooter lay abandoned on the stepping-stone path. Just one human heart beat within a kilometer radius of the farm.So nothing reacted when, deep inside the house, the baby started crying.”It is to this town of his youth that Aaron Falk returns. He recalls his days as a boy there, his early teen years spent at the rushing river he and his friends used to fish in, play in, now is barely recognizable. But he’s no longer a teenager; he’s a Federal agent specializing in forensic accounting, working in Melbourne. He’s spent the years in between trying to forget his childhood years in Kiewarra, the way his family was run out of town. He’s come back, reluctantly, for a funeral for Luke Hadler, the boy who was once his best friend. Luke Handler, his wife, Karen, and his six year-old son, Billy, all gone. Eighteen hours and he’s outta there. It seems everyone in town believes that Luke killed his wife, and his son, and then turned the gun on himself. Only his infant daughter was left untouched.”Luke Handler may have had a light on waiting for him when he came home, but something else from this wretched, desperate community had seeped through that front door and into his home. And it had been rotten and thick and black enough to extinguish that light forever.”Falk has no idea what could have possibly prompted an act like this from Luke, it’s been a long time since the days when they were friends. Luke’s parents are taking care of his infant daughter, but are finding the town seems to be turning against them, turning away their business. They turn to Falk, hoping he can find something to clear Luke’s name. They can’t believe he would have, could have ever done this heinous act. But did they really know their son? Falk thought he did once, but now he’s not as sure.Small towns have some things in common, the talk that lingers for decades, fingers pointed, the certainty that they know what happened lingers long after the time has passed. And the mystery of Ellie Deacon’s death still lingers, fingers still point at Aaron Falk. Weaving in and out of time the way the river of his childhood flowed effortlessly, his memories of the past alternate with the search of the present day. Truth is what he’s after, in both times. Working with Raco, who is with the local police, they examine the case from multiple sides, running into dead ends. For me, the characters that spoke to me the most were Ellie and Karen, both facing futures which seemed to have no right way to turn, both wanting to share their burdens but unable to share them in time to save them. What I really loved most about this novel the most was the atmosphere, the setting, the mood. So much desperation as the drought goes on, robbing them of their livelihood, no water for crops or livestock and watching everything you’ve worked for your whole life just wither away. What are you if you are a farmer and you can no longer farm your land? Even the children’s moods are affected, watching their animals die, the sky fill with dust and flies. Always the flies.Recommended!

  • Meredith
    2018-12-18 20:14

    This beautifully written mystery transported me to Kiewarra, Australia, a small farming community that is suffering from a drought, and also from being mired in the past. Aaron Falk, a federal financial police officer, reluctantly returns to Kiewarra to attend the funeral of his former best friend, Luke Hadler. It appears that Luke committed a murder suicide, killing his wife, Karen, and their six-year-old son, Billy, before taking his own life. The community is in shock and speculation abounds. Why would Luke Hadler kill his wife and son? Furthering the mystery is why he left his baby daughter, Charlotte, alive.Falk plans to spend 24 hours in Kiewarra, but Luke’s parents ask him to investigate the family’s financials, hoping that he can uncover something that can add some insight into Luke’s actions. Falk teams up with the local Sergeant and the two slowly begin to uncover secrets and lies that dredge up the past, including the death of Ellie Deacon, a girl with whom Falk shared a past. Falk’s relationship with Ellie comes under scrutiny and tensions arise. Not only is Falk’s life put in danger, but also the entire community Kiewarra is put at risk.I can’t say enough good things about The Dry. The plot is intricately woven, the characters are developed, the writing is engaging, and the mystery is satisfying! I highly recommend!I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jen
    2019-01-12 04:06

    Whoa, well done, Harper! I did not see that twist coming and just when I thought I had it all figured out, that theory was shot to hell. Brilliant.This story is set in the bush in Kiewarra, Australia, where a murder suicide has taken place in a community where a drought is on. Falk, a cop who has come back for the funeral, is coaxed into staying to dig into the truth of what really happened to the family. A past is reawakened, secrets are kept close and many don't want him there for the ties he once had. This was a fast moving who dun it. Loved the style of writing as well as the different font to reflect the past. Don't bother to try to locate this one on the map - I tried and then read it's a fictitious town. I would have loved a bit more description of this land of desolation in a country so far from my own but, hey, I can always read a travel log.And, the bestest thing about this novel - a sequel has already been born! 4.25⭐️

  • Annet
    2018-12-28 23:57

    First on the scene, the flies swarmed contentedly in the heat as the blood pooled black over tiles and carpet. Outside, washing hung still on the rotary line, bone dry and stiff from the sun. A child's scooter lay abandoned on the stepping stone path. Just one human heart beat within a kilometer radius of the farm. So nothing reacted when deep inside the house, the baby started crying... An entertaining, easy & quick read. Well written psychological crime thriller, full of tension and atmosphere. Not automatically my first choice in the enormous stack of books at home in terms of topic/theme (well... the stack should actually be stacks :-) and stacks... and stacks....don't fit in my house anymore) but I was curious and intrigued. So many good reviews, excellent even. Did it rock my boat (I'm in the shipping industry :-))...Was I severely impressed... No. It was a good read for me, but that's it. Not a five star, let's say 3.7/3.8. Entertaining, not a top top top read for me. There are other books honestly.... that I rate higher. I seem to be in the minority here? Despite that, a welcome addition to my books read, and a good diversion from other types of books I tend to read. Would I read the sequel? Mmmm... yes, I probably would. So yeah.... this is my view. About the story: Aaron Falk, a cop, returns to his home town in the unbearable heat of Australia, for the funeral of his best childhood friend, killed with his wife and kid. A weird and dark situation. Because of things happened in the past, Falk is not welcomed by everyone in the town. Hooking up with a local cop, he starts to look into the case, as things do not look as they seem...Entertaining read. Recommended for the lovers of excellent crime fiction with a psychological touch.

  • Debbie
    2019-01-07 03:14

    There in The Dry, it’s raining 5-star reviews, and here I sit, trying to get right with my 3-star drip-drop. Maybe I’m using silly water analogies because I’m remembering how parched this locale is, a small farm town in Australia, and I need some liquid. I’m sure that a big part of the allure of this story (about a guy, Falk, who is trying to solve a heinous crime) is its vivid, scorched setting. Everything is hot and dry and slow. I didn’t feel the heat for some reason, but I definitely felt the slow. I so wish I liked it more. It’s way more fun to be in the gush club. There is a small Joy Jar, but it’s tucked away in the corner where I more or less ignore it because the meh is so overwhelming. I will tell you what the Joy Jar holds, of course: The book is well-written, the pace is good, there isn’t fluff, and the atmosphere is vivid. All very good things. But before I lug out the Complaint Board, I will say that part of my reaction is due to two things that have nothing to with the book itself: Over-hype, for one. And second, I’m not crazy about whodunits where it’s a police procedural deal. I don’t dislike them, but it has to be a knock-my-socks-off kind of thing for me to get all busy with a Joy Jar. Complaint Board-Pick up the pace. I’m repeating myself so I apologize, but for me it was slow. It seemed to especially sag in the middle, where I thought too much time was spent on one bad guy. It felt like the record got stuck, and I needed the needle to get unstuck faster. -Plain Jane language and plot. Sigh, I wanted some fire.-Italic flop. The author put the past story as italic entries right in the middle of the present story. This didn’t work for me. At times I expected and wanted it to be a first-person memory, which would have felt more natural. Instead, all of the sudden a third-person narrative about the past rudely interrupted the story, and it seemed intrusive and clumsy.-Stereotypes are a drag. The good guys were too good, the bad guys too bad. -Dull characters are a drag too. It appears that Falk, the main character, will live on in future novels. Sorry, he just seemed dull to me. And the rest of the crew made me snooze too. I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters. -If it’s a small town, I’m a pain in the ass. I get claustrophobic, bored, and rebellious in small towns. Writers who set their stories in small towns have to work harder to please me: There must be exceptional language or characters, or the emotions must be palpable. There must be passion! Not the case here for me.-The criminal came out of left field. The character who committed the crime wasn’t developed enough; they came out of left field. I needed a hint or two so I could have the fun of guessing. This complaint gets an asterisk because it was a biggie for me.-Come on, we all knew that! One character’s situation was too predictable. No biggie, but I get annoyed when there’s a glaring truth that is revealed as a big surprise at the end.-Shaky hands. This is so minor, it’s embarrassing. Twice in one chapter, a character noticed that someone’s hands were shaking. I just never believe that a person’s hands shake when they are upset, unless they are doing something like walking on the ledge of a tall building or stepping on a hissing rattlesnake—some life-or-death situation.The moral of the story: Lower my expectations. Don’t ever assume that because everyone else loves a book, I will, too. For me, it was pure dullsville.

  • Karen
    2018-12-19 02:05

    So this is a really good debut novel about a farming community in Australia, the murder of a young family..father, mother, young son, but their baby left unharmed.This story also goes back and forth from present time to 20 yrs earlier when this father and his group of four friends were growing up there. One of the group, Falk, is now a cop from the another city, who comes to town for the funeral of his friend and his family, and ends up on the case to try and find the killer. There are lots of possible suspects.. really keeps you guessing. I enjoyed the book, especially liked Falk.

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2018-12-28 21:12

    10★! Superb! There isn’t a thing I’d change about this debut novel from talented Aussie author Jane Harper. The Victorian rural town of Kiewarra is suffocating under the oppression of heat and prolonged drought. While some farmers and shopkeepers are still clutching at small straws of hope, others have walked off or sold out to foreign investors. Then, a murder/suicide is discovered. It’s not the first in desperate country Australia, and the Hadlers were struggling. Luke Hadler has apparently shot-gunned his wife and his boy at home, leaving a baby daughter crying in her cot, and then finished himself off in his ute in the forest. His former best mate, Aaron Falk, is now a Melbourne cop, and he has been summoned by Luke’s father with a letter saying: “Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.”Growing up, his own family life was lousy, and the Hadlers’ place felt like home, so of course he goes to the funeral. He’s also fearful of what the accusation of lying might mean.In high school, Luke, Aaron, and Ellie had run around together as a group, as kids do, swimming in the river, and when the amusing, effervescent Gretchen (“the human equivalent of bubble bath”, says Ellie) joined them, they began to pair off. Luke was always the charismatic leader, Aaron was the more aware, sensitive to moods.Then there was an incident at the river, and while the boys swore they were together, shooting rabbits somewhere else, they have no proof. Rumours point to Aaron, and he and his father are run out of town.“The rumours were fed well by Ellie’s father, Mal Deacon, and grew fat and solid. They sprouted legs and heads and they never died.”Now, Aaron’s counting down the hours until he can leave again. One night, in a room over the pub, and that’s it – back to the city. Till then, he’s got to make it through the funeral of his mate, the mate’s wife he never met, and the little boy in the tiny, heart-breaking coffin. Then the wake with Luke’s parents and Luke's surviving baby, where the bubbly Gretchen greets him unexpectedly with a big hug and a little boy. When Luke’s mum asks the friends to try to remember how her son loved his family, a local loudmouth pipes up with “Yeah, ‘til he butchered them.”Grant Dow was “. . . a large man wearing his mid-forties badly. Fleshy biceps that were more fat than muscle strained against his t-shirt as he folded his arms. His face was ruddy, with a scruffy beard and the defiant look of a bully. He stared down each person who tried to chastise him, until one by one they looked away.”Harper’s characters are real people – I’ve seen countless blokes like this at livestock sales. Every one of these men and women could be innocent, complicit, or guilty, and we wonder if Aaron will stick around long enough to help the local copper unravel not only this tragedy, but clear his name from the one twenty years ago.Fantastic story in a setting where I recognise every fly, every paddock, every cloud of dust and crackle of leaves.“It was paved, but not well. Deep cracks showed where the bitumen had swelled and shrunk with the seasonality of a crop.”. . . “The huge river was nothing more than a dusty scar in the land. The empty bed stretched long and barren in either direction, its serpentine curves tracing the path where the water had flowed. The hollow that had been carved over centuries was now a cracked patchwork of rocks and crabgrass. Along the banks, gnarled grey tree roots were exposed like cobwebs.It was appalling.”As for finding evidence and clues:“. . . the bushland sprawled dense and heavy. it seemed to shiver in the heat. It gave nothing away. . . ‘Going to be some bloody hunt, . . . best hiding place in the world out there.’ ”Harper writes in the present, but as memories are triggered, she introduces excerpts from twenty years ago in italics, making it very easy not only to follow, but to remember what characters already know as they are trying to make sense of new situations. I’ve seldom seen it so well done.The pub, the town, the cop shop, the milk bar, the school – they are all very real – as of course are the dust and heat that no amount of air conditioning can dispel.Absolutely fantastic! And I haven’t even mentioned how intricately she wove, then unravelled, the mysterious threads so that we’re never quite sure who is lying or just mistaken, who is trustworthy, who is just hoping for the best.Remarkable book and impossible to believe it’s her first! Thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted.

  • Carol
    2018-12-31 23:16

    The Hook - So many wonderful reviews by my GR friends found me craving to be in the loop. The promise of a crime story set in the dry bushlands of Australia was intriguing to me. Debuts also have great appeal. The Line - ”And it’s tiger snake territory here, so watch your feet “Snake Danger in Australia – Wildlife TourismThe Sinker - I began this book on audio, expertly read by Steve Shanahan. Shanahan reads slowly and deliberately. At first this was driving me crazy, so much so that I tried to find a program to jack the speed for my mp3 player. The more I listened the more I felt Shanahan’s pacing was just right fitting the mood of this murder story. Also, it was a pleasure to hear Shanahan’s accent, greatly enhancing the read. He definitely made the telling his own including subtle nuances. With alternate timelines, the audio could have been confusing but it was easy to distinguish when time frames were switched as the author changes the main character Aaron Falk from Aaron in the past to Falk in the present. The audio edition is an Earphones Winner awarded by Audiofile Magazine so I’m not the only one who thought it a worthy production. I switched to reading the physical book as somehow my audio recording was flawed, the tracks became mixed up and I was at a loss to where I was. No way was I waiting to come up in the audio queue again so I picked up the book. The Dry delivered on most of my expectations. It was a fine debut with a plausible plot, interesting characters, good writing and a satisfying ending. Harper describes The Dry of the title in all its misery, this lack of nourishing water caused by a two year drought resulting in disastrous and devastating living. Dying crops, killing of animals, financial hard times and more, all are taking its toll on the residents of Kiewarra. I could see the land, the prominent buildings and businesses, the main characters somewhat, but I just couldn’t get a handle on the community as a whole. Perhaps this is my fault. The farmers depicted the dead animals”The drought had left the flies spoiled for choice that summer. They sought out unblinking eyes and sticky wounds.”Can you return home? Twenty years had passed since the girl’s body had been pulled from the river, twenty long years since Aaron, just a teen and his father fled Kiewarra after being driven from their home, suspected, no, accused of Ellie’s death.Now a policeman in Melbourne, Aaron Falk is home for the funeral of his long –ago friend, Luke Hadler, his wife and young son, all found dead, two murders, one suicide. ”At least the blowflies were happy. The finds that day were unusual, though. Smaller and with a smoothness to the flesh. Not that it mattered. They were the same where it counted. The glassy eyes. The wet wounds. The body in the clearing was the freshest. It took the flies slightly longer to discover the two in the farmhouse, despite the front door swinging open like an invitation.Can you return home? Do you even want to? Falk wants nothing more than to be done, to leave this place with more bitter than sweet memories, to return to Melbourne but the past and present collide, demanding his presence. I see this is Aaron Falk #1. I'm willing to go along for another ride.

  • Melisa
    2019-01-13 01:15

    In my personal opinion, if this isn't a 5-star read, then I don't know what is. Impeccable. Atmospheric and beautifully written, this is part police procedural, part thriller/murder mystery. It opens with a bang and will have you glued until the very last page. This is one of those books that you will find yourself trying to sneak in pages here and there, whenever you have a single spare moment, because you will want to know how it ends. Absolutely unputdownable, I finished this in 24 hours and I had limited reading time (read: I stayed up way too late to finish this baby!). I have zero complaints. Zero. If I had to choose something negative to say, I will say that the subject matter was difficult to read at times, however the violence wasn't graphic or gratuitous, it was mostly implied. Just for the record, my vote is for Tom Hiddleston for the role of Falk in the film adaptation😉 Absolutely recommend.

  • Linda
    2019-01-04 20:10

    "But you know what it's like here, mate. It takes a lot for people to be willing to stand up and rock the boat. It was the same then as it is now."Aaron Falk returns to the small farming community of his boyhood. The souls of its citizens are as dry and withered as the devastating drought that has taken root in the blanched soil. There's ne'er a sprout of welcoming for him here in Kiewarra.But shock is the only apparent current running through this town. Falk's best friend of his youth, Luke Hadler, is found dead in the back of his pickup truck with a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. And in its wake is the horror of the knowledge that Luke took the lives of his wife, Karen, and their son, Billy, with him. The haunting cries of baby Charlotte left in her crib bring reality to this doorstep. What led up to this blinding image of a man in free fall?Aaron, a Federal Agent, planned on only attending the funeral service out of respect. Luke's father sends him an earth-shaking message for which he feels obligated to pursue. The puzzle pieces just aren't connecting here and community cooperation seems out of the question. But in order to work with the local police, Falk must bend low and enter into the cavern of his past. The community painfully reminds him that he is no longer welcome here. Falk and his father abandoned their home in Kiewarra under some very dire circumstances. Falk and Hadler had been connected to the drowning death of a young girl, Ellie, twenty years ago. Luke and Aaron were tied to the same alibi of being together that fateful night. But were they?The same driving force that weighed heavily upon Falk in the past revisits him once again. He is harassed and threatened constantly. Ellie's family makes their presence known. Can he make inroads into the parallels of the present and the past?Jane Harper is a remarkable writer. Her indepth presentations of complicated characters is a true talent. She allows the reader to step delicately between past and present with slips of backstory in the appropriate places. Harper knows how to release droplets of water on parched passages at the right time. The storyline spreads outward in an arc of reveal known mostly to sage writers.Harper is going to be an author to watch. I know so many of us will be anxiously on the lookout for future offerings by this stellar author.

  • Ginger
    2019-01-06 20:19

    I went into this book knowing the hype was high and many of my Goodreads friends loved it. I was hoping to temper my expectations but I shouldn’t have been worried. This was an excellent book my friends!I can’t believe this is Jane Harper’s debut novel. I’m impressed by her writing and storytelling. The Dry was gripping from the beginning to the end. No joke.The book starts with Aaron Falk coming back home for the funeral of Luke Hadler. Aaron is a federal investigator living in Melbourne and wants nothing to do with the small town of Kiewarra. Luke Hadler is suspected of killing his family and then committing suicide. Luke was one of his oldest friends growing up so he makes an exception on coming back to Kiewarra for the funeral. One of the reasons Aaron wants nothing to do with Kiewarra is a childhood friend died when he was young and most of the town blames him or thinks he's guilty of the death.So, we’ve got a few story lines going on in this book:1. The murder/suicide of Luke, Karen and Billy (youngest son)2. The death of Ellie Deacon when Aaron was a teenager.And both story lines are fantastic and gripping. The small town of Kiewarra was an excellent setting and how judgmental a community can be. The town is also going through a drought so emotions and tension are high. The character development was great and this was a well written book!I’m so excited for the next book in the series. I loved the characters, plot and overall mystery of both story lines.Kudos to Jane Harper on adding another excellent series to my reading schedule!

  • Diane S ☔
    2018-12-30 00:52

    Aaron Falk came from a family that had lived in Kiewarra for generations, but after a young girl was found drowned, his family was forced to leave. After an absence of twenty years, now a police investigator I the financial division he returns to his old home town, brought back by the apparent suicide and murder of the family of his former best friend.A début novel, very tightly plotted, extremely suspenseful, in a town where everything is not always as it appears. Loved Falk's character and the small town secrets, relationships. A well done, fast moving thriller. Will look for more from this talented author.ARC from publisher.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-18 19:58

    I just finished this last night. This book is in my top to recommend reading. Wow ! It was perfect. No one in the town is without their hidden secrets. You feel the heat of Australia as you read the book. You feel the frustration of the police officers as they investigate. It's very well written, and even if you know anything about the book before reading, it's not graphic. So you don't have to worry if you have those issues. It's one of the best "whodunnits" I've read in a long time.

  • Brenda
    2019-01-11 22:18

    This one's a stunner!Kiewarra near Melbourne Australia is in the midst of a severe drought. The ground is hard and cracked, plants are dead and brown, and the river is bone dry. The residents are all under stress economically. When a farmer, Luke Hadler, appears to have killed his wife and child and then committed suicide, the powder keg is ready.Aaron Falk, a federal police officer in Melbourne, receives a note that draws him back to the town he left twenty years ago. "Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral." The fuse was laid years ago, and now it's lit.Jane Harper has got some writing talent. The Dry hit all the marks for me. Great characters, great story, nicely paced, held my attention, and very atmospheric. I can't find anything I didn't like about this book. Did I mention it's a debut novel?

  • *TANYA*
    2018-12-22 21:53

    Great book!!! I cannot believe it's the authors first book. I was not expecting to like it so much. I'm very impressed, one of the best books I've read of the year. Intricate and yet so simple.

  • Lindsay
    2019-01-02 20:56

    4.5 stars! This is a GREAT book!! It grabbed my attention right away and didn't let go until the last page. After reading all of the excellent reviews, I was really looking forward to reading this book and it definitely lived up to the hype! All of the characters were very well developed. I really liked Falk, the main character - he had a secretive side which had me questioning his past - I wanted to know his back story and figure out his intentions - I liked the aura of secrecy that surrounded him. The mystery of the story is two fold - one unsolved from twenty years ago and one from present day, both equally intriguing. It's hard to believe this is a debut novel. The author, Jane Harper, has an undeniable talent for pulling the reader into the story with her vivid descriptions and compelling, suspenseful plot. I was completely engrossed in the characters' lives and atmosphere - I felt like I was part of the small farming community of Kiewarra, Australia - I could "feel" the endless heat of the drought, I could "smell" the stale bar air of the Fleece, I could "see" Falk walking the main street in town searching for answers. Harper did a fantastic job of leaving me hungry for more at the end of each chapter - I found myself reading "just one more" chapter well past my bedtime. The suspense and pacing of the novel are just perfect - I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime fiction!