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Description - The Dry by Jane Harper

WINNER ABIA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 "I devoured it in just over 24 hours ... Spellbinding" Ian Rankin "A breathless pageturner ... A secret on every page" The New York Times "One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read ... Read it!" David Baldacci WHO REALLY KILLED THE HADLER FAMILY? It hasn't rained in Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the farming community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are discovered shot to death on their property. Everyone assumes Luke Hadler committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son. Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to his hometown for the funerals and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and his childhood friend Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth ... MORE PRAISE FOR THE DRY "Devastating debut ... a suspenseful tale of sound and fury" Publishers Weekly, starred review "A nail-biting thriller ... this fine debut will keep readers on edge and awake long past bedtime." Kirkus, starred review "Every so often a debut novel arrives that is so tightly woven and compelling it seems the work of a novelist in her prime. That's what Jane Harper has given us with The Dry" John Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Redemption Road "It's extremely rare and exciting to read a debut that enthralls from the very first page and then absolutely sticks the landing." C.J. Box, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Off The Grid "Australian author Harper's debut is a stunner." Booklist

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781925481372
ISBN-10: 1925481379
Format: Paperback / softback
(197mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Imprint: Pan Australia
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publish Date: 28-Feb-2017
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - The Dry by Jane Harper

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Book Review: Dry by Jane Harper - Reviewed by (15 Sep 2018)

5 stars The Dry is the first book in the Aaron Falk series by award-winning Australian journalist and author, Jane Harper. After twenty years away, AFP agent Aaron Falk returns to drought-stricken rural Victoria for the funeral of his one-time best friend, Luke Hadler. All of Kiewarra is there to bury Luke, Karen and little Billy, but few of them are glad to see Falk.

Falk’s field is financial crimes, so Luke’s mother asks him to look into a possible alternative to the foregone conclusion of murder-suicide that seems to have been reached by the detectives from Clyde. And neither is Kiewarra’s own cop, Sergeant Greg Raco, entirely convinced by this explanation. There are enough discrepancies in the facts that Falk decides to stay a few days, to see if he can cast light on this awful tragedy. He owes Luke’s memory and his parents at least that much.

But Falk and his father left Kiewarra under a cloud when, at sixteen, his dear friend Ellie Deacon drowned in the Kiewarra River. While no one was ever charged, Falk had his suspicions then about who was responsible: are they affecting his impartiality now? Are there reasons to think the crimes are related?

During his informal investigation, Falk connects with townsfolk, reconnects with old friends and old enemies, and it is soon apparent that the ill will from his teens has been comprehensively reawakened.

Against the backdrop of a struggling country town, Harper gives the reader twin mysteries: a cold case and one still dominating the town’s consciousness. Multiple narrators give a variety of perspectives, eventually revealing the truth about both these wretched events. Harper’s characters are believably flawed: there are no saints here, and many of them harbour secrets. Falk’s loyalty to his friends is tinged with doubt and suspicion.

Harper’s Kiewarra easily evokes the typical country town with its small mindedness, its secrets, its rumour mill and the lightning spread of gossip, and a lack of the anonymity often felt in cities. This is a tale that is fast-paced, with an exciting climax and twists and red herrings that will keep even the most astute reader guessing until the final chapters. Harper’s debut novel certainly lives up to the hype, so interest in Aaron Falk’s second outing, Force of Nature, is bound to be high.


Author Biography - Jane Harper

Jane Harper has worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK. Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, The Dry is her first novel with rights sold to over twenty territories. Jane lives in Melbourne.

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