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The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry (2016)

by Jane Harper

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Aaron Falk (1)

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1,3741318,135 (4.01)151

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English (126)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (131)
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
This is a good book.
Aaron Falk is a Policeman from Melbourne who returns to his old town of Kiewarra to attend the funeral of his old friend Luke who it appears killed his wife Karen and son.
Falk isn't welcomed back as he left 20 years ago and people thought he was responsible for a girl called Ellies death who drowned.
Kiewarra is suffering from the worst draught in living memory.
Falk with the help of the local Police do some under cover investigating work.
It turns out it was the Head master of the school where Karen worked committed these murders he had large gambling debts and they received a grant of $50,000 for School equipment he kept the money Karen found out and was going to confront him, he took the opportunity to try and commit the perfect crime, he then runs away to the Bush and nearly starts a big fire.
Well written interesting book. ( )
  Daftboy1 | Aug 26, 2018 |
I don’t know how I missed “The Dry” by Jane Harper when it first came out. Actually, okay, that’s a lie; I missed it because the title and cover didn’t compel me. Sure, the hype and praise that surrounded it was on my radar, as well as the fact that copies at the library were always on request and being requested by patrons who came to see me at the desk. But I stubbornly and steadfastly stayed away, until I read the plot description of its sequel “Force of Nature”. Given that the plot of that sounds awesome (suspicious misadventures in nature!), and that it was part of series, I was finally convinced to go back and read “The Dry”, so as to fully experience Aaron Falk and his storyline. But given that I am always looking for new mystery series to follow with interesting detective protagonists, I am happy that I finally gave in and decided to give it a chance, stubbornness aside.

While a lot of the mystery series settings I follow are set in America or England, “The Dry” set itself apart immediately by taking place in Australia. Given that I am still desperately missing New Zealand (not that I think they’re interchangeable, mind you, please don’t hurt me, Australia and New Zealand), I was happy to have a story set in Oceania. Australia’s sprawling divide between metropolis vs small town plays a huge part in the story, and set up for a well done ‘small town with secrets’ kind of plot line. Aaron Falk was a fine protagonist to explore this, given that this involves a homecoming to a place that thinks that he’s a murderer. It’s an interesting tweak to the big town detective trying to maneuver in small town politics and society, as Falk knows how it works, and knows that he’s going to be doubly scrutinized with his background. When his old friend Luke’s apparent family annihilation/suicide brings Aaron back for the funeral, the murder of their mutual friend Ellie still lingers, as does the fact that Aaron and Luke were each other’s alibis. So this story has two mysteries: did Luke actually kill his wife, son, and himself, and who actually killed Ellie? The narrative shifts between the present timeline with a third person perspective through Falk’s eyes, and past perspectives through a vaguer third person narration. If that makes sense. It’s not something I’ve seen very often in fiction, and it was interesting getting more information than Falk was getting and seeing how he interpreted the information as it’s fed to him. It makes for a questionable reliability in the storytelling, and I liked being kept on my toes. But while I was kept on my toes, I wasn’t terribly invested in either mystery that was presented. The problem with Ellie’s was that given some of the sad realities of statistics and violence towards women and girls, I didn’t have a hard time guessing the ultimate solution to her fate, and therefore didn’t feel connected to it. And with Luke’s storyline, I wasn’t invested enough in Luke to want to see his name cleared, so while that one did keep me guessing, I didn’t really care too much one way or the other.

Falk himself was just fine as a protagonist, but I think that for me the difference between this series and, say, the Tempe Brennan Series (working as my go to for a series with a re-occurring detective type) is that Falk hasn’t really established himself as a unique main character I’m interested in just yet. Tempe Brennan is complex and effervescent and snarky, whereas Falk hasn’t been much outside of a falsely accused outsider looking to redeem a friend (and in some ways himself), and brooding accordingly. I do realize that Tempe has had nineteen books to solidify her personality, and that Falk is really just beginning, so I am not holding any of this as-of-now simplicity against him. There are definitely glimmers of promise within him and where he could go, and I want to see how he’s going to grow in future books now that, theoretically, it won’t be as personal for him going forward. I was happy with the supporting cast that Falk got to play off of. I liked his old friend Gretchen, and her loyalty to him even when others thought that he didn’t deserve it. I liked Raco, a local detective who joins up with Falk on an official investigation against the town’s judgmental gaze. But I’m not sure as of now that they are going to remain large parts of the series, as they are still back in the town that Falk is visiting temporarily. Again, comparing it to Tempe Brennan there are familiar faces that work as foils and give Tempe’s life and character uniqueness and interesting interactions. If it’s just Falk going forward with a revolving door of characters,, it could be a missed opportunity for a strong cast of supporting and familiar faces. We’ll just have to see. “Force of Nature” will give me a better idea of what to expect in this way. And lord knows it’s going to be awhile before my number comes up on the request list.

So all in all while “The Dry” didn’t blow me away in the fashion that it did to many others, there is a lot of promise going forward. Aaron Falk may not be Temperance Brennan yet, but I have a feeling that he has the potential to join her as a detective in a unique series that I will follow as it moves forward. ( )
1 vote thelibraryladies | Aug 20, 2018 |
3.5 stars. I liked this book. It was interesting and kept you guessing till the end. I do wish there had been some kind of justice for Ellie's death but I understand why there couldn't be. ( )
  Catsysta | Aug 5, 2018 |
Federal Agent Aaron Falk is dragged back to the small Australian town from which he was exiled twenty years ago by the funeral of his childhood friend. It turns out that his friend has been accused of committing a horrible crime, and everyone in town believes that his death was just a simple case of domestic homicide followed by suicide from the resulting guilt. Jane Harper’s title for her first novel, The Dry, alludes to the ravaging and unrelenting drought Falk’s town has endured for years. Agent Falk is unsure what to believe about Luke, his friend who he has barely connected with over the past two decades. Luke’s parents convince Aaron to stay for awhile to investigate some possible alternative explanation, or at least a motive. Aaron reluctantly agrees to help the local PD, even though he specializes in financial crimes, and is not exactly given a warm welcome by the town’s inhabitants. As he seeks to discover the series of events that led to Luke’s death, Aaron’s own secrets and tragic details of a long-ago crime become apparent. Harper unwraps the two mysteries amidst the backdrop of a town filled with simmering heat and anger. This novel manages to be both surprising and logical, with some good twists and red herrings to keep the reader guessing. The Dry is excellent for a first effort, and Agent Aaron Falk is a likeable character who will make a welcome return in the sequel, Force of Nature, just recently released by Flatiron Books. ( )
  jnmegan | Jul 31, 2018 |
Good, serviceable thriller with a solid surprise ending that kept me engaged the whole way through. The characterizations weren't always subtle—the obviously bad guys were bumbling drunken oafs and the good women were always lovely, of course, as opposed to one lady whom we're meant to know is unpleasant even before she opens her mouth because she's red-faced, with dull hair in a limp ponytail, squashy with a muffin top, and smokes. But I'm not going to take points away from the book for not trying to be what it isn't, and what it is is very entertaining. ( )
1 vote lisapeet | Jul 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
Aaron Falk gaat terug naar zijn geboortedorp Kiewarra in Australië voor de begrafenis van zijn vroegere vriend Luke. Bij Luke heeft zich een familiedrama afgespeeld. Falk is niet erg welkom in het stadje. Jaren geleden is hij samen met zijn vader het stadje ontvlucht omdat Falk in verband werd gebracht met de dood van zijn toenmalige vriendin Ellie Deacon. Falk is van plan om na de begrafenis direct weer te vertrekken. De ouders van Luke vragen hem echter om even te blijven en wat onderzoek te doen naar de dood van hun zoon…lees verder >

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jane Harperprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hallén, JessicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shanahan, SteveNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my parents, Mike and Helen, who always read to me.
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It wasn’t as though the farm hadn’t seen death before, and the blowflies didn’t discriminate.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well ...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds are reopened. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret ... A secret Falk thought long-buried ... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface ...
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"A small town hides big secrets in The Dry. 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."--… (more)

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