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The Dry: A Novel by Jane Harper
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The Dry: A Novel (original 2016; edition 2017)

by Jane Harper (Author)

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3874327,743 (4.05)40
Member:scoutlee
Title:The Dry: A Novel
Authors:Jane Harper (Author)
Info:Flatiron Books (2017), 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:new release 2017, audiobook 2017, new author 2017, mystery/suspense, read 2017

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The Dry by Jane Harper (2016)

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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
Well, if Jane Harper writes like this for a first novel, then we readers are in for a real treat with book #2 in this Aaron Falk series (due out in 2018).

Using vivid imagery to convey the unbearable heat and dryness of a part of Australia struggling under the ravages of a fierce drought, Harper immerses the reader in the book's setting. The oppressive bleakness of a small, dying town and its downtrodden people is just as heavy as the oppressive heat that envelops them. Amidst the palpable sense of hopelessness occurs an unfathomable crime. A family has been killed, and at first it seems an open-and-shut case: the father, Luke Hadler, has shot and killed his wife Karen, their barely-school-aged son Billy, and then turned the gun on himself; their infant daughter Charlotte is unharmed. Luke's childhood friend Aaron Falk has reluctantly returned to his old hometown of Kiewarra for the family's funeral, by request of Luke's parents.

What appears as a straightforward case slowly becomes more uncertain as Falk, a federal investigator from Melbourne, allows his cop's instincts to take over. Together with Sergeant Greg Raco, the local head of police, Falk starts to investigate the crime for his own personal reasons. Did his former best friend really kill his family? Falk's investigation is hindered by a crime from his teenaged past - the death of his friend Ellie Deacon and the town's quick willingness twenty years ago to name him as Ellie's killer. Falk finds that the past is very much alive in Kiewarra, as he encounters long-held prejudices upon his return to his old hometown; he is shunned just as much as he was twenty years ago when he and his father had been forced to leave town.

The book alternates between the present-day crime investigation of the Hadler family deaths and the decades-old mystery of Ellie Deacon's death. Author Harper deftly weaves the two story lines, moving seamlessly back and forth. As the book progresses, the tension ratchets up in both plot lines; the reader can sense that something significant is going to be revealed about the past AND the present. Little surprises are revealed, drawing the reader deeper into the complexity of Falk's past, while keeping the reader guessing about both plot lines.

The resolution of the Hadler crime is tension-filled, surprising, and satisfying. The revelation of the truth behind Ellie Deacon's death is infinitely sad and just heart-breaking.

I rated this book 4 stars, but it's really closer to 4 1/2. I'm curious as to how Harper will approach the next book in this series. "The Dry" worked because it was so closely tied in with the little town of Kiewarra, the severe drought, and Falk's past. Take that setting away, and will Falk still be as interesting, or will the series turn into police procedurals without as intimate a personal connection? We can only wait and see. ( )
  niaomiya | May 20, 2017 |
Fabulously told story. Many twists and turns until the last chapter. Well-written. Highly recommend. ( )
  bogopea | May 9, 2017 |
Aaron Falk returns to his rural Australian hometown to attend the funeral of a childhood friend and the friend’s wife and son, victims of an apparent murder suicide. Falk teams up with a local police officer to investigate, and at the same time finds himself the target of backlash from people who associate him with another tragedy that occurred during his teens. The two storylines, past and present, unfold in parallel giving readers a double dose of mystery. The landscape figures prominently, as a drought threatens to destroy the livelihood of many families in the community.

This was a good mystery with enough twists to keep me guessing, although one of my early suspicions proved correct. The author tended to overuse the word “mate” in conversation (and you know, once you notice that you see it everywhere), and was over reliant on one element of foreshadowing, taking away some of the suspense associated with the climactic confrontation between the perpetrator and law enforcement. Despite these criticisms, it was a good character-driven page-turner. ( )
  lauralkeet | May 8, 2017 |
Amazon summary: 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.
Loved this book. Excellent read. ( )
  dalzan | May 7, 2017 |
SET IN AUSTRALIA THIS BOOK TAKES US TO A SMALL TOWN THAT HAS ALL BUT DRIED UP AND REVEALS HIDDEN SECRETS AND TURMOIL. ( )
  CheryleFisher | Apr 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (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 >
 
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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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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...
WHO REALLY KILLED THE HADLER FAMILY?

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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