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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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4484623,330 (4.03)47
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 45 (next | show all)
Very well written but this will have to be unfinished for me. Just too violent and disturbing and not my cup of tea.
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
In The Dry Australian Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to the remote town of Kiewarra for the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke. Twenty years prior another friend's suspicious death turned the town against Aaron and his father and his return stirs up old animosities. This mixes just enough suspense into the two mysteries to keep the pages turning and adds enough complexity to the characters to make them solidly believable. It's amazing to think this is the author's first novel. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the next. 4 1/2 stars. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 5, 2017 |
"The Dry" by Jane Harper is set in a country town in Australia, several hours by car from Melbourne. There has been a horrific murder/suicide; a farmer has shot and killed his wife and young son, then took his own life. Aaron Falk, a long ago friend of the killer returns to town after an exile of twenty years. Falk is a cop, mostly investigating while collar crime.

The book grabbed me right off the bat. First I am a sucker for any story about the guy who comes back to town after X years. That theme offers up so many great story lines - why'd he leave? what's happened to the old girl friends? enemies? disgruntled family? was he guilty? But "The Dry" offers a great deal more - very good prose, excellent characters, a nicely paced story. After only a few pages, I felt I had a winner in my hands.

But "The Dry" is not without some flaws. It does not have a strong sense of Aussie about it. While dialog includes a "mate" here and there, there are few if any other linguistic markers, nor traditions, food nor place, that made me feel it was any different than Kismet, Kansas. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn't get a good sense of the size of the town, Kiewarra. There were only two cops and rooms were available at the one and only pub. But it had a school with an elementary school with a full time principal and a high school, some traffic on main street at 'rush hour'.....I had heard the word "pixelated" only once before in my 73 years, in the Gary Cooper movie where the two sweet old ladies on the witness stand testify that his character, Longfellow, and the entire town except themselves of course, were pixelated. In this book, the word is used on pages 5, 16, and 150. I'm not sure what it's supposed to convey - I would guess something "unnatural" when describing someone's image or pose in a photo. Three times. Really? But my biggest complaint was that the italicized passages didn't always work for me. There are lots of them. At first, I understood them to be a characters thoughts, but always used to reveal or describe something in the past known to that character. But then, more and more, these passages were used to fill in the blanks, helping to tie up loose ends. I would have preferred more conventional treatment.

Bottomline, I recommend the book, but not with the enthusiasm I felt when I started it. I'll certainly consider Harper's next book, but it's not a sure thing. ( )
  maneekuhi | Jun 3, 2017 |
'The Dry' tells the story of Aaron Faulk, a Melbourne financial inspector who returns to his childhood home after the death of his oldest friend - a friend who killed his wife and son before killing himself. Aaron remembers his home town as a small minded farm community which falsely accused his father, then him, on the murder of a teenage girl. Faulk plans to leave town 24-hours after arriving but stays to ask a few questions regarding his friend's death. Unfortunately, his stay brings back unhappy memories for him and the town people who believe he was a killer.

The plot wasn't new - a man unjustly accused of murder and pariah to a small minded town. Thrown in the local red-neck bully and you have a stereotypical novel. Except that 'The Dry' isn't - it is creative, atmospheric and compelling. The story takes place is a small farm community in southern Australia that is experiencing the drought of the century. Again, sounds fine but the heart of the sun and the dry, dusty roads becomes a character unto itself.

The story is told from 2 perspectives - the present time with a horrific murder-suicide but also the flashbacks of boyhood friends and of a dead teenage girl. As more memories unfold, you learn the secrets of the town and how it affects Faulk 20 years later. I felt for him - being run out of town unfairly, his father never recovering from being forced to leave his home and the fact that 20 years seems like yesterday when bad memories surface. No matter how much you grow and change, people who watched you age & mature, never see anyone except the boy. The man never has a chance; especially a man that people believe got away with murder.

As with any story, there are parts that seems a little too pat and the ending seemed to happen VERY quickly. I actually turned the page looking for the story to continue - that is how random the end seemed. For me, reading the excerpts of the past is what made the story. The current murder and the 2 local bullies that everyone was afraid of seemed one dimensional.

Having a few downsides is what i would expect for a debut novel. However, I am an instant fan of Jane Harper and will watch for her future books. When all is said and done, I really enjoyed this book! ( )
  mfbarry | Jun 1, 2017 |
Aaron Falk returns to his boyhood home because an old friend and his family have been murdered. It is believed that it was a murder/suicide, however it turns out to be otherwise. Many secrets are revealed and the murder of another one of Falks old friends is also solved. Good story and would make a great movie. ( )
  myers3 | May 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (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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