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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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1,5981456,781 (4.01)178

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English (139)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
Aaron Falk returns to his hometown of Kiewarra, Australia, which is in the midst of a very severe drought, because his childhood friend, Luke Hadler has died. Luke was found with his shotgun in his mouth, and his wife, Karen, and son, Billy, were found murdered in their home. Only 13-month old Charlotte remains alive in the house. Aaron is now a financial crimes investigator, and is asked by Gerry, Luke's dad, to look into Luke's death.
As Luke agrees, he works with Raco, the new sheriff in town. Together, they review the murders, and dig into the past.
Luke, Aaron, Gretchen, and Ellie were a foursome in high school. Ellie's body was found, drowned, 20 years earlier. Aaron had been under suspicion by Grant Dow, Ellie's cousin, and Mal Deacon, Ellie's father. Luke covered for Aaron, but Aaron always wondered why Luke provided him with an alibi- was Luke to blame for Ellie's death?
While investigating the background of the family, Aaron discovers that Karen worked at the local school. He gets some information from Scott Whitlam the principal about the finances of the school.
As Aaron and Raco dig deeper into the murders, some unsettling discoveries are made. Everyone and everything seems to be hiding a deeper secret. As they dig, they uncover the reason for the deaths of the Hadlers, and also the truth behind Ellie's death.
I am excited to continue on with the Aaron Falk series! Very well written and complex!
#TheDry #JaneHarper ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
It is one of the better mysteries that I have read, actually listened to, recently. The story is based in a small farming town in Australia that is going through a drought. The community which is already reeling because of lack of water and 'The Dry' land (see what I did there! ;) ) witnesses a horrific crime; and, when one of their own who was forced to leave as he was a suspect in another horrific crime that had occurred 20 years before, returns back, tempers (in addition to the temperature) are bound to run high! So, basically, what you get are two murder mysteries for the price of one which is always a win-win! However, since both the past and the present timelines tend to run parallel, it gets a little difficult to understand, immediately, if what is happening is in the current time or something from years, days or even weeks past, especially in the audiobook format. Another difficulty I faced was getting used to the heavy Australian accent but it got a lot easier after the first few chapters. The good thing was that all my guesses fell flat and it was only in the end that I figured out what must have gone down on those fateful days. All in all, it was one suspenseful read and had me racing to hear what happens next. ( )
  Megha17 | Jan 17, 2019 |
Aron Falk returns to his hometown about twenty years after he and his father left. Twenty years ago, his friend Ellie drowned in the river, and her father wanted to pin the fault on Aaon. He returned because his friend Luke along with his wife and son died in what at first seemed to be a murder-suicide until the local officer realized Luke did not own ammunition of the type discharged. Aron, now with the state police's financial division and is based in Melbourne. This excellent first in series makes me excited to read more in the series with a "Down Under" setting. While I'd guessed solutions to both crimes, they were less obvious than some mysteries. I listened to the audio version narrated by Steve Shanahan. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jan 4, 2019 |
This is a book to read if you enjoy mystery novels. The Dry actually combines two mysteries. The first, tied into the second. Outback Australia, it is parched without rain for quite a long time It hasn't rained in awhile and there doesn't seem to be a likely chance that it will occur soon. The dry heat surrounds the town and lends to the story of death and suspicion.

When his teen- aged friend was found dead in a river, stones weighing down her body, Arron and his father become suspects. Nothing can be pinned on them, still in this outback, people tend to be nosey and enjoy drawing the wrong conclusions. Aron and his father flee the community as nastiness increases.

Now a financial wizard in the police force that tracks down white collar crime, Aron is drawn back to the area he left and did not return to until now. His friend Luke, who was also a friend of the woman who was found dead in the river, stayed in the area and purchased his father's farm. He married and had two children. His wife and 12 year old son were found in their home shot. In addition, Luke's body was found away from the house. When the authorities arrive they find a little baby unharmed and in her crib.

Aron returns to attend the services of Luke, his wife and son. The local police chief is new and the murder happened one of the first days he took the job. Asking Aron to remain and help him, Aron agrees.

As the memories of the girl buried in the river so long ago, and now his teen aged best friend and family are killed, the plot twists and turns.

This is a cleverly written story. I did not guess who the murderer was and was quite surprised.

Highly recommended

Four Stars ( )
  Whisper1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
Small country towns can be a rich and seemingly endless source of material for novelists, and isolated, outback Australia is proving to be on the upward trend for this particular type of crime genre. Harper does a convincing job of setting out the social perimeters of Kiewarra, giving the reader plenty of scope for trying to solve its mystery.
Our group were all impressed with this story, finding the setting realistic, the characters interesting and the plot intriguing. The truth was well buried, but once revealed was not so bizarre to be unbelievable or even over dramatic. Just a sad case of human failure.
We had a great discussion on many issues … small town life and the act of returning to your home town after a long absence and the history that people create for themselves and their community. There was also talk about the structure of crime novels and how secondary stories can contribute or take away from the main plot. We had a few questions that needed answers, but overall we were more than happy with the conclusion. So much so that all of us will be reading Harper’s subsequent titles.
Monday Night Book Club

To find a book that is loved by every one of our members is a rare find indeed. But that is exactly what happened this month with Jane Harper’s debut novel The Dry.
The small-town story of Aaron and his best friend Luke was thought to be a well-drawn base plot to the complication of events that awaited Aaron on his return to his home town and the funeral of his best friend. The supporting characters were all there, waiting for him and readers were thrown headfirst into the melee and community suspicion around the local tragedy.
This structure alone was thought to be a small touch of genius on the author’s part. Instead of introducing characters one at a time as the story unfolded, we find most of them within the first few pages, and then the smoke and mirror strategy begins.
But it is not only the clever writing style and intelligent plot that impressed our group. The sense of place … small town, outback, hot, dry Australia, was so well drawn that everyone commented on how much they felt the heat and drought. Many of us have experienced such places and believe Harper certainly has done her research, if not her time in the outback.
The social issues raised in the novel were also worth commenting on. Small, isolated communities have their tribulations and although Kiewarra is a fictional town, its people and their dynamics are very believable in this story’s context.
Generally, a unanimous opinion on a book can lead to a rather ordinary discussion, but in this case, we found ourselves engaged in what became a very stimulating and enjoyable chat on what we consider to be a piece of brilliant Australian literature.
Tuesday Book Club ( )
  jody12 | Dec 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (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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