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Dry Hardcover – 10 January 2017
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“A breathless page-turner, driven by the many revelations Ms. Harper dreams up…You’ll love [her] sleight of hand…A secret on every page.” ―The New York Times
“One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read… Every word is near perfect.” ―David Baldacci
A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.
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.
Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Flatiron Books (10 January 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250105609
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250105608
- Dimensions : 16.49 x 3.09 x 24.33 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 188,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Well Jane Harper needs an editor. With in this book are 3 major errors.1 of these rather spoils her solution to the murder the other 2 just upsets pendits like me. We will start with the least important. As a book written about Australia she should have realized that here in the bush we have a verandah not a porch....second if you are going out to shoot rabbits you would go in the early morning or the dusk. At lunch time any bunny will be in his burrow keeping cool....actually if you seriously want to try and get rid of Peter Rabbit your method will be a little less kind than a gun....and now the major mistake. The victim is using ,and shot by ,a shotgun. A shotgun uses cartridges not bullets. Sorry Jane but that rather spoils the ending though a bit of thought and a few rewritten chapters would set things right.
I shall still read her next book because she can write but I hope the next one actually makes sense.
Can the folks in Kiewarra put the past behind them when Aaron Falk rolls back in to town? Probably not, seeing as he’s here for his former friend Luke’s funeral, not by choice mind you. No, he was summoned by a note telling him he lied, and Luke lied. To make matters worse Luke is being accused of killing his wife and young son before turning the gun on himself. However, Luke’s mother thinks something more sinister happened and wants Aaron to investigate. Tempers are flaring because people remember the death of a young girl 20 years ago, and the connection to both Luke, and Aaron, which makes the whole situation that much worse.
A 2nd reading and some thought exposed the glaring omission.
This story does nothing for the victims of domestic abuse, worse it ignores them perpetuating the silence which allows this terrible crime to continue. Justice is only delivered to the criminal gambler, the abusers are ignored, just as in real life. It is not enough to state the reader will work it out NO the time for the silence, that tacit approval, is long past, and claiming "literary license" is not acceptable, the abusers should have had their exposure documented. A telling and disgusting omission.
Was his mate capable of murdering his wife and child, then turning his rifle on himself.
Something happened years ago, he never knew if his friend had killed a young Local, whilst the town suspected hm or his father. He finds himself in deep wandering who actually did commit the murder from the past.
The simple folk are complex and digging up his past is painful.
A really smooth read on kindle with voice. (Not too Australian). Am looking forward to the movie now.
A really enjoyable read
The author almost encourages an outcome through the story telling, then a pivot, and you are left guessing as to how the story will unfold.
I particularly enjoyed the detail which enhanced the backdrop of scenes. An excellent depiction of the tired and drought stricken town, with its array of colourful and relatable characters was immersive.
Overall, this is definitely a book to put on your reading list!
(P.S memories are in itallics in the book)
Aaron Falk is a new concept as a financial crimes detective caught up in the apparent suicide of his childhood friend after killing his family.
Returning home for the funeral his friends parent ask him to investigate. On the property he finds Sergeant Raco has doubts that it happened the way it seems.
There are a multitude of story lines and for each there is a suspect. The main other story is the death of a girl 20 years before where Aaron is implicated by a lie for an alibi worked out with the dead man. There are elements of a Greek tragedy with the unknown always out of reach.
There ate some minor issues and Jane tries to insert red herrings but doesn't always succeed. The final showdown is a bit overblown than necessary but overall this is fine book.
I live in a small town, thankfully not quite like this one, I know how drought feels, it was in this very book! Skillful, twisting & turning, & too real for this author to have not been born & bred in our "outback"!.......but she wasn't. Again I say, brilliant
Top reviews from other countries
Of course I might be completely insane and the rest of Humanity might find this well written [NO], plausible [NO] and entertaining [definitely NO].
One of the many strengths of the novel is that it so effectively creates a sense of place, which gives it a lot in common with the Nordic noirs which are so popular with readers, though where the abiding image of Nordic thrillers are the desolate snowscapes, Harper's book operates in the polar opposite. It's Outback noir and the parched desolate landscape of the book goes a long way in creating a sense of dread. The land is dying before our eyes, people are living in a state of poverty and hopelessness so it is no wonder that violence soon flares up.
The novel opens with a swarm of blowflies swarming around the bodies of a mother and son, who were butchered in their own home in a seemingly straight forward murder/suicide. Luke Hadler, driven mad by years of drought seems to have shot both his wife and son before turning the gun on himself.
Melbourne based policeman, Aaron Falk spent his childhood in the town of Kiewarra but he and his father had to leave town after the death of a young girl - actually, they were driven out of town when suspicion regarding the young girl's death fell on Aaron. And now years later Aaron returns to the town for the funeral of Luke and his family and becomes involved in an unofficial investigation into the so called murder/suicide. Why for instance did Luke, assuming he saw a hopeless future for himself and his family not kill his infant daughter before turning the gun on himself? Why just his wife and young son?
Falk teams up with local policeman, Sergeant Raco (as likable a character as you can meet in crime fiction) and together the duo start investigating. At the start of the book there is doubt sown in the reader's mind over the involvement Falk may have played in the death of the young girl all those years ago, and this story in a secondary mystery that runs alongside the main storyline. I've called the book Outback Noir, as to some extent it is but this is basically a crime novel in the classic style with a myriad of twists and turns to throw the reader before the thrilling and logical conclusion plays out.
The main character, Aaron Falk, is a police federal investigator, who specialises in financial crime. Now based in Melbourne, he returns to his outback hometown of Kiewarra, suffering from years of drought, to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke Handler.
Luke apparently murdered his wife and young son before turning the gun on himself. Only his baby daughter was spared.
Jane Harper creates an undercurrent of tension and mystery from the very first pages of her novel. We learn Falk was reluctant to go back to Kiewarra when he produces a note from his pocket only eight words in length ‘Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.’ The letter was written by Luke handler’s father, who has his suspicions about the truth behind the murder-suicide.
Falk begrudgingly agrees to dig deeper into what may have happened. He teams up with local police officer Raco and begins looking into why some of the townsfolk may have wanted Luke dead. He is also forced to consider the possibility of a link to the events which forced him to leave the farming community under a dark cloud over twenty years ago.
Jane Harper’s descriptions of the arid Australian landscape are so realistic they are tangible. She depicts a community struggling to survive, yet it is not all about poverty. All of the characters are bright and vibrant. There are the gossips, the wizened farmers, the young getting through only by drinking, the ex-pat pub landlord, the single mum who was once the school beauty, the teacher. There are no stereotypes. The fears and concerns Harper presents each person as having are relative to any community.
I particularly liked the way Harper presented flashbacks within the book. By making them succinct, at pertinent points and written in Italics gave the feeling of watching a flashback shown in a film. It was cleverly done and pushed events onwards.
The story kept me guessing until the end and I was not at all disappointed at the end, either.