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The Dry


Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award
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Discuss The Dry by Jane Harper:
In spite of their long friendship, Falk cannot quite rule out that Luke might have committed the murders of his wife and son. In what ways do you think that Luke differed from Grant Dow? What was it about Luke that made people think him capable of murder?

Created: 12/27/17

Replies: 5

Posted Dec. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1430

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In spite of their long friendship, Falk cannot quite rule out that Luke might have committed the murders of his wife and son. In what ways do you think that Luke differed from Grant Dow? What was it about Luke that made people think him capable of murder?

"I know Luke was your mate and Dow's a dickhead, but in a lot of ways they were quite similar. Both larger than life, got tempers on them, always had to be right. Two sides of the same coin, you know?" (p. 136). Luke is revealed to us as someone who had both good and not so good qualities. In spite of their long friendship, Falk cannot quite rule out that Luke might have committed the murders of his wife and son. In what ways do you think that Luke differed from Grant Dow? What was it about Luke that made people think him capable of murder?


Posted Jan. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jkhunter349

Join Date: 10/03/17

Posts: 3

RE: What was it about Luke that made people think him capable of murder?

I suspected Luke from very early on, because his affinity for killing rabbits. It's a sociopathic behavior and it made me wonder if he was ever genuinely able to form meaningful connections with other living things. Plenty of sociopaths have families... they are masters of deception. Great work on the author's part to make him believable as a murderer.


Posted Jan. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Rebecca L.

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 42

RE: In spite of their long friendship, Falk cannot quite rule out that Luke might have committed

This was one of my favorite parts about the book, that the author was able to create doubt in the reader's mind that Luke may or may not have been responsible for the murders of his wife and son. Some of the early stories in the book that make the reader think there was a darkness in Luke could really be interpreted either way. Like even the rabbit scene, Aaron walked in on Luke with his hand in the box and he snatches it back guiltily and we're left to infer he killed the rabbit but what if the rabbit was just too small and had already been over exposed to the elements and just died?
Either way I do think there was a lot of darkness in Luke and he had a mean temper, like Grant Dow. I think the main way that they differed was their role model example. Luke at least had loving parents who showed him what a successful marriage could look like and a semblance of a happy family, while Grant had an abusive alcoholic uncle who (**spoiler alert**) he saw murder his own daughter. Not a great example for Grant to learn from.


Posted Jan. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 126

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In spite of their long friendship, Falk cannot rule out that Luke committed...

I agree with Rebecca L. above in response to this question. I think Harper's ability to present Luke in two different lights and keep the reader guessing about him is key to the success of this novel. Since it is her first time writing a novel, that really speaks volumes; many experienced authors are not able to do this so completely. One thing that bothered me about Luke was the way he treated his friends - both male and female. It seems that maybe he is a sort of "big man on campus" in his small community and school, and this goes to his head. He is not honest with school mates and not above board with girls. He seems like a "player" and for that reason is not completely trustworthy. For this reason, the jury is out on him for a long time.


Posted Jan. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 175

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RE: In spite of their long friendship, Falk cannot quite rule out that Luke might have committed the murders of his wife and son....

It is a strength of the novel to keep the reader guessing about Luke. Luke's own father harbored doubts; he asked Falk if Luke had killed before. The rabbit scene early on also suggested possible psychopathy, but as someone above mentioned, what if the rabbit really did "just die." Luke's parents asked Falk to look into the murders, not knowing what he would find, but not wanting to believe that Luke could kill his own wife and child. Luke differs from Grant Dow in that Luke had a normal childhood and grew up with loving parents who modeled a good marriage. Dow, on the other hand, had a terrible role model in his murderous uncle. Dow is genuinely mean; Luke strikes me as untrustworthy and dark, but not as inherently evil as Dow strikes me. People thought Luke could have killed because they knew he had temper, they thought that the drought and the incessant heat made him snap, and quite frankly, they didn't see a need to look elsewhere for a suspect once Luke's body was found and it looked as if he had committed suicide. The author is masterful in keeping us guessing by presenting all sides of Luke and various people's opinions of Luke. It wasn't until Falk and Raco began to look at things from a different light that what really happened fell into place.


Posted Feb. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 71

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How Dry

Shooting rabbits seemed like a typical behavior in that part of the world. A mystery of how & why past the present murders happened was always in the background. Luke's life wasn't what he wanted and his anger did present its self usually in the privacy of home. Falk left town at a vulnerable age they were seemingly banished from his home. I think of Luke & Falk's relationship as more of an acquaintance than a friendship in the later years. Dow's family was ruling this town by tormenting, being evil & bulling people. Nature, the drought, or nurture, the people. that is a question that could relate to this town.


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