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The Dry
Winner of the 2017 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award
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Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

Created: 01/02/18

Replies: 39

Posted Jan. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deby's Gravatar
deby

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 17

The Dry

Please, please, please read this book. It is a page-turner and you can't put it down (at least I couldn't)!!!!! You will thank me some day :)


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

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 26

RE: Overall, what did you think of the book?

I really enjoyed "The Dry". It was just what I needed to read over the holidays and took me far away to Kiewarra, Australia where the severe weather is as much as character as the human ones. I have to like and care about protagonists and immediately gravitated to Aaron Falk who has returned after a 20-year absence to confront his unpleasant history as well as to help investigate just what would have propelled his childhood friend to commit such an atrocity.


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

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

It is a great read and one that will draw you into the story of a town and the people who live there. I loved the mystery, but also the way Jane Harper developed the characters. I felt that they were people who were believable, full of all the complexities of the human spirit. It was a reading experience I would highly recommend!


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

Join Date: 07/28/14

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I totally enjoyed The Dry. Jane Harper did a great job in developing the characters. I also enjoyed the background information shared throughout the chapters. It kept me guessing/wondering "who did it" until near the end. Good read!


Posted Jan. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 118

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I loved this book! I tried hard to figure out "who dunnit" before the truth was revealed, and I loved making notes about each character and all their connections. Harper did an excellent job with character development and a look, early on, between Jamie's grand mother and Jamie hinted that something was amiss with his story, or seemed to be, so for awhile I was leaning on him to be the bad guy. The setting was also terrific and the title - which appears to relate to the setting - ironically can also refer to the long, dry spell that Aaron spent away - yet upon his return we learn he was never forgiven for the death of Ellie. It is a really exciting book containing all the important elements of a "must read." I am eager to see what book number two from Jane Harper brings in 2018.


Posted Jan. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 48

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I liked this book from page one. It kept me interested and wanting to turn the page. Twists and turns of all dimensions kept closing in on the truth. Good writing, well planned story, and happily just book one and the beginning of a series.


Posted Jan. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RuthEh

Join Date: 07/31/17

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

Really liked this book! I got a slow start, but then all of a sudden... off we go! Loved Falk, what a guy, he was after an answer and he was going to find it! So much respect for him to return to his small town and deal with the mentality of small town people. That's why I don't like going back to my small town I grew up in. What I really liked was the ending of the book, nice twist & turn ending. Couldn't get the reason for the title until I got to the end. Would highly recommend this book.


Posted Jan. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 38

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

Absolutely LOVED this book, from the opening lines! I usually don’t enjoy books where someone heads back to their naturally small and backward small hometown, only to fight demons of their past, etc...but this author took that stereotypical set up, and created something great- I loved this book, loved Falk, and hope this is part of a series!


Posted Jan. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 40

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

This was one of those books that could not be put down. I was late for dinner, late for a party, and up half the night.
This is a remarkable first murder mystery and there seems to be a way for the policeman, Aaron Falk, to return with more cases. Lovely. Brunetti, Gamache, and Milhone have company! Well done.

I felt only that the ending was a little too abrupt. I was left wondering if HE found all the answers since I GOT TO SEE THEM in the story told by the writer in italics. Did I miss something? Or does that come out in the second mystery he solves as he winds up this one and moves on? Great stuff.


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

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 105

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I too loved this debut novel and can't wait for the second one. Dare I say it would also make a great movie or television series.


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

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 239

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

An engaging story and one that had to be finished quickly just to find out who really done it!


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

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 141

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

This was an excellent book. The characters were well done, but I was still surprised at the end.


Posted Jan. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynne z

Join Date: 01/06/18

Posts: 5

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

This book was amazing. I like mysteries, but often feel let down at the end with implausible endings or with the author tying up every loose thread. The Dry felt like real life - flawed characters whose lives either end or go on, but skillfully managing to present a bit of hope for the future at its conclusion. Throughout the book I felt I had figured out what was going to happen, but Jane Harper continually proved me wrong. What was most interesting to me is how cleverly she kept peeling the onion, layer by layer, revealing a little more with each chapter. I will definitely be sharing this book with friends.


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

Join Date: 08/19/17

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I loved this book! Wonderful characters with depth. Kept me guessing “Who done it?” Very satisfying ending.


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

Join Date: 12/15/16

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I really loved the story. I've already placed my reservation at the library for her new book coming out later this year.


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

Join Date: 06/11/11

Posts: 12

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

The characters were well developed, the plot was well developed. All in all, an excellent read


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 44

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I answer this question in a previous post. I do not understand the high ratings. I read all the reviews on Amazon. It was lengthy but part of my research. One Amazon book reviewer that lived in Austraila had some legit concerns with the book. I take these things in consideration. I do not mean to be rude. I just do not sugar coat things. I speak with honesty and respect.


"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Steve Jobs
Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 39

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I loved this book! Outstanding first novel! Growing up on a farm near a small town I could relate to everyone thinking they know your business, still thinking / whispering about events that occurred years / decades ago., and the need to escape small town life by living far away in a city. I was also drawn to the setting for the book, Australia has always fascinated me.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
turtlewoman

Join Date: 02/13/14

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I really enjoyed this book. Definitely a page turner and an excellent debut novel. I thought the characters were well developed and the story was engaging. There were plenty of twists and it kept you guessing all the way through.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lauriew

Join Date: 08/11/16

Posts: 20

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

A great whodunit with lots of suspense. I recommend reading it.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 52

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I loved this book. It grabbed me from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. I planned my days around reading. I love when that happens with a good book. I was surprised that it was a debut. I look forward to reading Harper's second novel.


Posted Jan. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 291

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I generally stay away from mysteries because I often find them overly predictable, but that definitely wasn't the case with The Dry (at least for me). I could see any one of a number of people being responsible for both crimes, including Luke and Ellie themselves (it wouldn't have surprised me to learn Ellie's death was indeed suicide). I was pleased that everything wrapped up in a believable way. And of course it was simply well-written. Looking forward to the next book in the series.


Posted Jan. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 239

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

Good story, well written. Country-wise information—educational. Liked it!


Posted Jan. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 199

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I loved reading the book. I especially liked the language describing the drought and the town. I liked the flashbacks from the different characters. I must admit that I did not think the principal was the murderer but thought he was hiding something. I'm not sure what I thought of Gretchen. So many characters hiding secrets.


Pegh
Posted Jan. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 285

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I thought it was a great read and intend to recommend it to my book club. The characters were so well developed and real and the plot was interesting and not immediately apparent. I read it in two reads and was sad when it was over.


Posted Jan. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 96

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

It was definitely a page turner, albeit a somewhat predictable one. I did get a sense of place from the descriptions, but somehow, despited innumerable mentions, did not really "feel" the heat and dryness. I liked Aaron, and thought most of the characters were well drawn, except for the family of Elie, and Ellie herself, they felt a bit stereotypical to me. The idea of the big mystery being that a child was abused has become very tired and overdone to me - the Principal being a gambler totally shocked me (maybe a bit too much..) but authors need a new "secret" to base their stories upon. A troubled girl living with 2 violent angry men with a mother who fled - and it turns out she was being abused - not a big shocker!
That being said if the author was to turn this into a series I would read upcoming books! I liked Aaron a lot and enjoyed a mystery set in a different country!


Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 44

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

My apologies. I will try to clear it:

1) I formed my own opinion before reading the reviews on Amazon and other research. I read the reviews for I had a lot of questions after reading it.

2) The book mentioned in the park about how they had received funding for the school. The second time the funding did not go through. The reason why made no sense. As long as the school qualify for the funds, it is less likely to be denied twice.
The principle was explaining why he moved. That story of how he was being robbed did not add up. All due respect.

3) Some similarities to this introduction:

Emily Dickerson:
http://m.sparknotes.com/poetry/dickinson/section8.rhtml


4) similarity to Luke being stage meaning it looks like this person might have done the crime but they did not

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.inverse.com/amp/article/38311-murder-on-the-orient-express-kenneth-branagh-ending-twist-agatha-christie

Different words yet all have the same theme.

Each their own cup of tea.


"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Steve Jobs
Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Missys

Join Date: 10/24/17

Posts: 12

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I must admit, I have mixed feelings about this novel. I loved the technique of flashbacks told from different characters' points of view. I feel this gives the reader a deeper sense of what is truly taking place and puts the reader more directly in tune with the author's purpose. The novel was a page turner for me, but I don't read mysteries very often, so I feel like I'm pretty easy to draw in. One aspect I struggled with was the underdevelopment of some of the characters. For example, I felt like Harper could have deepened Luke's character more (maybe through his parents' and Gretchen's perspectives). I also felt some of the town's people, Mal Deacon for example, could have been developed more by "showing" rather than "telling" about his unsavory character. A little more attention to little Billy may have drawn more sympathy to the family and made their murder more heart-wrenching.
My biggest issue with the novel was Aaron "finding" Ellie's bag in the rock after all these years. I feel like the end was rushed and tidied up a bit too much. He had already really dug around in the rock crevice earlier and only came up with the lighter. Finding her bag was a little too tidy.
All in all, I did enjoy the book. Like I said, I don't read mysteries often, so I'm not keen on "who done its" and figuring things out. I think Harper's first novel is worth the read and I'm sure we'll see more from her in the future. I definitely recommend the novel for a book club reading.


Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 44

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

Regardless of how I feel the book, I still recommended this book. I would recommend to those who like stories about small towns and even to mystery fans. Why?

"Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."
- Francis Bacon


"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one."
George R.R. Martin


"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Steve Jobs
Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 28

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I am a huge fan of the mystery/detective genre. Unfortunately, I do not consider too many books in that genre to fall into the literary category as well. I found myself trying less to figure out who did it and more swept away by the setting, the characters, and their behaviors. The book relied more on internal goings on in many instances. The book was deeper and more meaningful and because of this crossed genres, in my opinion. I am eager to read the next installment!


Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 44

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

Not being rude, there are countless classic literature books that involved mystery. This is one article about it:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2014/11/09/classic-mysteries-agatha-christie-sherlock-holmes/18244783/

This is not about being right or wrong. It about giving credit to those authors who have already paved the way. This is a link from the Library of Congress about books that shaped America:
https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/books-that-shaped-america/1850-to-1900.html

This is a link to what type of reader are you. It rocks!
https://www.bookbrowse.com/quiz/

For me, it is cool with have different opinions or how a person mind works. Opinions are one of the things that make book clubs interesting.

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."
Robert Frost ( If you think I am, I am not. My apologies.)

"You can never be overdressed or overeducated."
Oscar Wilde


"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Steve Jobs
Posted Jan. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PattiPM

Join Date: 08/31/17

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I cannot believe how quickly this grabbed me and didn’t let go!!! If one was sitting on the fence about reading it, stop thinking pick it up, open a bottle of wine, and dive right in. I love the way she writes and I love how this story unfolds. You will not want to stop reading until the last page is turned. I can hardly wait for her next book.


Posted Jan. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
andreab

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 80

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It kept me guessing throughout the story. I look forward to Jane Harper's next book.


Posted Jan. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 69

Expert

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

Being an outsider in a small, 1 K population, it was real. Not as violent there was no bar, but full of closed minded people that hold grudges forever sounds right. I loved this book. Every time I thought I knew who did what crime it changed. Wonderful character development, past & present tales. A sad story of how climate & addictions intensify peoples emotions. I have already told my Book Group friends what a great read it was.


Posted Jan. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
samanthaa

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 3

RE: Overall, what did you think of The Dry?

I would definitely refer to this as entertaining. I listened to the book in the audio format. The narration was fabulous. The Australian accent enhanced the experience.

Having lived and worked as a public defender and a prosecutor in the far north of Canada, I can see similarities in remote small communities which experience tragedies of the nature described in this book. The author understands how the harshness of the climate and the remoteness affects its inhabitants. She really has her finger on the pulse of a small community. Law enforcement in close knit communities requires more tact and brains than force and might.

The author creates multi dimensional characters which are not always seen in characters of this genre. She tackled issues of addiction, family violence, homophobia and of course grief. Its a "who done it" with some depth which gives it more an air of reality. I too look forward to reading more from this author.


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