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The Dry

by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper X
The Dry by Jane Harper
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 320 pages
    Jan 2018, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Claire McAlpine

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Power Reviewer
Sandi W

Page turner...
A strange note left on his desk takes Federal Agent Aaron Falk back to his home town, one he left 20 years prior on a bad note. He finds that his childhood best friend, Luke Hadler, along with Luke's wife and son were murdered. The town wants to write it off as a murder/suicide due to the effects of the drought and appalling conditions the town has weathered in the last few years. The Hadlers are not so sure. Working with the one local law enforcement officer that also has questions - Aaron sets off to investigate this tragic situation. But in doing so, it brings back all the memories that Aaron has run from - and all the enemies that drove Aaron and his father out of town initially. The suicide, if it really was, of a girl that Aaron liked when he was a teenager.
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.

Familiar plot line but enjoyable read
The author does a good job with a familiar plot line. Man returns to his childhood town for the funeral of a friend. Secrets from the past dog him as he is called on to help solve a present day murder. The story shifts from past to present as all is revealed. I enjoyed this book.

Good, but sad
Time heals all wounds....or does it?
Power Reviewer

A good mystery
A tightly woven mystery that jumps back and forth from the present to the past to solve a long ago drowning and now a family murdered. Who lied and why?
Agent Aaron Falk is one of those accused of lying – then and now? Did he? Why did he come back and why does he stay where he is clearly not wanted.
The time jumps are clear by the use of an italic font for the past. The suspicions will keep you reading. Some of the characters are more fully developed than others. The plot is clear and the red herrings are plentiful. This is an enjoyable and clever book.

The Dry
Well written, capturing the atmosphere of a township in crisis in a rock-hard landscape and searing summer heat. Secretiveness is palpable. Human problems - and memories - run deeper than the drought. Characterisation is interesting and varied. Secrets and mystery are 'drip-fed' throughout. Hard to believe that the actual story is told over a couple of weeks following a funeral but reaches back over twenty years. It intrigued me that there was very little to picture about the (fictitious) town, yet evoked images arise of any number of Australian outback locations that could fit!. Stage is set for a sequel!
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