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Summary and book reviews of The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry

by Jane Harper

The Dry
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  • Published:
    Jan 2017, 320 pages

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Devastating debut…a suspenseful tale of sound and fury as riveting as it is horrific.

Booklist

Starred Review. A stunner…It's a small-town, big-secrets page-turner with a shocker of an ending…Recommend this one to fans of James Lee Burke and Robert Crais, who mix elements of 'bromance' into their hard-boiled tales.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. A nail-biting thriller…A chilling story set under a blistering sun, this fine debut will keep readers on edge and awake long past bedtime.

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

Every now and then an Australian crime novel comes along to stop your breath and haunt your dreams…There is about The Dry, something mythic and valiant. This a story about heroism, the sins of the past, and the struggle to atone.

Australian Women's Weekly (Australia)

A razor-sharp crime yarn dripping in the sights, sounds and smells of the Australian bush…The storytelling is accomplished, with a bald sparseness to the writing that draws you in and characterization that rings resoundingly true…as the action twists and turns, the pace build[s] to a fantastic finale that will leave you breathless.

Australian Financial Review (Australia)

A tightly plotted page-turner that kept me reading well into the night…In this cracker of a book Harper maintains the suspense, with the momentum picking up as it draws to its nerve-wracking conclusion.

The West Australian (Australia)

The Dry is a page-turner written with a maturity of style rarely seen in a first-time novelist and it's here the writer excels. Harper's exploration of the pressures of a small town where people are not able to escape the past is thoughtful and mature. Her plot twists and layering are intricate and subtle and keep you guessing to the end.

Author Blurb David Baldacci
One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read…Every word is near perfect.

Author Blurb John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Fall
With The Dry, Jane Harper immediately takes her place among the elites in the mystery world...Terrific characters, unique and evocative setting, knockout plot construction. This book has it all.

Author Blurb C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Off The Grid
It's extremely rare and exciting to read a debut that enthralls from the very first page and then absolutely sticks the landing. Told with heart and guts and an authentic sense of place that simply cannot be faked, The Dry is the debut of the year.

Author Blurb John Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Redemption Road
Every so often a debut novel arrives that is so tightly woven and compelling it seems the work of a novelist in her prime. That's what Jane Harper has given us.

Author Blurb Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena
From the first paragraph onward, Jane Harper creates a menacing landscape out of which long-held secrets emerge. The Dry is a marvelous novel that once begun is hard to put down, once finished even harder to forget.

Author Blurb Michael Robotham, New York Times bestselling author of Life or Death
You will feel the heat, taste the dust and blink into the glare. The Dry is a wonderful crime novel that shines a light into the darkest corner of a sunburnt country.

Reader Reviews

meganne

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. ...   Read More

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