It is not very often these days that I read a crime novel. It’s not that I don’t like them anymore, I just think I may have read to many in my younger days. But browsing in Big W a couple of weeks ago I spotted The Dry by Jane Harper and just had to read it.
The Dry is Jane Harper’s first novel and it has won several prizes including the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards – Book of the Year.
It hasn’t rained in Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the farming community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are discovered shot to death on their property. Everyone assumes Luke Hadler committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son.
Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to his hometown for the funerals and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and his childhood friend Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth …….
This book can only be described as a page-turner. From the very descriptive account in the Prologue of the flies being ‘spoiled for choice that summer’ I could not put this book down. I just had to know if there was more to what at first was thought to be a murder-suicide.
These acts are becoming a little to common in Australia and I wanted to know if these deaths had played out in a another way.
Woven into this book is also a look at how events that occurred over 20 years before can still be fresh in the minds of many people. It also looks at how suspicion and misunderstanding can cause blame to placed on someone who is innocent.
I won’t give to much more away, other than to say I thought I had it all figured out but in the end I didn’t. I think this book will keep you guessing right to the very end.
The central character Detective Aaron Falk is a likeable character and he is back in Jane Harper’s second book, Force of Nature, which I will now have to read as well.
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