Author(s): Jane Harper
WHO REALLY KILLED THE HADLER FAMILY? 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 ...
As reviewed in our May newsletter:
Set in a small town in a large land, the novel opens with an apparently open-shut case of murder-suicide. However, all is not what it seems. When policeman and former resident, Aaron Falk returns to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, he asks a few questions; did Luke really kill his wife and son or was there malfeasance – some wrongdoing?
The tension here is set against the relative peace of the outback so the very suggestion of homicide is alarming because the landscape itself then suddenly takes on a malevolent aspect. The dry is a term for drought and after two years without rain the local community is mired in poverty and particularly fraught.
Aaron himself is not welcome because he was implicated in the death of a young woman who was his girlfriend – twenty years earlier. Two people, Raco, the local cop, and Gretchen, a friend who remained, assist and between them provide pieces of the puzzle. Aaron finally discovers a grave site and is then suddenly confronted by his nemesis. From this confrontation, Aaron believes he has the final piece of the puzzle. All I can say is that the author handles the ending well. Time spent reading this story is time well spent. Highly recommended. Mike
The international debut bestseller from the author of Force of Nature and the upcoming novel The Lost Man. "A breathless pageturner ... A secret on every page" The New York Times "One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read ... Read it!" David Baldacci
2017 Indie Book Awards (Debut Fiction & Book of the Year) WINNER ABIA BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017
MORE PRAISE FOR THE DRY:
"I devoured it in just over 24 hours ... Spellbinding" Ian Rankin
"Devastating debut ... a suspenseful tale of sound and fury" Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A nail-biting thriller ... this fine debut will keep readers on edge and awake long past bedtime." Kirkus, starred review
"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 with The Dry" John Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Redemption Road
"It's extremely rare and exciting to read a debut that enthralls from the very first page and then absolutely sticks the landing." C.J. Box, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Off The Grid
"Australian author Harper's debut is a stunner." Booklist
Jane Harper has worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK. Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, The Dry is her first novel with rights sold to over twenty territories. Jane lives in Melbourne.