The Dry by Jane Harper

EXCERPT: It had been twenty years, but Falk recognized Luke’s father straight away. Gerry Hadler’s face was grey. His eyes appeared sunken into his head. He was sitting dutifully in his spot in the front row, but his head was turned. He was ignoring his wife sobbing by his side and the three wooden boxes holding the remains of his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Instead, he was staring directly at Falk.

Somewhere up the back, a few notes of music piped out from speakers. The funeral was starting. Gerry inclined his head in a tiny nod and Falk unconsciously put his hand in his pocket. He felt the letter that had landed on his desk two days ago. From Gerry Hadler, eight words written with a heavy hand:
Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.

ABOUT ‘THE DRY’: In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily when three members of a local family are found brutally slain.
Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, loath to face the townsfolk who turned their backs on him twenty years earlier.
But as questions mount, Falk is forced to probe deeper into the deaths of the Hadler family. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret. A secret Falk thought was long buried. A secret Luke’s death now threatens to bring to the surface in this small Australian town, as old wounds bleed into new ones.

MY THOUGHTS: The Dry was not the breathtaking, gripping read that I expected. It is, however, quietly compelling and I loved it.

The pace is slow and steady, very much small town rural Australia pace. The relationships between the townsfolk are intense and interesting. These are people who have no other entertainment than what is happening in their town. Secrets are currency to them.

The policeman, Raco and his wife Rita, are new in town. Policing a small rural town is never easy. There are too many people who know too much about each other, and the small town hierarchy to contend with. There are old scores to settle, resentments to fuel. But despite all this, the locals tend to close ranks against outsiders, and unless there have been generations of your family born and living there, you’re an outsider.

Even Falk, born and bred in the town but who left as a teenager is considered an outsider. And not a welcome one. There are people who believe that he was responsible for the death of teenager Elly Deacon, including Elly’s father.

Now he is back and investigating what was supposed to be a clear cut case of murder/suicide. But he and Raco have found some things that don’t add up, things that make them think that someone other than Luke is responsible for these three deaths. And someone wants him gone…

Like I said, quietly compelling. I found it quite easy to put the book down and walk away from it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, my mind tossing about the clues that Falk and Raco unearth, trying to solve the mystery before them. I didn’t.

Harper provides a credible list of suspects and cleverly weaves the old case of Elly Deacon’s death into the current investigation of the deaths of the Hadler family. The denouement is frightening.


#TheDry #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK, and now lives in Melbourne.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Macmillan Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Dry by Jane Harper for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.


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Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

5 thoughts on “The Dry by Jane Harper”

  1. Nice review Sandy! This is probably my fav of the three but it might because it was my first. Falk appears in the second but not the third and I miss him! I as hoping she’d bring him back.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think Jane Harper is great and I had preordered her fourth book earlier this year. I am getting a signed copy from a bookstore in London so, something to look forward to in 2021. Your recommendation for Gary Disher books has been logged in my book notebook and I will try and find some of his books.

    Liked by 2 people

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