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Apart from that, it was fine! Bland federal agent, Aaron Falk, returns to the small Outback town of his childhood for the funeral of his best friend and also his I was drawn to this arid Australian crime thriller by a desert storm of five-star reviews, not to mention the fact that this was The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year. Bland federal agent, Aaron Falk, returns to the small Outback town of his childhood for the funeral of his best friend and also his best friend's immediate family and is drawn into an unofficial investigation as to how they really met their deaths.

Here is a list of just some of the things that niggled me: 1 The book is titled The Dry. It's set in the swelter of the Outback in middle of the worst drought to hit Australia in a century. I mean, don't rough, tough, leather-necked Aussie men in the middle of the Outback ever use the f-word? I know Crocodile Dundee didn't, but come on! So, for me and I seem to be swimming against the tide , this novel was several shrimps short of a barbie.

But almost everyone else likes it, so please, please don't take a blind bit of notice of anything I've said! Thanks Mel. I always ask her what is the current best seller. Best seller it is. The entire read I was chopping and changing my mind about who kil 5 unflinchingly bright hot stars for 'The Dry' Love having reading friends to share books with! The entire read I was chopping and changing my mind about who killed this young family in cold blood. I was wary of Gretchen, wondering why the school Principal was so often at the local pub.

My year-old self would have warmed to him, as did a young Ellie here in this story. The harsh landscape explained to a tee. It was a flash of hell. The land was drier now than it had been then. This would be no slow burn. Would love to know what you think. View all 59 comments. When Aaron returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke, he intends to make a retreat back to his life as a federal agent, as quickly as possible. The chances are slim to none that Aaron would find anything to ease their pain, but he feels he owes them a favor, so he agrees to stick around a few more days.

In the process, they uncover startling evidence that will change everything they thought they knew. The Australian location, in a town suffering through a severe drought, where the heat is nearly unbearable, has the entire town unusually edgy, which paints a combustible atmosphere riddled with irritable tension from start to finish. Can Aaron find out what really happened after all this time?

Dual storylines can be tricky, but both stories weave between the past and present with amazing fluidity. The story is bleak, almost gloomy at times, with little or no relief along the way, but the characterizations are so vivid and the story so taut, the heaviness became an asset and is part of what made the story so absorbing and moody, along with all the hidden small town motives, suspicions and secrets that came roiling to surface. While the subject matter may not be for the faint of heart, with such dark and emotional themes at play, the story has practically everything fans of this genre could ask for.

The exceptional writing provides a wealth of depth, which sets this one apart from the typical mystery thriller. I am tingling with anticipation for the next book in this series! I think Aaron Falk is going to be big hit. View all 56 comments. Feb 22, Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobook. Succumbing to some of the biblio-peer pressure surrounding Jane Harper's debut novel, I thought I ought to make a little time and see what she had to offer.

Australia has been hit with one of its worst droughts ever, turning fertile lands into blobs of brown. In the community of Kiewarra, rain has not fallen in upwards of two years, only adding to tensions. An emergency call is made and authorities arrive at the Hadler farm to find a bloodbath. Luke Hadler appears to have killed his wife and son Succumbing to some of the biblio-peer pressure surrounding Jane Harper's debut novel, I thought I ought to make a little time and see what she had to offer.

Luke Hadler appears to have killed his wife and son, before turning the gun on himself. The town chalks this up to extreme duress and a cloud of murder-suicide hangs over the town, which accompanies the scorching sun. When Aaron Falk returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, townsfolk whisper.

Falk is forced to remember what happened two decades before, when a friend, Ellie Deacon, was found dead in the river and a note addressed to him turned up. His alibi is flimsy and turns out to have been concocted with the help of Luke, though they thought the secret would prove impenetrable. While Falk has made a name for himself in the Federal Police, he remains that teenager whose name was bandied around as having been responsible.

Falk faces those awkward memories as he tries to better understand what could have pushed Luke to kill his family, with whom he was apparently very proud when last they chatted. Falk works with some of the local authorities to investigate the deaths, turning up small inconsistencies. Could someone have harboured animosity for twenty years and finally sought revenge for Ellie's untimely death? Could Falk be next on the list? Working to uncover what might have happened on the Hadler farm, Falk must clear his friend's name, while standing firm as the past rears its ugly head.


A wonderful first novel that allows Harper to show that she is someone to be taken seriously in the genre. Perfect for mystery fans and those looking for a superior story to enthral and entertain. Harper has made a wonderful first impression on me with this novel, developing a strong police procedural alongside the complexities of small-town Australia. Aaron Falk serves as a wonderful protagonist as he keeps the narrative moving forward with his investigative skills, though the darker past that he has been forced to revisit keeps readers wondering about this man until the final sentence.

This hint at a less than pristine Falk allows Harper to introduce a number of other characters whose importance varies, while pushing the narrative forward. Kiewarra proves also to be effective as a setting, as it mixes that proximity to big city life with the quaint farm living that has become destroyed with the current drought. A community that holds grudges while wanting to envelop its citizens away from prying eyes, Harper uses these traits to further enrich her narrative. Harper's use of flashbacks throughout, rather than straight recounting dialogue, gives the reader a great deal of insight and provides a true 'revelation' perspective throughout the story, as if the reader were witnessing some of the events that had been mentioned in passing.

The reader learns much from these glimpses into the past and it provides a telling connection to the larger story. Overall, a wonderful piece that should provide momentum for a series, should that be the route Harper wishes to pursue.

Curious readers should not take the title to be indicative of the quality or presentation of the novel, but that stocks at booksellers will disappears as swiftly as an Australian brushfire. Get your copy today and you will not be sorry! Kudos, Madam Harper for such a great start you your published career. I can see that many others have come to like this work and I cannot wait to get my hands on whatever you have coming. View all 47 comments. I blame Aaron Falk. He just made me add a new shelf on Goodreads.

You see, I don't like book series. It's just too much of a commitment and then I feel guilty if I miss a book in the series. I will not be missing any book that Aaron Falk is in. No way, no worries, mate. Finally, I blame Aaron Falk. Finally, feeling caught up and proud of myself for all my ARC reading, I picked up one of the few hardbacks I have actually bought and opened up. Jane Harper, you hooked me at page 1, sentence one. I could hear the flies buzzing, see the rabbits eating the last bits of vegetation and smell the despair of the townspeople as they try to hang on to their livelihoods without any rain.

I have not experienced this type of magical transportation in a long time. It is perfectly intoxicating. Stay with me, because that is just the setting of the book. Now, add a hardworking federal cop, Aaron Falk, who has relunctantly come back to his hometown for the funeral of his best friend. Aaron Falk is not a perfect hero, he has issues and secrets, but he tries to do right by his friends and he knows something is wrong here. Aaron's childhood friend, Luke, has been accused of murdering his own family before turning the gun on himself. Aaron and Luke shared a secret many years ago which we learn of during the investigation of the family murder.

Does this old secret have anything to do with Luke killing his family? Aaron Falk is a tough nut to crack. The author shares just enough about him to make you want more. He is interesting, smart. A loner, a good guy, but what makes him tick? Oh, I'm a devoted fan. I will follow Aaron Falk through every one of his next books, even if there are fifty more to come.

Is this a character or plot driven mystery? Plus, that Aussie setting! It is so real, you better keep your chapstick handy for the parched lips you develop while reading. Portland was enveloped in smoke, ash and heat! So hard to breathe! My own atmospheric reality definitely contributed to the transforming ability the book had on me- haha. Not to diminish this captivating story in any way. It stands on it's own, even if you read it at the North Pole! View all 39 comments. Melbourne, Australia. The afternoon heat was a scorcher. No rain meant no feed.

Outside, washing hung still on the rotary line, bone dry and stiff from the sun. A child's scooter lay abandoned on the stepping-stone path. Just one human heart beat within a kilometer radius of the farm". Aaron Falk He returns to his hometown-Kiewarra after having been away twenty years to attend the funeral of his old childhood friend, Luke Hadler. Aaron and his father left town years ago - after it was implied that Aaron had a role in the death of a young girl named Ellie Deacon. Aaron is now a Federal investigator of financial crimes-- and Luke's parents, Gerry and Barb Hadler, ask Aaron to stay in town after Luke's funeral to investigate the truth.

Aaron says - he's not a murder investigator You're the police". Aron insists that he doesn't do that type of work anymore that he's on the financial side dealing with money. Barb thinks money may have played a part of it besides Aaron knew Luke better than any of the town police. They are hoping Aaron will clear his name And even the facts around the baby - Charlotte We have two storylines: 1. The present family murder case of Luke, Karen, and Billy.

The past death of Ellie Deacon. Ellie was friends with both Luke and Aaron as teenagers. Ellie was found dead in the river with rocks in her pockets -- so did she commit suicide or did somebody kill her? And why did Luke and Aaron both lie that night? Many questions run through the readers mind as the story unfolds in this tightly constructed lyrical novel. For me One of the biggest pleasures was the conversational voices among the characters. I understand there is going going to be a follow-up story Readers who love Tana French - will love Jane Harper's stellar talents, just as much!!!

View all 25 comments. Dec 27, Maureen rated it really liked it Shelves: netgalley. Luke Hadler allegedly killed his wife Karen and young son Billy before turning the gun on himself, but is this tragedy as cut and dried as it appears? Federal Police Investigator Aaron Falk returns for the funeral of his childhood friend Luke, but he faces animosity and threats regarding the suicide of Ellie Deacon some twenty years ago.

Ellie was a friend of Aaron and Luke, but there were rumours that the teenage boys were complicit in her death. Luke's mother pleads with Aaron to investigate this more recent tragedy as she believes Luke was innocent and that someone else carried out the murders. Aaron joins forces with local cop Sergeant Raco, and so begins this riveting and complex investigation. Kiewarra is a small community where memories are long and grudges even longer. The characters serve the story well, the plot is compelling, and the fact that the community is suffering a drought of epic proportions only adds to the simmering tensions already in place.

I can unreservedly recommend this excellent debut novel. View all 90 comments. Well, you know it's a good book when you finish it you just sit back and go WOW! I'm not even sure where to start with this review. Yet Luke's mother says it can't be and asks Aaron to look further into Well, you know it's a good book when you finish it you just sit back and go WOW! Yet Luke's mother says it can't be and asks Aaron to look further into the deaths while he is in town. Not so easy when early the whole township is against Aaron, after he was forced to flee with his father all those years ago after a girl, Ellie, was found drowned in the river and the town, led by Ellie's father Mal, has decided Aaron was guilty of her murder.

Plus he has come back to a town that is in the grip of a crippling drought, with local farms and businesses on their knees, which just adds to the churlishness of the townsfolk. So, with nothing much to go on Aaron and the local Police Sergeant start looking into the tragedy, yet they find that secrets, including Aaron's own have a way of making their way to the surface, and that small town mindsets are hard to shake.

In this gripping debut Jane Harper has really captured the essence of small towns, and her descriptions of the people, and the grip of the drought, are all too real. She brings the hard setting to life, with characters and locations that just jump off the page. You will find this book very hard to put down. A must read! View all 24 comments. Oct 22, Debbie rated it liked it Shelves: australian , mystery , debuts , mostly-not-set-in-u-s. Everything is hot and dry and slow. I so wish I liked it more. All very good things. But before I lug out the Complaint Board, I will say that part of my reaction is due to two things that have nothing to with the book itself: Over-hype, for one.

Complaint Board -Pick up the pace. It seemed to especially sag in the middle, where I thought too much time was spent on one bad guy. It felt like the record got stuck, and I needed the needle to get unstuck faster. Sigh, I wanted some fire. The author put the past story as italic entries right in the middle of the present story. At times I expected and wanted it to be a first-person memory, which would have felt more natural.

Instead, all of the sudden a third-person narrative about the past rudely interrupted the story, and it seemed intrusive and clumsy. The good guys were too good, the bad guys too bad. It appears that Falk, the main character, will live on in future novels. Sorry, he just seemed dull to me. And the rest of the crew made me snooze too. I get claustrophobic, bored, and rebellious in small towns. Writers who set their stories in small towns have to work harder to please me: There must be exceptional language or characters, or the emotions must be palpable.

Aaron's Rod (1922) by: D. H. Lawrence ( NOVEL )

There must be passion! Not the case here for me. I needed a hint or two so I could have the fun of guessing. This complaint gets an asterisk because it was a biggie for me.

Aaron's Rod

The moral of the story: Lower my expectations. For me, it was pure dullsville. Feb 20, Larry H rated it it was amazing. Wow, this was really a great book! I love it when books which are hyped actually live up to the praise they're getting, and Jane Harper's The Dry definitely did. This book had everything—great writing, a terrifically evocative setting I felt hot every time I read it, and it wasn't just because I'm running a fever, and I kept expecting everyone I came into contact with to speak with an Australian accent , interesting character development, and lots of twists and turns.

It's amazing to think tha Wow, this was really a great book! It's amazing to think that this is Harper's debut novel, because it felt like a book written by a virtuoso. Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra, the small, rural Australian town where he grew up, when he hears that his childhood best friend, Luke, is dead, along with Luke's wife and young son. Actually his return for Luke's funeral isn't by choice: he's summoned by Luke's father, who threatens to bring to light an old secret that Luke and Aaron shared if he doesn't come home.

Years ago, their friend Ellie Deacon drowned, but it turned out she was murdered. Luke and Aaron were each other's alibi that night, although neither really asked where the other one was. Many in the town suspected they lied.

Aaron's Rod, by D. H. Lawrence

Teenage tight, where you believe your friends are soul mates and the bonds will last forever. Given that Aaron and his father fled the town years ago, after both were accused of being involved in Ellie's death, many people in town, including Ellie's ne'er-do-well father and violent cousin, still aren't happy to see him.

As much as he wants to get out of Kiewarra as quickly as he arrived, Aaron promises Luke's parents that he will look into what really happened the day Luke and his family died. Partnering with a local police officer, Aaron tries to make sense of who could have been involved, and they both quickly find more than their share of secrets and lies, and Aaron must come face-to-face with an unending supply of childhood memories, some good, some bad.

But the more they dig into the crime, the more they uncover, and the more hostile the townspeople become. Is this crime related to the lie that Luke and Aaron told all those years ago, or was something else afoot? Are those still trying to cause people to suspect Aaron's involvement in Ellie's death actually involved in Luke's?

Did the drought so destroy this town and any sense of hope that someone felt compelled to murder, or did Luke just snap under pressure one day, like so many believe? These are questions Aaron and his police partner need to find answers to, but will danger find them first? The truth is, a lot of times I'm hesitant to read crime or mystery novels where you actually have to figure out who the perpetrator is, mainly because I feel this way:.

View all 53 comments. I sigh with relief when I realize I've read a 5 star book at last.

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I sigh with content. The setting was kind of interesting, and I have always believed that pound for pound, Australian literature has been punching above its weight for quite some time. This book was so good. So freaking good. It doesn't need any words. Not that I have a clue about its reputation I picked it up on a whim and haven't looked back since. This is the writing that will entice millions across the globe. It's been centur I sigh with relief when I realize I've read a 5 star book at last.

The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey

It's been centuries since the classical revolution, and the empirical golden age, yet the English language seems to be a leader in authors and books. It shows no sign of abating. I hope it will keep on churning books like The Dry centuries after my death. View all 31 comments. Holy Cow! What a wonderful book! This book definitely had all my senses on high alert while reading this one!

The mood, the atmosphere, the setting, the tone, the format….. JANE HARPER delivers a clever, atmospheric, suspenseful, impressive, and very descriptive read here which was well-written and told in tandem from a past mystery and linking events of a family murder in the present. What really grabbed my attention with this story was the extremely vivid portrayal of place and time. The setting surrounding the dry conditions of this small town in Australia was so vivid that it had me desperately wanting and waiting for the rain to pour!

The novel kept me guessing as the mysteries gradually unfolded, although there was nothing real surprising with the reveal it was the way that the author delivered this story that made this book an exceptional read. To sum it all up it was an entertaining, exciting, tense, steady-paced, and a quick read with a very satisfying ending.

Highly recommend!! View all 71 comments. This beautifully written mystery transported me to Kiewarra, Australia, a small farming community that is suffering from a drought, and also from being mired in the past. Aaron Falk, a federal financial police officer, reluctantly returns to Kiewarra to attend the funeral of his former best friend, Luke Hadler. It appears that Luke committed a murder suicide, killing his wife, Karen, and their six-year-old son, Billy, before taking his own life.

The community is in shock and speculation abounds. Why would Luke Hadler kill his wife and son? Furthering the mystery is why he left his baby daughter, Charlotte, alive. Falk teams up with the local Sergeant and the two slowly begin to uncover secrets and lies that dredge up the past, including the death of Ellie Deacon, a girl with whom Falk shared a past. The plot is intricately woven, the characters are developed, the writing is engaging, and the mystery is satisfying!

I highly recommend! I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. View all 29 comments. This was the first book in a new series and I was really surprised on how much I loved this book. The book is utterly addictive, and I found it hard to take a break from it, reading it within a couple of days.

Jane has managed to create realistic characters, dealing with very realistic situations. My favorite part about this book was how everyone was a suspect. When I had final This was the first book in a new series and I was really surprised on how much I loved this book. When I had finally settled on a killer, I would have to change my mind, chapters later, and did so throughout the book.

Then, when I had discovered who it was, I was shocked at the reasoning behind the murders. I couldn't believe that this was the author's debut novel. I am so happy that this is a series. It is set in the fictional town of Kiewarra several hours drive from Melbourne. It is a hot, dry prolonged spell and the people are getting antsy as the heat roils around the dusty roads.

Things are dying… and people are too. When a farmer and his family are found shot dead, the community readily accepts that hopelessness and desperation have caused the father, Luke Hadler, to murder his wife and son and leaves his thirteen month daughter alive, before turning the gun on himself. His childhood friend, Aaron Falk, returns to Kiewarra to attend the funeral. Aaron's return also re-awakens an old mystery from when he was a teenager where his friend Ellie was found dead in the river.

This was an easy five star rating for me. I could easily vision everything in my head while writing my review. It definitely met the Wow factor for me. I cannot wait to read book two in the series. View all 89 comments. This was my final book to complete my Goodreads challenge, and what a book it was! Holy shit! This was the definition of a claustrophobic small country town. Aaron Faulk returns to Kierawalla for the first time in 20 years, but not on good terms.

His childhood friend is dead, presumed suicide after murdering his wife and son. Twenty years previous, a teenage girl drowned in the nearby river, throwing t This was my final book to complete my Goodreads challenge, and what a book it was! Twenty years previous, a teenage girl drowned in the nearby river, throwing the whole town into turmoil. The searing heat, caused by 2 years with no rainfall only adds to the paranoid and boiling atmosphere. As Aaron begins looking into the death of Luke Hadler and his family, he becomes more and more uncertain.

Luke was many things as a teen, but a murderer? And what about the drowning of Ellie Deacon? Was it really suicide, or something more sinister? It was easy to get sucked into this novel. From the alcohol fueled feuds between neighbours, to the secrets hidden in plain sight. I was captivated by the powerful descriptions of the landscape in a dying town. The crimes added to the atmosphere and I thought it all unraveled in an exceptional way.

Highly recommend. View all 17 comments. Just one human heart beat within a kilometer radius of the farm. So nothing reacted when, deep inside the house, the baby started crying. He recalls his days as a boy there, his early teen years spent at the rushing river he and his friends used to fish in, play in, now is barely recognizable. Luke Handler, his wife, Karen, and his six year-old son, Billy, all gone.

It seems everyone in town believes that Luke killed his wife, and his son, and then turned the gun on himself. Only his infant daughter was left untouched. But did they really know their son? Small towns have some things in common, the talk that lingers for decades, fingers pointed, the certainty that they know what happened lingers long after the time has passed.

Weaving in and out of time the way the river of his childhood flowed effortlessly, his memories of the past alternate with the search of the present day. Working with Raco, who is with the local police, they examine the case from multiple sides, running into dead ends.

For me, the characters that spoke to me the most were Ellie and Karen, both facing futures which seemed to have no right way to turn, both wanting to share their burdens but unable to share them in time to save them. What I really loved most about this novel the most was the atmosphere, the setting, the mood. What are you if you are a farmer and you can no longer farm your land? Always the flies. View all 62 comments. Feb 18, Skyler Autumn rated it it was ok Shelves: not-worth-the-hype.

I am reading all these 5 star rave reviews for The Dry and I'm just left here thinking, what the hell am I missing? This book was a bit of a chore for me to read. I literally had to force myself to read it, and I know what people are think, then why didn't you just stop reading it? And I have two answers for that: 1. I'm a stubborn bitch 2. I kept thinking the next chapter was going to blow my mind and then I'll understand these rave reviews, but as chapters went by I s 2 Stars I don't get it?

Bible Living

I kept thinking the next chapter was going to blow my mind and then I'll understand these rave reviews, but as chapters went by I soon came to the realization this was going to be another over hyped read that doesn't live up to the hype. The Dry is about Aaron Falk as he returns to his very dry hometown I mean that both literally and figuratively Kiewarra, to attend the funeral of his childhood friend Luke Hadler who allegedly murdered his wife, his child, decided to leave the baby alone and then go off himself.

Murder-suicide what an interesting start to a mystery novel you may say! You my friend would be mistaken. New Releases. Description Chaperoning his unmarried sister, Chuk short for Chukkamunetor joins the Israelites fleeing Egyptian bondage with the family's former maidservant and her parents. Along the way, Chuk becomes obsessed with Aaron's rod and determines to steal it for his own personal use as he learns more about Israel's God. Other books in this series. Queen of Swords Sara Donati. Add to basket. Fire Along the Sky Sara Donati. Dawn on a Distant Shore Sara Donati. Lake in the Clouds Sara Donati.

The Endless Forest Sara Donati. Into the Wilderness Sara Donati. Out of the Wilderness David Young. Rahab's Choice Judith H Savoy. In the Wilderness David Young. The Land Euclides Da Cunha. Aaron's Rod Judy Savoy. Into the Wilderness Pamela Ackerson.