Review: The Dry by Jane Harper

41xyspemgllWhat I thought:

Although totally different to the last book I read, The Mountain in My Shoe, this book was equally a refreshing in that it felt like a departure from the current norm in crime fiction. The setting and the atmosphere were sublime: I could feel the oppressive heat and taste the tension; I was there in the thick of it.

Aaron Falk, a Police Officer from Melbourne, returns to the town of his birth to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, Luke Hadler. Luke is being buried alongside his wife and six-year-old son who is assumed to have killed before turning the gun on himself. Falk hasn’t been back to Kiewarra for the last 20 years after he was run out of town after the death of his friend Ellie (was it suicide or was it murder?). There are plenty who don’t want Falk back anyway and when Luke’s father asks him to investigate the deaths, Falk finds himself up against some rather unsavoury characters from his past as it appears that some people have very long memories.

From the very first sentence on the very first page, I knew I was going to love this book. With an incredibly powerful prologue, I was gripped from the off and once I was swept up in the searing heat wave it didn’t let me out of its clutches until the very end. With two mysteries running simultaneously, the plot has a great pace and with great, fully-fleshed characters it was easy to keep invested and intrigued.

Verdict:

The Dry was an original and compelling read and one I didn’t want to put down. With a real sense of place and the palpable tension of a town in shock, this was a fantastic thriller were isolation, suspicion and mistrust were heightened by the relentless drought.

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