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The Dry - Jane Harper

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Published: 31st May 2016
Format: ePUB
$9.99

Caroline Baum's Review

The publisher of this debut novel is very confident about its appeal and it’s easy to see why. It has all the ingredients to be a bestseller and sucks you in from the very first page. It’s a prime example of rural noir, a psychological suspense crime novel set in the bush.

The town of Kiewarra is gasping, dehydrated and despairing. So when farmer Luke Hadler commits suicide, there are plenty of other farmers who’ve contemplated the same way out. Except that Luke also shot his wife and young son, leaving only baby Charlotte wailing in their home. When Luke’s closest friend Aaron Falk from adolescence comes back to town for the family’s funeral, he’s dragged back into a past that includes a shared secret. Now a policeman working in the city on financial white collar crime, he decides to investigate the Hadler deaths .

The Dry builds up gradual layers of tension and suspicion at a pace that fits the slower rhythms of country life while assigning motive to several townsfolk. As the investigation progresses, the stain on Luke’s reputation resurfaces. A compelling page turner with a real sense of the undercurrents that can tear a small community apart.

Product Description

A desperate act in a small town with big secrets.

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...

Winner of the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript

About the Author

Jane Harper has worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK. She lives in Melbourne and writes for the Herald Sun, among other publications. Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, The Dry is her first novel with rights sold to over twenty territories.

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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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The Dry
 
4.4

(based on 31 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well written (25)
  • Suspenseful (24)
  • Page turner (19)
  • Engaging characters (16)
  • Deserves multiple readings (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Gift (16)
  • Travel reading (14)
  • Older readers (12)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (14), Bookworm (12), Casual reader (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Stand-out debut crime novel

I read this novel because of all the buzz and was half expecting to be let down. I wasn't. There is a really strong sense of place and the laid-back country dialogue is totally...Read complete review

I read this novel because of all the buzz and was half expecting to be let down. I wasn't. There is a really strong sense of place and the laid-back country dialogue is totally realistic without being overdone. The author uses every trick in the crime writer's book, but still manages to create genuine surprise and narrative sleight of hand. The writing is just about perfect - not a word is wasted. Yes, you may guess some of the plotlines towards the end, but it is still extremely enjoyable and one of the best crime books I've read this year.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Vastly over-rated

Read this on the plane to Darwin, barely stayed awake to finish it. The writer uses a sloppy and irritating device of italics to explain what has already happened, although sometimes slips back...Read complete review

Read this on the plane to Darwin, barely stayed awake to finish it. The writer uses a sloppy and irritating device of italics to explain what has already happened, although sometimes slips back to normal text while in same back story mode which suggests sloppy editing to boot. Story is supposed to be about a major dry and burning heat but nothing in the narrative backs this up except the occasional reference to a drought. Description of bushfire shows zero understanding of something central to a key part of the plot and is totally without credibility. Plot is OK but damaged by device as noted and poorly unfolded, and dialogue is about high school standard. I needed to be stuck in my seat with no escape in order to stay to the end.

Reviewed by 31 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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3.0

A compelling read

By 

from South Gippsland, Victoria

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Page Turner

Cons

  • A couple of small faults!

Best Uses

  • Gift

Comments about The Dry:

Enjoyable book but just a couple of things that didn't sit right - I doubt the message scratched on the car would have had so many words in it - how long would that have taken the offender to complete!? The description of the school and yard didn't ring true to me having worked in rural schools in Australia.

 
5.0

Best book Ever read

By 

from Brisbane Qld 4000

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Engaging Characters
  • Page Turner
  • Suspenseful
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift
    • Older Readers
    • Younger Readers

    Comments about The Dry:

    Wonderfully written true characters a detailed history of the land

     
    5.0

    I couldn't put it down..

    By 

    from Kensington, Vic

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • intrigued to the end and I was total suprised!
    • Page Turner
    • Suspenseful
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about The Dry:

        This was a book selected for our book club I couldn't put it down. I read it in a week and a half, which is really quick for me!

        Very easy read and page turner.

         
        4.0

        A good country thriller

        By 

        from Dubbo

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Engaging Characters
        • Page Turner
        • Suspenseful
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Travel Reading

          Comments about The Dry:

          A great read that you can't put down and fairly unpredictable story.

           
          4.0

          Worth a read

          By 

          from Australian Capital Territory

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Travel Reading

            Comments about The Dry:

            The book was easy to read.

             
            4.0

            This was a great Australian read.

            By 

            from Victoria

            About Me Bookworm

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Engaging Characters
            • Suspenseful
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Travel Reading

              Comments about The Dry:

              I bought this because I am attending the author talk in Geelong late November. It was quite a believable story and I could image the story could really happen. It was a good read, I could have taken just a little more detail, but overall I am glad I read it.

               
              5.0

              A fantastic read. Highly recommended

              By 

              from Sydney

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Page Turner
              • Suspenseful
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Gift
                • Older Readers
                • Travel Reading

                Comments about The Dry:

                We selected The Dry for our book club and it was a hit with is all. A number of us devoured the book with a few days.

                 
                4.0

                A great story of mystery and intrique.

                By 

                from Perth Western Australia

                About Me Everyday Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Engaging Characters
                • Page Turner
                • Suspenseful
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Older Readers
                  • Travel Reading

                  Comments about The Dry:

                  This is the book chosen for book club reading next month. A murder mystery is rarely chosen by any of our members so it should be an interesting discussion. I particularly liked the way the plot unfolded and the perpetrator of the crime was completely unexpected, though the story did not end there! I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a murder mystery with unexpected twists and turns in the plot.

                   
                  5.0

                  Read this book

                  By 

                  from South Australia

                  About Me Casual Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Engaging Characters
                  • Page Turner
                  • Suspenseful
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • When you have time to read it all

                    Comments about The Dry:

                    This is a great book. I loved how the writer captures a small town in the country so well. With its secrets, lies and alliances. The struggles of abuse and cover-ups. I am dyslexic and reading takes alot of concentration so I don't usually read for long, but I read this whole book in 2 days.

                     
                    5.0

                    Dry as tinder and ready to burn

                    By 

                    from Darwin, Northern Territory

                    About Me Bookworm

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Deserves Multiple Readings
                    • Engaging Characters
                    • Page Turner
                    • Suspenseful
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about The Dry:

                        As you might expect, the writing in "The Dry" is as taut and tense as is the experience of prolonged drought for rural producers and anyone who lives through drought in a country town. The mystery unfolds against a background of general despair, and the main character who grew up locally, but returns unwillingly, brings the qualified emotional distance and detachment of a capital city perspective. Nevertheless he is drawn back into the situation by a shared secret and by the animosity of his former neighbours.

                        Displaying reviews 1-10

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                        "You will feel the heat, taste the dust and blink into the glare. The Dry is a wonderful crime novel that shines a light into the darkest corner of a sunburnt country."
                        Michael Robotham

                        "One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read"
                        David Baldacci

                        ISBN: 9781743548059
                        ISBN-10: 1743548052
                        Audience: General
                        Format: Paperback
                        Language: English
                        Number Of Pages: 352
                        Published: 31st May 2016
                        Country of Publication: AU
                        Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 2.6
                        Weight (kg): 0.44