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.
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Winner of the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript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 Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, The Dry is her first novel with rights sold to over twenty territories.
"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."
"One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read"