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The Dry - Jane Harper

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Published: 31st May 2016
Format: ePUB

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Winner of the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript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 Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, The Dry is her first novel with rights sold to over twenty territories.


Want to read more from this author


I found it hard to believe this was a first novel. I really enjoyed it and never guessed at the end!

Launceston, Tasmania


A beautifully written story


This was definitely a page turner

South Australia


A compelling read


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.

South Gippsland, Victoria


Best book Ever read


Wonderfully written true characters a detailed history of the land

Amberley Qld


I couldn't put it down..


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.

Kensington, Vic


A good country thriller


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



Worth a read


The book was easy to read.

Australian Capital Territory


This was a great Australian read.


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.



A fantastic read. Highly recommended


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.



A great story of mystery and intrique.


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.

Western Australia


The Dry

4.4 33


"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