Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Blog Tour Review: The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper
Published: 12th January 2017
Publisher: Little Brow,
Available in Hardback and on Kindle

I just can't understand how someone like him could do something like that.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend's crime.


The Dry by Jane Harper is Little Brown’s lead debut of 2017, quite a statement but one it most definitely is worthy of, the book is nothing short of epic. It’s one of those rare book’s that so completely absorbs you that the only thing that matters is reading the whole thing.

Set in the small county town of Kiewarra, The Dry follows the story of a town on edge after suffering from a two year drought.  Devastation hits the community when the Hadler family are found brutality murdered in their own home.  Tensions run high and the town are convinced Luke Hadler committed suicide after he murdered his wife and young son Billy.

Returning to Kiewarra after twenty years away Aaron Falk comes face to face with the secrets of his past he attends the funeral of his childhood best friend Luke. Aaron was driven out of town as a child after his friend Ellie Deacon was found drown in the river. He’s counting down the hours until he can leave again until Gerry Hadler asks him to check over Luke’s accounts to see if Luke really did snap like the town believe.

As Falk begins to examine the death of his friend, secrets from his past begin to emerge, for Falk and Luke shared a secret. A secret which twenty years ago drove Falk out of town, a secret which has begun to cause trouble again and a secret which could explain why Luke is now dead.

I found The Dry to be a truly fantastic read, everything about it works so well. The setting, the characters, and the plot they all worked seamlessly to create a truly absorbing and at times harrowing read.  The dry arid landscape of Kiewarra perfectly matches the tension and unrest of its habitants as they battle to keep their town alive despite the drought killing off crops and animals, making the lives of the farming folk hard and unforgiving. At times it really felt like I was there in the town breathing the hot dry air and feeling the unease grow.

Harper has created many complex characters, each with their own secrets to hide or burdens to carry and this made them fascinating to read about. I loved the way Harper has included flashbacks to the teenage lives of Aaron, Luke and Ellie so we can really get a picture of who they were. I so wanted Luke to not be responsible for something as horrific as killing his own wife. As despite being fairly self-centred as a child he seemed like he was a valued member of the community.

I loved the way that as Falk uncovers more and more details about the last few hours of the Hadler’s lives various members of the community are under the spotlight as possible killers adding more and more twists to this intense novel. The final twist revealing who the killer was left me in shock as it was a total curveball from what I was expecting, brilliantly done. Finding out what really happened to Ellie all those years ago did leave deeply saddened that she was so close to freedom.

The Dry is a perfectly written novel and one which has been a joy to read. I’m overwhelmed this is Jane Harper’s debut as it’s so good, definitely one of the must-reads of 2017 and I can’t wait to see what this lady writes next.

Thank you to Little Brown for sending me a copy to review and for inviting me on this blog tour.

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