Monday, 15 January 2018

The Dry by Jane Harper

Book Review

The Dry by Jane Harper - Reading, Writing, Booking

"It wasn't as though the farm hadn't seen death before, and the blowflies didn't discriminate."

The Dry was written by Jane Harper and was published by Little Brown.

This is a grim first line, and one that sets the tone for the rest of the book. But though The Dry is dark it's also authentic and engaging. It's easy to see why this Australian outback crime story is so popular.

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

I mentioned The Dry in my review of Dark Pines as a book with a setting that is integral to the story. Some plot lines can be lifted out of their setting and placed elsewhere, but The Dry is reliant on the, well dry, habitat. The two year drought is the reason for the tension, stress and desperation in the town and it is felt from page one. I've read very few books set in Australia so for me this was a refreshing setting, one that's alien yet I could understand the desperation of the towns people.

The Dry has two mystery storylines, one from Falk's past and one that he's currently investigating, and they blend together well. Occasionally the jumps in time are a bit confusing as they aren't always clearly seperated, but the parallel stories suited each other.

This is a complex thriller but it doesn't rely on sensationalism and ridiculous twists. Having said that, I was surprised by the ending and didn't guess it.

There were a couple of moments where I felt a plot point was a bit too simple, there were a couple of clues that came a little too easily. However, mainly it flowed well and I really like Harper's writing, which is as bare and arid as the setting of The Dry.

My Rating: 4 Stars

The Dry by Jane Harper - Reading, Writing, Booking

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1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed this one too! Am reading the second now and it's also fab :)