The Dry by Jane Harper
The Dry centers around investigator Aaron Falk who has returned to his small home town of Kiewarra, in the wake of a brutal triple murder that has left his best friend from childhood, Luke Hadler, dead. The small farming community is suffering from the worst heat wave and drought in years and at first glance it appears that this is a tragic murder/suicide caused by the stress of Luke’s farm going under. Aaron is not convinced that Luke could ever take the lives of those he loved, and pushed by Luke’s parents, he begins to quietly investigate what truly happened on that fateful day. But Aaron’s past is waiting to come back and haunt him, and the people that drove him out of town all those years ago have not forgotten what Aaron and his father were accused of. As old wounds are reopened and people are looking for someone to hold accountable, can Aaron clear his friend’s name and his own before the mob mentality prevails?
Jane Harper has given us a tense, incredibly well written mystery that will suck you in from the first pages and won’t let you go until the very last chapter. The depth Harper gives to the characters and their stories had me completely engrossed. Though the subject matter is very dark, Harper handled it like a seasoned author alluding to the horrific events without being gratuitously graphic. I thought that the tone she set with the presence of thesweltering Australian heat was brilliant, any one who has ever been exposed to that type of oppressive, scorching weather that parches theland and sucks the life out of everything around it will understand how this type of heat can slowly drive you mad. The fact that this is Harper’s debut novel is completely mindblowing to me. If this book is not on your TBR, it absolutely needs to be. 5 fantastic stars. I am so excited that this is a first in a series and can not wait to see what happens to Aaron next.