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The Dry , released 2017
Author: Jane Harper

Publisher: Abacus
ISBN: 978-0349142111
Pages: 416
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WHO REALLY KILLED THE HADLER FAMILY?
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.

Review
My crime novel of the year is Jane Harper's The Dry...The savage beauty of the landscape makes an unforgettable setting'

A book that has atmosphere to spare, as well as a pleasing number of twists and turns. Elegant and gripping

Australian first-timer Jane Harper suggested a potential torrent of talent with The Dry, in which a man returns to the outback town from which he had been summarily exiled as a teenager. He is there to attend the funeral of a childhood best mate who is believed to have killed his wife and son, before turning the gun on himself. But the case is clearly not as simple as that and, in the tense setting of a landcape where it hasn't rained for two years, Harper slowly but thrillingly reveals where the truth lies.

Jane Harper's The Dry has a protagonist returning from a self-imposed exile to a tiny hometown riven with fear, though the backdrop here is the drought-plagued Australian outback. Harper depicts it so well that the book would have reduced me to a sweaty, crumpled heap on the floor had I not been energised by her diabolically clever plotting

It is hard to believe that this accomplished piece of writing, which returns again and again to the savage beauty of the landscape, is Harper's first novel

Harper's debut novel is The Dry, a crime thriller making its way up The Sunday Times Bestsellers charts as steadily as the mercury rises each day in the stricken agricultural town of Kiewarra, in which it is set...It feels like an Ur-Australian novel, a whodunit that evokes the punishing landscape and searing aridity so convincingly, you expect a heat haze to shimmer above the page

Wonderfully atmospheric, The Dry is both a riveting murder mystery and a beautifully wrought picture of a rural community under extreme pressure

I devoured it in just over 24 hours...Spellbinding

A stunningly atmospheric read

A cracking small-town thriller wound tight by desperation in a deadly Australian drought
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