Published in Hardback by Little, Brown on 12 January 2017
Today, I'm delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Dry
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 things 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.
The police from the next town believe it's an open and shut case, husband shoots dead his wife, little boy and then turns the gun on himself - no-one else involved, mystery solved.
Aaron Falk believes so too when he returns to the small town to pay his respects. But Luke's parents don't believe their son could have done this horrendous crime and when Barb, who was like a mother to Aaron when he was younger, asks for his help in clearing her son's name, he can't refuse. and he finds he is dragged back into a community of small minded people that he couldn't leave quick enough twenty years ago. Teaming up with the local police officer, Raco, he comes up against distrust, suspicion and lies. It's not going to be an easy job.
Kiewarra is an unhappy town full of 'townspeople all walking round like zombies, watching each other, trying to work out who'll be next to snap'. Even the young school children seem miserable in the dry and oppressive heat. Here's a scene where Falk and Raco are looking at the children's school paintings while talking to the headteacher, Whitlam:
'Jesus, some of these are depressing', Raco murmured.Falk could see what he meant. There were stick figure families in which every face had a crayon mouth turned downwards. A painting of a cow with angel wings. Toffee my Cow in Heaven, the shaky caption read. In every attempt at landscape, the fields were coloured brown.'You should see the ones we didn't put up' Whitlam said, stopping at the office door. 'The drought. It's going to kill this town'.
The writing is so vivid and imaginative, with such strong and real characters that I could feel the hopelessness and sadness and anger coming alive in every page. Weaving in and out of the present day are flashbacks to the past and another mystery involving the townspeople.
This is such an atmospheric novel that draws you in and I kept changing my mind throughout as to who really killed the Hadler family.
I can't praise this novel highly enough. I am in awe of the talented writing of Jane Harper.
Available to buy from Amazon UK - Amazon US - Book Depository
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 currently writes for the Herald Sun. Jane is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2008. The Dry is her first novel.
Follower her on twitter @Janeharperautho
A huge thank you to Grace Vincent at Little, Brown Book Group for giving me the opportunity to take part in the virtual blog tour.
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