This is Harper’s debut novel and also the first in a series that now includes Force of Nature. I actually read the second case of investigator Aaron Falk first and then went back to this one because I was more than intrigued.
Here’s what The Dry is about:
Aaron Falk returns to smalltown Kiewarra for the funeral of his childhood friend Luke Hadler who apparently killed first his wife Karen and son Billy and then himself. Prompted by unanswered questions, Falk starts investigating the case with local police officer Raco.
The investigation, however, is hindered by the fact that Falk once was a suspect in a suspicious death, too, and Luke had been the one giving him an alibi. With Falk’s return, never buried feuds are continued and the drought keeping this farming community in an iron grip just makes it that much worse.
If you can’t tell from my synopsis: this is a really good book. Its mysteries are tight, the mood is desperate, and the writing is strong. And the setting is just really vivid. Australia as backdrop for a murder mystery is simply stunning. That goes for this one and for the second in the series as well.
So, if you’re looking for some intense mystery, family feuds, long-buried secrets, and a community on the brink of a breakdown, give this book a go. There’s just so much to enjoy and I bet you’ll be buying the second one right after, ’cause, man, that one’s just as good and intense and tight. Me, I’m just waiting for the next one by Harper, impatiently so.