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The Dry by Jane Harper
This is a smashing debut novel, set in a part of Australia that is experiencing the worst drought of the century. When Federal Agent Aaron Falk hears that his best childhood friend Luke has killed his wife, child, and then himself, he, like most of the town, assume it is a result of desperation caused by the drought. Then he opens a letter from Luke’s father with eight words:” Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.” Aaron returns to his childhood home, twenty years after he and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, and is convinced to look into the deaths. As in the best mysteries, things are not what they seem, and there are some great red herrings throughout. Harper’s descriptions make you feel the searing heat and the stifling atmosphere of the town. One of the best mysteries I have read this year.
Deb— From Deb's Picks
“This story of a small town and the secrets it has been protecting for decades is fast-paced and never predictable. In a remote section of rural Australia during an extended drought, devastating weather conditions collide with an unexpected turn of events that ultimately results in the murder of a young family. Bearing the scars of the town's past, Aaron Falk returns home for the funeral and is forced to make a choice between saving himself and facing a secret he has been hiding from for 20 years. This is an amazing debut that I could not put down!”
— Dana Gillespie (W), East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"A breathless page-turner, driven by the many revelations Ms. Harper dreams up...You'll love her] sleight of hand...A secret on every page." --The New York Times
"One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read... Every word is near perfect." --David Baldacci
A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.
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.