Book review: Jane Harper – The Dry

The Dry, Jane Harper
The Dry, Jane Harper

Jane Harper: The Dry

Lots of praise being heaped on Harper’s debut novel, and it’s not hard to see why.

The Dry, Jane Harper

The Dry, Jane Harper

It has the key elements of a great crime novel – past secrets and current crimes, colliding worlds – and makes full use of its claustrophobic, rural setting to create a fantastic story.

Set against a two-year drought which has devastated the tiny town of Kiewarra in Australia, it opens with a brutal death scene – an apparent suicide/murder which all but wipes out the Hadler family.

Summoned to the funeral is school friend Aaron Falk, now a police officer in Melbourne.

His return stirs memories of a past incident, and he is quickly drawn into an investigation that quickly leads to some difficult questions.

Harper balances the two stories perfectly and taps into the suffocating atmosphere of the small town and its already stretched to breaking point relationships as the searing heat destroys livelihoods.

A superb debut and a truly great read.