Aussie Author Challenge Australian Women Writers Book Reviews

Book Review: The Dry by Jane Harper #AusRead17 #AWW2017

The Dry begins with the death of three members of the same family. Luke Hadler is believed to have killed his wife, Karen, their five-year-old son, Billy and then himself in an apparent murder-suicide in the rural town of Kiewarra. Most folk think Luke did what they all probably wanted to do to their families due to the drought. Others wonder if it was the consequence of family violence, something not spoken about in these areas. But Luke’s one-year-old daughter Charlotte, is the sole survivor. If he wanted to rid his family of the misery, why not kill her too?

Aaron Falk, Luke’s childhood friend and now a federal officer in Melbourne, returns to Kiewarra after almost two decades for the funeral. An unwilling guest, he is here on the request of Gerry Hadler, Luke’s father who informs him ‘Luke lied. You lied‘. Falk’s past demons come back to haunt him in Kiewarra as he tries to figure out with the local cop Raco, what actually happened to the Hadler family.

The Dry is Jane Harper’s first novel and from the very first chapter, she manages to hook you in. She manages to intersperse the past with the present seamlessly. Most chapters end with you wanting to know more which is what a good crime novel should do. The people of Kiewarra are similar, yet distinct and colourful. The town itself is a character in the story. I suspected the killer but not the motive which in the end, I thought was cleverly done. It’s very Australian in its backdrop but more so, in the stuff we don’t talk about and like to put away. There are subtle social messages within the novel including issues such as family violence that are rarely ever spoken about even when people suspect it.

If you like crime fiction and Australian fiction, you need to read this book!

My rating:

***Read and reviewed as part of the 2017 Aussie Author Challenge and 2017 Australian Women Writers’ Challenge. Also linking up with Alicia for Open Slather and Denyse for Life this week***

Until next time,

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  • Deborah
    18 September 2017 at 7:19 am

    I’m glad you enjoyed this Sanch. I did as well and am looking forward to Harper’s next book! It’s great to see so many fabulous Aussie authors doing well.

  • Ingrid
    18 September 2017 at 8:01 am

    I’ll have to buy this book! I was just looking for a new book to read after finishing The Mummy Bloggers which I blogged about today.. I love that you weren’t able to pick the motive for the killer in this book. Books that are too obvious disappoint me. This sounds like a good one!


  • Jo Tracey
    18 September 2017 at 8:20 am

    I’ve seen this one at the airport & wondered…thanks for the review, I’ll be adding it to my TBR list.

  • Alicia O'Brien
    18 September 2017 at 10:25 am

    Wow, this sounds good!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    18 September 2017 at 10:56 am

    Ooh! Sounds like a good one 🙂

  • Nabanita
    18 September 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I like crime fiction. Will keep this in mind when I’m looking for my next read. Thanks for sharing.
    Nabanita recently posted…#MommyTalks | When Two Moms TalksMy Profile

  • Ness
    18 September 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Sounds like a must read. Good when a book keeps you gripped.

  • Lata Sunil
    18 September 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Sounds good .. noting the name of the book and the author.

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    18 September 2017 at 7:53 pm

    I LOVED The Dry too! Cannot wait for her next book.

    SSG xxx

  • Denyse
    19 September 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Your review is tempting me to buy this! I have seen it recommended by many lately on line too. Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 36/52. Next week’s prompt: Beach or Bush.
    Denyse recently posted…Cancer and Me Four Months On. 2017.108.My Profile

  • Soumya
    19 September 2017 at 5:27 pm

    4/5 sounds pretty good! I love crime fiction but I have never read Australian fiction before. Looks like this book can help me make a start.

    A well done, brief review, Sanch.
    Soumya recently posted…Book Review: The Book ThiefMy Profile

  • Book Review: Force of Nature by Jane Harper #AWW2017 - Sanch Writes
    11 December 2017 at 6:01 am

    […] manages to build the tension and leaves you wanting to know more. After introducing us to Falk in The  Dry, she continues to give us insights into his backstory and explain why he is the way he is. He […]