Rating: 5 / 5
When I posted a blog about THE LOST MAN by Jane Harper earlier this month I mentioned that I was excited to have more Jane Harper waiting on my book shelf for me. It didn’t take long for me to pick up the next book! This also fit for my Aussie Author pick for the #readingwomenmonth bingo board.
THE DRY is Jane Harper’s debut and the first in a series (two books so far) featuring Aaron Falk, a Federal Police investigator in Australia. When his childhood friend is found dead, an apparent suicide after killing his wife and son, Aaron heads back to his hometown of Kiewarra to pay his final respects to the family.
Aaron’s history with the town is tumultuous and he is reluctant to return. Aaron left as a teenager and all these years later the majority of the town believes that he was involved in a terrible crime years ago. He wants to attend the funeral and then leave town right away, but his friend’s parents feel there is more to the story in the death of their son and his family so Aaron feels compelled to stay and look into it a bit further.
Jane Harper writes a very atmospheric book in which the town of Kiewarra really comes to life on the page. The town is struggling under the worst drought in known history and the people of the town are struggling to make ends meet. Just as the land is fragile in these conditions, so are the lives and tempers of its residents.
The mystery was well developed with a lot of complicated motives and clues that came out as the narrative progressed. The mystery of what happened in Aaron’s youth also unfolds as the book continues, overlapping often with the present day.
The style in which the story is told is very interesting as well. The author goes back and forth between timelines rather quickly. On the page, this is very clear as the type style is different between the flashbacks and present day. Having done some of this book on audio, I do want to give a little caution that it is sometimes a little hard to tell when the narrator has slipped into a past event in the middle of a present day conversation. I didn’t feel it took away from the story, but it did test my concentration a bit.
I am definitely recommending Jane Harper to everyone who wants a rec and I will eagerly pick up the second book in the Aaron Falk series (FORCE OF NATURE) soon!