Jane Harper’s THE DRY

dryThis book needs to come with a warning. Make that two warnings. First, once you start this book you will not be able to stop. It is totally addictive. The last book I tore through like this was Gone Girl and The Dry is it’s equal in nearly every way. The second warning this book needs is that people are going to steal it off you. Twice while reading this book I had the book taken from me and twice I had to pry it out of those people’s hands to get it back (deals were done, promises made, all in an effort to get the book back!).

There is already a huge amount of hype around this book. It won the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and was the subject of a bidding war between publishers. The film rights have already been optioned by Reese Witherspoon (who is proving to have exceptional taste in books). The advanced reading copies have been sent out six months in advance with the cover proclaiming it “the book of the year 2016”. I am a huge cynic when it comes to statement like that from publishers but let me tell you, everything you hear and will hear about this book will be true. This book is amazing, addictive and will have you gripped, not just until the final page but the very last word.

The Dry is set in the small rural township of Kierwarra. A town on the brink after two years of drought which is rocked to its core after the murder/suicide of a farmer and his family. Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to the town to attend the funeral. Aaron and his family left twenty years ago vowing never to return. His return stirs up discontent that is already swirling through the town. When he begins to take a closer look at the circumstances surround this horrific crime his presence and his digging hits a raw nerve with many who thought they’d seen the last of Aaron Falk and will do anything to keep it that way.

Jane Harper’s narrative sinks it’s teeth into you from the prologue and never lets go. She keeps you constantly guessing about what really happened and who is and isn’t involved. Each chapter leaves you dying to find out what happens next and more than one chapter will end with you gasping out loud. The closer you get to the book’s conclusion the whiter your knuckles holding the book become as the suspense builds and builds. The brutal heat that engulfs the town also permeates every page as does the petty-mindedness that comes from a small town and with a long history of grievances and its own sense of justice.

This is an incredible debut that would be the envy of many established writers. I can’t wait for this book to hit the shelves. It is going to be huge and deservedly so. The Dry is undoubtedly one of the books of 2016 and I can’t wait to see if anything else gets close.

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ISBN: 9781743548059
Classification: Fiction & related items » Crime & mystery
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 154mm x mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Macmillan Australia
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publish Date: 31-May-2016
Country of Publication: Australia

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