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The Dry

(Aaron Falk #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  189,625 ratings  ·  15,740 reviews
A small town hides big secrets in this atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

In the grip of the worst drought in a century, the farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily when three members of a local family are found brutally slain.
Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown for

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Macmillan Australia
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Euphemia Alves Ute is a utility vehicle or pickup and a huntsman is a spider.
Sunnie Trickett I got one saying CJ Box recommended. I kinda feel annoyed that they use big name authors who probably never even read the book as a marketing strategy…moreI got one saying CJ Box recommended. I kinda feel annoyed that they use big name authors who probably never even read the book as a marketing strategy, makes me now want to buy it, I'll borrow it from the library maybe.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  189,625 ratings  ·  15,740 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I know it's early days, but I have a feeling this will be a top read of 2017 for me; I'll go as far as saying if I had read it last year it would have been in my top 2016 reads. The writing is excellent, the pacing was quick with fully fleshed characters, and the ending was satisfying without being too cut and dry. Half the fun of this story is, even if you guess at the who, you probably won't guess the why until it's revealed. This was a perfect example of a book being extremely dark and terrif ...more
Emily May
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Luke Hadler may have had a light on waiting for him when he came home, but something else from this wretched, desperate community had seeped through that front door and into his home. And it had been rotten and thick and black enough to extinguish that light forever.

The Dry actually makes me feel vindicated in my rating and review of Ritter's Bonfire last year. I got some criticisms that I was being too harsh toward a debut author; that a lot of thrillers follow a familiar format but that d
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an astonishingly good crime fiction debut by Jane Harper set in Australia. Aaron Falk and his father were run out of their home in Kiewarra over twenty years ago over rumours of Aaron's hand in the death of Ellie Deacon. It was ruled a suicide and Aaron had an alibi, his best friend Luke. Aaron has returned to Kiewarra for the funeral of Luke, his wife, Karen and his son, Billy. It appears that Luke shot his family and then himself due to their poor financial state caused by the unrelent ...more
Rick Riordan
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compelling mystery set in the Australian outback, The Dry starts with the horrific apparent murder-suicide of a local farming family. When Aaron Falk, an old friend of the supposed murderer, returns to the town from his job with the financial police in the big city, he reluctantly agrees to look into the gruesome killings for his old friend's parents, who can't believe their son would really kill his wife and young son, then shoot himself. In looking into the crime, Aaron has to open up his ow ...more
Kevin Ansbro
I was drawn to this arid Australian crime thriller by a desert storm of five-star reviews, not to mention the fact that this was The Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year.
*Fold his arms and sighs*
I'm not saying that this was a bad book … it was OK … though the storyline (for me) was flat, improbable, slow-paced and bereft of suspense.
Apart from that, it was fine!

Bland federal agent, Aaron Falk, returns to the small Outback town of his childhood for the funeral of his best friend (and also his
Kristin (KC)
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
*4.5 stars!*

What a book. I had to sleep on this one. Not like, right on top of it, it was just a little to the left of my pillow, but I needed time to process. It’s not as though this read was so incredibly intoxicating that I couldn't wrap my head around it—quite the contrary, actually.

The pace is steady and slow, verging on dull at times but never quite crossing that line. The plot itself is packed with twists, but they felt gentle and weren't especially shocking.

So what did it for me? The a
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*4.5 STARS*

First things first, applause for author Jane Harper, who's put together this cracking storyline set in the Australian farming community of Kiewarra.

Luke Hadler allegedly killed his wife Karen and young son Billy before turning the gun on himself, but is this tragedy as cut and dried as it appears?

Federal Police Investigator Aaron Falk returns for the funeral of his childhood friend Luke, but he faces animosity and threats regarding the suicide of Ellie Deacon some twenty years ago. E
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh ok, I get it now. I can see why everyone loves this book!

Federal agent Aaron Falk goes back to his hometown for the funeral of Luke, his childhood best friend. Luke, along with his family, had died in suspicious circumstances. After the funeral, Luke's parents beg Falk to stay and look into the family's death. And just like that, Falk is drawn back into the small town's web of hardship, suspicion, and small-mindedness.

I find Jane Harper to be a riveting storyteller and The Dry is no differen
The Dry by Jane Harper is a 2017 Flatiron Books publication.

This is my kind of mystery/thriller!

When Aaron returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke, he intends to make a retreat back to his life as a federal agent, as quickly as possible.

But, Luke’s grieving parents ask him to use his talents to look into Luke’s financial affairs, in hopes of finding answers as to why their son killed his wife and son and then shot himself. The chances are slim to none that A
Oct 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dry  (Aaron Falk #1)  by Jane Harper  (Author), Steven Shanahan (Narrator)

Aaron Falk, a Federal Agent, has returned to his hometown of Kierwana, Australia, for the funerals of his childhood friend and his friend's wife and six year old son. The area has been going through the worst drought in a century and maybe that was a factor in the suspected suicide/murder of this family. But Aaron knows that he and his friend Luke had a huge secret, connected to the death of their teenage friend Ellie,
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 unflinchingly bright hot stars for 'The Dry'

Love having reading friends to share books with! Thanks Mel. Very glad to have unexpectedly stumbled across this one, considering I’d had a recent conversation with my local bookstore manager where she’d mentioned it’s their top seller. I always ask her what is the current best seller. Best seller it is.

A dazzling debut where again I am left wondering, what’s debut-ish about this work? The entire read I was chopping and changing my mind about who kil
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Succumbing to some of the biblio-peer pressure surrounding Jane Harper's debut novel, I thought I ought to make a little time and see what she had to offer. Australia has been hit with one of its worst droughts ever, turning fertile lands into blobs of brown. In the community of Kiewarra, rain has not fallen in upwards of two years, only adding to tensions. An emergency call is made and authorities arrive at the Hadler farm to find a bloodbath. Luke Hadler appears to have killed his wife and son ...more
j e w e l s
I blame Aaron Falk. He just made me add a new shelf on Goodreads. Series. You see, I don't like book series. With a few exceptional characters preceding Aaron Falk (Harry Potter, Christian Grey, Edward Cullen, Kinsey Milhone) have I read an entire series. It's just too much of a commitment and then I feel guilty if I miss a book in the series. I will not be missing any book that Aaron Falk is in. Ever. No way, no worries, mate.

I am so late to THE DRY party that I almost didn't read it. Finally,
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star
I sigh with relief when I realize I've read a 5 star book at last. I sigh with content. The setting was kind of interesting, and I have always believed that pound for pound, Australian literature has been punching above its weight for quite some time.

This book was so good. So freaking good. It doesn't need any words. Not that I have a clue about its reputation...I picked it up on a whim and haven't looked back since. This is the writing that will entice millions across the globe.

It's been centur
Elyse  Walters
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Officially the worse conditions in a century" .....Melbourne, Australia.

"The weather pattern had a bad name" ----"El Nino" ----in "The Dry".
"El Nino" refers to "the little boy", so named because the pool of warm water in the Pacific near South America is often at the warmest around Christmas. The original name, El Niño de Navidad, traces its origin centuries back to Peruvian fisherman, Who named the weather phenomenon in reference to the newborn Christ.
"The Dry", itself refers to the long stan
There in The Dry, it’s raining 5-star reviews, and here I sit, trying to get right with my 3-star drip-drop. Maybe I’m using silly water analogies because I’m remembering how parched this locale is, a small farm town in Australia, and I need some liquid. I’m sure that a big part of the allure of this story (about a guy, Falk, who is trying to solve a heinous crime) is its vivid, scorched setting. Everything is hot and dry and slow. I didn’t feel the heat for some reason, but I definitely felt th ...more
Farrah (on a short hiatus!)
⭐⭐ This book is flawless!! ⭐⭐

What an outstanding character-driven mystery. Actually a mystery within a mystery and I highly enjoyed the last three days that I've spend immersed in this book.

At no point did I think 𝘩𝘮𝘮𝘮𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴𝘯'𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 or 𝘤'𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺? or 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 or any of the other things that can pull me from a story.

The writing is perfect - a fair amount could have been edited out but I'm glad it wasn't because it added extra depth and history to the
Kylie D
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, you know it's a good book when you finish it you just sit back and go WOW! I'm not even sure where to start with this review. Okay, I'll start at the start, which sees Federal Officer Aaron Falk head back to his hometown after twenty years to attend the funeral of his childhood best mate, Luke, who, along with his wife Karen and oldest child Billy have all died in what looks like an open and shut case of murder/suicide. Yet Luke's mother says it can't be and asks Aaron to look further into ...more
Skyler Autumn
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 Stars

I don't get it? I am reading all these 5 star rave reviews for The Dry and I'm just left here thinking, what the hell am I missing?


This book was a bit of a chore for me to read. I literally had to force myself to read it, and I know what people are think, then why didn't you just stop reading it? And I have two answers for that:
1. I'm a stubborn bitch
2. I kept thinking the next chapter was going to blow my mind and then I'll understand these rave reviews, but as chapters went by I s
Larry H
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this was really a great book! I love it when books which are hyped actually live up to the praise they're getting, and Jane Harper's The Dry definitely did.

This book had everything—great writing, a terrifically evocative setting (I felt hot every time I read it, and it wasn't just because I'm running a fever, and I kept expecting everyone I came into contact with to speak with an Australian accent), interesting character development, and lots of twists and turns. It's amazing to think t
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This beautifully written mystery transported me to Kiewarra, Australia, a small farming community that is suffering from a drought, and also from being mired in the past.

Aaron Falk, a federal financial police officer, reluctantly returns to Kiewarra to attend the funeral of his former best friend, Luke Hadler. It appears that Luke committed a murder suicide, killing his wife, Karen, and their six-year-old son, Billy, before taking his own life. The community is in shock and speculation abounds.
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fulfilling my 2021 goal to read one book each month by an author i have never read despite owning more than one of their books.

AND pulling double duty:

fulfilling my 2021 goal to read one ARC each month i'd been so excited to get my hands on and then...never read

in short, this was a perfect mystery novel.

unaware of how harmoniously i was organizing my media consumption, i picked this up at the same time i was (finally*) getting around to watching dublin murders—a series based on tana french’s f
Charlotte May
This was my final book to complete my 2018 Goodreads challenge, and what a book it was!

Holy shit! 4.5 ⭐️

"They're like sharks in here mate...they'll pounce at the first sign of blood."

Wow! This was the definition of a claustrophobic small country town. Aaron Faulk returns to Kierawalla for the first time in 20 years, but not on good terms. His childhood friend is dead, presumed suicide after murdering his wife and son.
Twenty years previous, a teenage girl drowned in the nearby river, throwing
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy Cow!  What a wonderful book!  This book definitely had all my senses on high alert while reading this one!  

The mood, the atmosphere, the setting, the tone, the format…..

"Her goodbye as she left was as dry as the fields."

THE DRY by JANE HARPER is an absolutely engrossing and compelling whodunit crime mystery / thriller that drew me in right from the very first chapter to the very last page!

JANE HARPER delivers a clever, atmospheric, suspenseful, impressive, and very descriptive read here wh
Mary Beth
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing

This was the first book in a new series and I was really surprised on how much I loved this book. The book is utterly addictive, and I found it hard to take a break from it, reading it within a couple of days. Jane has managed to create realistic characters, dealing with very realistic situations. You often feel that you are standing in Aaron Falk’s shoes, as you start to feel his emotions moving through your body. My favorite part about this book was how everyone was a suspect. When I had final
4.5 Stars

”The Outback is impossible, forever and it’s free
No way can I find an end to what it means to me”

Sing You the Outback John Williamson

Mere days ago, I was inundated by water. Water, water, everywhere… Rivers overflowing … and suddenly I find myself transported to a land where rain hadn’t fallen in nearly two years.

”The drought had left the flies spoiled for choice that summer.”

The farmers told themselves that the drought wouldn’t last, said those words to each other, and to themse
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this is a really good debut novel about a farming community in Australia, the murder of a young family..father, mother, young son, but their baby left unharmed.
This story also goes back and forth from present time to 20 yrs earlier when this father and his group of four friends were growing up there.
One of the group, Falk, is now a cop from the another city, who comes to town for the funeral of his friend and his family, and ends up on the case to try and find the killer. There are lots of p
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
WANNA KNOW THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS BOOK? I need not worry about spending my money on the rest of the series.

The pacing of this story is slower than my dog walking from the car to the door at the veterinarian office.

I'm all about a slow burn, you could even call me a fan, BUT the best part of the slow burn is when the gasoline is thrown on the flames and it ignites into an eyelash singeing inferno. Which never happens in this story.

No doubt the plot sounds intriguing in the description, howeve
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars! This is a GREAT book!! It grabbed my attention right away and didn't let go until the last page. After reading all of the excellent reviews, I was really looking forward to reading this book and it definitely lived up to the hype!

All of the characters were very well developed. I really liked Falk, the main character - he had a secretive side which had me questioning his past - I wanted to know his back story and figure out his intentions - I liked the aura of secrecy that surrounded
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
If I’d known, I would have done things differently. It was too late for that now. Some things had to be lived with.

The Dry is such a heavy and ‘adult’ book: not in the sexual content or violence, although there were several stomach-churning descriptions, no, it’s such an ‘adult book’ in the sense of maturity, with hardships, human disconnections and buried secrets.

The book simply felt genuine and full of emotions. Do books have emotions anyhow? Well, It certainly made me full of emotions, I
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2021 Reading Chal...: The Dry (Aaron Falk #1) 18 37 Jul 28, 2021 01:09PM  
Aussie Readers: The Dry - Jane Harper 34 182 Jul 25, 2021 07:08PM  

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Jane Harper is the international bestselling author of The Dry, Force of Nature and The Lost Man.
Jane is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and has won numerous top awards including the Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year, the Australian Indie Awards Book of the Year, the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, and the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the

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