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Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - The Dry Chapters 31 to the end Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments This segment is for discussion of Chapters 31 to the end of Jane Harper's The Dry.
SPOILERS WELCOME
How did you like this segment? We'll have a final thoughts thread open too.
The first to post please provide a brief summary of this set of chapters to guide the discussion. Thanks!


message 2: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments Chapter 31
Falk follows Deacon home and confronts him about Ellies death and abuse. There are flashes to the past from Luke, Falk and Deacon as they argue.
Raco is angry Falk went after Deacon and tells him the alibi looks solid with the phone call being legit.

Chapter 32
Falk has dinner at Gretchens place. A photo album is brought out. Falk flicks through and sees Luke holding Lachie as a new born in what he feels is a paternal way

Chapter 33
Falk confronts Gretchen about Luke being Lachie's father and she denies it and they fight. She kicks him out and tells him she knows where Luke was when Ellie died and it wasn't with him.

Chapter 34
Falk heads back to town and meets Whitlam leaving the pub. They have a beer but Whitlam has no cash so Falk buys. Mcmurdo tells Falk Whitlam's a bad gambler.

Falk goes to bed but has something click in his mind. He takes a photo of his car boot. He waits till 9 then makes a call.
There's a flash back to the day the Hadlers are killed. Luke driving home from Sullivan's and someone standing on the road waving.

Chapter 35
Falk rushes into the police station and cryptically tells Raco they were wrong about it being about Luke.
A flash back to Luke again as he stops to help Whitlam and is knocked out by him.

Falk has found out the school got the grant after all. There's a flashback to Karen confronting Whitlam and also telling Luke about it. Luke wanted her to go to the cops but she wanted more proof so he gave her Falk's number to call for help.

Chapter 36
Falk, Raco and Barnes go to the school and find the same shots found in the Hadler's wounds were locked in the caretakers shed.
Whitlam is at school thinking of his plan to get away. He gives the details of his gambling problem and threats against him and his family if he doesn't pay. He gives details of how he diverted the grant.

Flashback to Whitlam deciding how to deal with Karen and Luke. Also to what happened when he was mugged. He killed the guy in self defence. He likens what Karen is doing as a threat to his life and will to do what he had to save himself just like before.

Chapter 37
Falk shows the comparison of the bike marks in his car from when he took Whitlam home after the barfight to the marks in Luke's ute. It's a match.
There's a flashback to how Whitlam left the school unnoticed and took Luke down.

Chapter 38
The grant people mistakenly contact Whitlam to check what's happened tipping him off.
There 's a flashback to Whitlam killing Karen, Billy and Luke.

Chapter 39
They go to the school but Whitlam has fled and the full police force is now out searching.
Falk and Raco catch up to him in dense bush. He has a lighter threatening to set off a bushfire.

Chapter 40
They have a standoff with Whitlam then he resigns to his death and feels he's putting the town out of its misery by setting it alight. Raco and Falk jump on him as he drops the lighter and they roll around burning until they are rescued.

Chapter 41
Falk and raco recuperate from burns in the hospital but both survive.
Whitlam is under police guard at a major burns unit in the city he survived as well.
Falk is cared for by Gerry and Barb when discharged.
He visits Gretchen and she explains being at the river with Luke when Ellie walked past nearby. They left her alone. Gretchen feels guilty about leaving and letting her go ahead with her suicide.
Flashback to Gretchen and Luke fighting about avoiding Ellie. Gretchen was one in the Ute following Luke on his bike that day.

Gretchen explains Luke's plan and her guilt after finding out Ellie drowned.
Falk tries again to get her to admit to Luke being Lachie's father and getting her to go to Gerry and Barb but she denies it and they say goodbye.

Chapter 42
Falk goes to the rock tree and finds Ellies backpack. It has her diary in it and explains the abuse from her dad and her plan to leave and her feelings for Falk.
Flashback to Deacon and Dow going after her to stop her running away like her mum. They catch her and Deacon holds Ellie's head under water and kills her. Dow helps sink the body and Deacon is leaving him the farm as reward for helping.
The book ends as Falk starts walking back to town.


message 3: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 1225 comments A nicely done final quarter of the book. I was waiting for the weather and fire to play a role and I thought that the standoff was quite suspenseful. I'm glad the author did reveal what actually happened to Ellie.


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments This was a very suspenseful ending. The scene with Whitlam and his waving the lighter around was frightening. You just knew that it would not end well and Scott seemed to have no conscious at all from the way he justified killing Karen and then framing Luke for the murder suicide. I don't think he cared that much about Billy either and it was a miracle he didn't kill Charlotte too.

I was glad to know what really happened to Ellie and how sad it was that Luke and Gretchen could have possibly prevented her from being in harm's way. Or she could have not gone to school and gotten away sooner. The explanation that Mel thought Aaron's father had helped his wife escape so many years back helped explain his animosity towards the Falks, but knowing the entire time the attacks on the others had been a smoke screen was maddening.
I hope the backpack and diary give rise to more investigation of the cold case.


message 5: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments Do we think that Gretchen suspected Aaron in Ellie's death at all? It seemed her jealousy of Luke's affection for Ellie was the main thing she was worried about and since she knew from the start that Luke and Aaron weren't shooting rabbits -- was the only reason she kept quiet to protect her and Luke from suspicion?

So many people could have spoken up with either investigation and helped solve these tragic deaths.


message 6: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments I thought this book had a brilliant ending. Whitlam came from nowwhere to be the murderer with all the peices coming together so late in the book.

It was a nice touch having Aaron find ellies backpack and diary. He now knows what happened and you get the feeling he will get grant and deacon out of the town for good.

I was surprised gretchen didnt reveal her side of the story earlier and help Aaron out. Its the only part tgat didnt really sit right. I think she felt so guilty about leaving without helping her that shame held her back from saying anything. The whole fake alibi was such a redherring with so much emphasis on it early. I was glad it got cleared up completely.


message 7: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments What a peice of work whitlam was. I've never been into gambling but know its a big issue. I just dont get how people let it take over so badly.
The suspense with the lighter and trying to talk him down was intense. His messed up logic of putting people out of there misery was insane.

I find it so hard to believe how people in such important positions can betray trust and do so much damage.


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments Jack: Yes, there were some really despicable characters in this dry, sad place. Mel Deacon and his nephew Dow were a blight on the town for decades. And Whitlam, what a selfish creep.
Luke and Gretchen's guilt must have eaten away at them, possibly a factor in their not staying together. There were a lot of "if onlys" in the story.


message 9: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3762 comments did you notice that in parentheses after the title it says "aaron falk #1"?


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments Sherry: I hadn't noticed that - how exciting! we'll have to watch for it -- another series to follow!

Sherry wrote: "did you notice that in parentheses after the title it says "aaron falk #1"?"


message 11: by Russ (new)

Russ | 339 comments I was angry that the grants office tipped off the killer. But it did make for a more intense standoff. It was a pretty gripping conclusion. I'm not sure how I feel about learning Ellie was murdered. By the end I wanted to believe it was suicide.


message 12: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments Russ: The mistake made alerting Whitlam was inexcusable!
The revelation that Ellie was murdered was sad, she was dead either way, but the abuse heaped on Aaron and the grief of the entire town while her Father and lazy cousin got away with murder was maddening.
Russ wrote: "I was angry that the grants office tipped off the killer. But it did make for a more intense standoff. It was a pretty gripping conclusion. I'm not sure how I feel about learning Ellie was murdered..."


message 13: by Jack (new)

Jack | 179 comments I actually thought it was good to know ellie was murdered and was relieved what happened was revealed. I really wouldnt have liked ending it not knowing for sure.
I just hope falk is able to get mal put away for abusing ellie based on the diary. Her plan to run away and her anguishing over telling him finally revealed to him why she had his name written down and also that she didnt committ suicide. Im curious to see where another book will take off from.


message 14: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments Jack: Yes, it was essential to have the closure of what happened to Ellie or the book would not have been complete and we had to wonder about the name written down that basically ruined Aaron and his father's lives throughout the story so very good to get into her head to start to understand. .

Jack wrote: "I actually thought it was good to know ellie was murdered and was relieved what happened was revealed. I really wouldnt have liked ending it not knowing for sure.
.....
Her plan to run away and her anguishing over telling him finally revealed to him why she had his name written down and also that she didnt committ suicide. Im curious to see where another book will take off from. ."



message 15: by Abbi (new)

Abbi Heisterberg | 1 comments help!! I just finished the dry and I am a tad confused. Gretchen confessed to Aaron that she saw Ellie putting rocks in her pockets and she should have stopped her, but towards the end the book was in the point of view of Ellies dad and you find out he killed her and put rocks in her pockets. Gretchen shouldn't have seen that because it didn't happen, right? Am I missing something?? This is driving me crazy!


message 16: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments Abbi: I have been trying to remember details about what Gretchen said she saw (and failing) But from what I do recall, especially the murder from Ellie's Dad's perspective; I agree, it doesn't follow that Gretchen would have seen Ellie putting rocks in her pockets, at least not on her own - and I don't doubt her father killed her.


message 17: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8216 comments I too have been racking my brain and can't remember; wish I had a hard copy handy. I want to say that Gretchen made it up for a particular reason -- maybe because she was jealous of the attention Ellie was getting from her guy.


message 18: by Juliet (new)

Juliet Smith | 1 comments "Gretchen took a step after him, then turned, looking back toward Ellie, she was beside a strange-looking tree, crouching down with her hand against a rock."

"When I heard she'd collected stones for her pockets, I didn't sleep for three nights."

I think Gretchen assumed Ellie was picking up rocks for her pockets but she was was really clearing the way for her hiding spot.


message 19: by Carol/Bonadie (new)

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8216 comments Thanks for clearing that up, Juliet!


message 20: by Ann (last edited Jul 26, 2017 07:24PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14827 comments Juliet
Echoing Carol - Thank you for looking that up!. When you listen to audio books as I do those retrospective details are hard to get to to reconsider.
I can see how Gretchen came to the wrong assumption about the rocks in Ellie's pockets, so sad.


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