Jane Harper - The Dry - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781408708170
    • Publication date:12 Jan 2017

The Dry

By Jane Harper

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IN A TOWN WITHOUT RAIN, SOME SECRETS ARE NEVER WASHED AWAY

WHO REALLY KILLED THE HADLER FAMILY?

'One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read' David Baldacci

'A compulsive read' Kate Hamer, bestselling author of The Girl in the Red Coat

'A cracking good read' Laura McBride, author of We Are Called to Rise

I just can't understand how someone like him could do something like that.

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend's crime.

Biographical Notes

Jane Harper has worked as a print journalist for 13 years both in Australia and the UK. She lives in Melbourne and currently writes for the Herald Sun. Jane is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2008. The Dry is her first novel.

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  • ISBN: 9781408708187
  • Publication date: 31 May 2016
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Little, Brown
It is hard to believe that this accomplished piece of writing, which returns again and again to the savage beauty of the landscape, is Harper's first novel — Sunday Times, Crime Book of the Month January 2017
Wonderfully atmospheric, The Dry is both a riveting murder mystery and a beautifully wrought picture of a rural community under extreme pressure — Mail on Sunday Thriller of the Week, January 2017
The writing is fantastic, and the plot - where many mystery/thrillers fall short these days - was completely unpredictable in the best ways possible... Aaron Falk, returns to his hometown in Australia to mourn, and inevitably investigate, his best friend's apparent suicide. What comes next is a series of twists and turns that will keep you guessing all the way until the end. I repeatedly found myself shocked and pulled in by Harper's fast paced and engrossing writing. Truly a fantastic read and hopefully the first of many to come from Ms. Harper — An Amazon Best Book of January 2017, Amazon.com
One of the most assured crime debuts I've encountered in many years . . . It grips like a vice from first paragraph to last, atmospherically evoking the small town of Kiewarra . . . Told with heart-breaking precision and emotional power . . . If you read only one crime novel this year make it this one — Daily Mail
A sad, beautifully told tale of lives regretted — The Times
'Jane Harper's fleet novel about a triple killing is packed with sneaky moves and teasing possibilities that keep the reader guessing...The Dry is a breathless page-turner...The dryness that gives the book its eerie title looms large in the novel's finale, when certain kinds of weapons become even more terrible than those used to butcher the Hadlers...The Dry has caught the attention of Reese Witherspoon, who has a solid track record for spotting novels with strong movie potential. (Want some evidence? Gone Girl.) But Ms Hadler has made her own major mark long before any film version comes along — Janet Maslin, New York Times
Read The Dry by Jane Harper. Gripping murder mystery; brilliant sense of place — India Knight, Sunday Times magazine
Solid storytelling that, despite a plethora of flashbacks, never loses momentum, strong characterisation and a sense of place so vivid that you can almost feel the blistering heat add up to a remarkably assured debut — Laura Wilson, Guardian
Like True Detective set in the Australian outback...Amid the worst drought in a century, the tension and stifling heat running through the small town of Kiewarra crackle off the pages — Stylist magazine, this month's most exciting new novels
Set in a small Australian town during a blistering drought, this creepy and tightly woven tale about a detective investigating a brutal triple-murder is getting huge global attention for all the right reasons - it's brilliant! — Heat magazine
Pulse-thumping suspense... Building from the first page, rammed with atmosphere, suspicions, lies and tension, this is a first-class crime debut' — Fanny Blake's Great Reads, Woman & Home
Harper brilliantly captures the claustrophobia of small-town Australia during a relentless drought. This is an eminently readable debut with characters you'll love and characters you'll love to hate — Express
Settle in a comfy chair and read . . . The Dry by Jane Harper. This gripping novel charts a policeman's unwilling participation in the investigation of a terrible murder in the town of his youth, and is set to be the biggest crime release of 2017 — GQ magazine
Tipped to be one of the biggest novels of the year . . .a gripping read — Hello magazine
A welcome antidote to all those Nordic crime novels that make you feel the cold in your bones, this excellent debut set in the Australian outback had me constantly wiping the sweat from my forehead — Sunday Express
From the searing opening, heat, dust and tension rise from the pages of this fast moving, tightly plotted and involving thriller — Choice
The earth is like a tinderbox, animals lie dead in the fields and the rolling river where Aaron and his friends use to swim and hang out is "nothing more than a dusty scar in the land"...The denouement yet again brings us face to face with the pitiless heat and its ramifications...Skilfully written and absorbing — Financial Times
I can't remember another first novel that was greeted with such unanimous enthusiasm from readers and reviewers all over the world...I share the universal approval of this book: it is gripping, atmospheric and original — Literary Review
Jane Harper creates an atmosphere of simmering tension right from the off. Her version of High Noon in the Outback flickers between past and present to slowly reveal what actually happened between characters who are far more engaging than the cogs usually found in clockwork thrillers — Evening Standard
One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read. I could feel the searing heat of the Australia setting. Every word is near perfect. The story builds like a wave seeking the purchase of earth before it crashes down and wipes out everything you might have thought about this enthralling tale. Read it! — David Baldacci
One of the best crime debuts of 2017 - literary Broadchurch meets Top of the Lake — Joseph Knox, author of Sirens
There is something about isolated communities and secrets and lies that just really intrigues me and this is one heck of a thriller with all of those things and more . . . [this thriller] slowly bubbles like a pan on a stove and you think you can guess the moment when the pan lid is just going to explode. But it's only been a little while since the water started to bubble, it'll be ages yet.....then BOOM. I had my eye on that pan lid from the start and I didn't guess what would happen. My heart is still beating like mad days after finishing the book — The Book Trail (via NetGalley)
You can almost feel the searing heat of the Australian drought in this intense, gripping, atmospheric tale. A compulsive read. — Kate Hamer, bestselling author of The Girl in the Red Coat
Put up your tray table, buckle your seatbelt, and sit back: you've found the right book for this flight. Set in the flash-ready tinder of a town going under, The Dry is a cracking good read that will have you hoping the pilot decides to circle the airport before landing. A hit by land or air. — Laura McBride, author of We Are Called to Rise

You will feel the heat, taste the dust and blink into the glare. The Dry is a wonderful crime novel that shines a light into the darkest corner of a sunburnt country

— Michael Robotham, CWA Gold Dagger Winner, bestselling author of Life or Death
Every so often a debut novel arrives that is so tightly woven and compelling it seems the work of a novelist in her prime. That's what Jane Harper has given us with The Dry, a story so true to setting and tone it seemed I fell asleep in Virginia only to wake in Australian heat. It's rare, that sense of transportation, and I loved every minute of it — John Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Redemption Road
Terrific characters, unique and evocative setting, knockout plot construction. This book has it all — John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Fall
Every now and then an Australian crime novel comes along to stop your breath and haunt your dreams...There is about The Dry something mythic and valiant. This a story about heroism, the sins of the past, and the struggle to atone — Sydney Morning Herald
[A] devastating debut...From the ominous opening paragraphs, all the more chilling for their matter-of-factness, Harper ...spins a suspenseful tale of sound and fury as riveting as it is horrific — Publishers Weekly, starred review
A mystery that starts with a sad homecoming quickly turns into a nail-biting thriller about family, friends, and forensic accounting. Debut author Harper plots this novel with laser precision, keeping suspects in play while dropping in flashbacks that offer readers a full understanding of what really happened. The setting adds layers of meaning. Kiewarra is suffering an epic drought, and Luke's suicide could easily be explained by the failure of his farm. The risk of wildfire, especially in a broken community rife with poverty and alcoholism, keeps nerves strung taut... A chilling story set under a blistering sun, this fine debut will keep readers on edge and awake long past bedtime — Kirkus, starred review
A stunner...It's a small-town, big-secrets page-turner with a shocker of an ending... — Booklist, starred review
The Dry is one of the most talked-about debuts of the new year....Harper's story is tightly plotted and moves briskly, the tension as brittle and incendiary as the dried-out crops on the Kiewarra farms. But it is the beautifully evoked landscape and the portrayal of a gloomy outpost on the edge of a desert that are the stars of the show — BookPage
A firecracker debut . . . Journalist Jane Harper proves literary is often mysterious, with her thriller The Dry capturing readers' attention both for its final twist and its depiction of a hostile small Australian town beset by drought — West Australian
It's extremely rare and exciting to read a debut that enthralls from the very first page and then absolutely sticks the landing. Told with heart and guts and an authentic sense of place that simply cannot be faked, The Dry is the debut of the year — C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Off The Grid
A razor-sharp crime yarn dripping in the sights, sounds and smells of the Australian bush...The storytelling is accomplished, with a bald sparseness to the writing that draws you in and characterization that rings resoundingly true...as the action twists and turns, the pace build[s] to a fantastic finale that will leave you breathless — Australian Women's Weekly
A tightly plotted page-turner that kept me reading well into the night...Harper shines a light on the highs and lows of rural life - the loyalty born of collective endurance in adversity, as well as the loneliness and isolation, and the havoc wrought by small-town gossip. She also explores the nature of guilt and regret, and the impact of the past on the present. In this cracker of a book Harper maintains the suspense, with the momentum picking up as it draws to its nerve-wracking conclusion — Australian Financial Review
In this exhilarating debut (which won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript), Falk goes back to a town ravaged by feelings of resentment and distrust that are exacerbated by drought . . . A community psychologically and socially damaged, Kiewarra resembles Henry Lawson's bush. Australian novelists such as Harper, in a small and select company, are exploring disquieting, imaginative territories, far from the littoral or metropolis — Weekend Australian
In Jane Harper's debut The Dry, long-held grudges are thrown in the mix to make for an absolute tinderbox - and a cracking read. Harper has delivered a tense, evocative thriller that paints a stark picture of what desperate times can do to a community. She slowly reveals the deep-worn tensions between characters in the small town, and it's this that makes The Dry such a good read . . . tension crackles . . . It's not surprising that Reese Witherspoon's production company, Pacific Standard, has already snapped up film rights for The Dry. It has some decidedly Australian aspects but Harper's basic point - about the desperate things people will do in desperate times - is universal — Adeleide Advertiser
Atmospheric and riveting, this remarkable debut announces a significant new talent — Morning Star
Harper's debut is a superior thriller in which the oppressive heat seems to act like a mirage on the very truth itself — Metro
This fine crime debut is set in the searing heat of an Aussie outback town that's described so well you'll find yourself taking cold showers to wash off the imagined dust and sweat...Plenty of secrets lurking and waiting to be unearthed in this tense yarn which will have you thirsting for answers and chilled at the atmosphere. The Dry's a winner on all levels — Weekend Sport, Five Stars
I share the universal approval of this book: it is gripping, atmospheric and original — Literary Review

Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve is the author of nine other critically acclaimed and bestselling novels, all published in Abacus paperback.

Barbara Comyns

Barbara Comyns (1909-92) was born in Bidford-on-Avon in Warwickshire. She was an artist and writer, worked in advertising, dealt in old cars and antiques, bred poodles and developed property. She was twice married, and she and her second husband lived in Spain for eighteen years, returning to the UK in the early 1970s. She is the author of eleven books, including Sisters by a River (1947), Our Spoons Came from Woolworths (1950), The Vet's Daughter (1959), The Skin Chairs (1962) and A Touch of Mistletoe (1967). She died in Shropshire in 1992.

Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge was one of the greatest living novelists. Author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won many literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.

Carol Goodman

Carol Goodman's work has appeared in such journals as Literal Latte and Other Voices. After graduation from Vassar Colege, she taught Latin in Austin, Texas. She then received an M.F.A. in fiction. Goodman currently teaches writing and works as a writer-in-residence. Visit her at www.carolgoodman.com

Chris Bunch

Chris Bunch is a Vietnam veteran and served as a patrol commander and combat correspondent for Stars and Stripes. He has written for the underground press, outlaw motorcycle magazines and Rolling Stone.

Christina Jones

The only child of a schoolteacher and a circus clown, Christina Jones has been writing all her life. As well as writing novels, Christina contributes short stories and articles to national magazines and newspapers. Christina lives with her husband Rob and a houseful of rescued cats. Visit her at www.christinajones.co.uk

Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley, "the quintessential political novelist of his time" according to Fortune magazine, is the winner of the distinguished ninth annual Thurber Prize for American Humor. Tom Wolfe has described him as "one of the funniest writers in the English language." Buckley is the author of twelve books, many of them national bestsellers, including Thank You For Smoking, God Is My Broker, No Way To Treat A First Lady, Florence of Arabia, and the memoir Losing Mum and Pup.

E. V. Thompson

E V Thompson was born in London and spent nine years in the Navy before joining Bristol police. He moved to Hong Kong, then Rhodesia and had over 200 stories published before returning to England to become a full-time award-winning writer. He passed away in 2012.

Elaine Dundy

Elaine Dundy was born in New York. As an actress she worked in Paris and London and then became a writer. She has written plays, biographies and novels including the bestselling THE DUD AVOCADO, her first novel.

Emma Donoghue

Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue is an award-winning writer, living in Canada with her family. Her novels are Room, The Sealed Letter, Landing, Life Mask, Slammerkin, Hood and Stir-fry; short-story collections Astray, Three and a Half Deaths (UK ebook), Touchy Subjects, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, and Kissing the Witch; and literary history including Inseparable, We Are Michael Field, and Passions Between Women as well as two anthologies that span the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Frog Music, her new novel, comes out in Spring 2014.

Farahad Zama

Farahad Zama moved to London in 1990 from Vizag in India, where the novel is set. He is a father of two, and he works for an investment bank.

Jenny Diski

Jenny Diski is the author of eight novels and two memoirs: Skating to Antarctica and Stranger on a Train. She lives in Cambridge.

Jesse Kellerman

Jesse Kellerman was born in Los Angeles in 1978. He is the bestselling author of The Brutal Art and three other novels: The Executor, Trouble and Sunstroke. He graduated from Harvard and has won many awards for his writing. He lives in California.

Kate Brady

Kate Brady began writing fiction when her doctoral research became tedious. Now writing in the open, she continues to lead a double-life. Some days she is a choral conductor and professor of music education. Other days, she plays with imaginary people on her computer. She is currently at work on her next novel. Visit her at www.katebrady.net

Lincoln Child

LINCOLN CHILD is the New York Times bestselling author of Terminal Freeze, Deep Storm, and Utopia, as well as co-author with Douglas Preston of numerous international bestsellers in their Pendergast and Gideon Crew series.

Linda Grant

Linda Grant is a novelist and journalist. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage in 2006, and was longlisted for the Man Booker in 2002 for Still Here. The Clothes on Their Backs was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2008 and went on to win the South Bank Show Award.

Linda Howard

Linda Howard is an award-winning NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author. She lives in Alabama with her husband and one golden retriever.

Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas is the author of numerous historical romance novels. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts and competed in the Miss America pageant. After graduating from Wellesley College she published her first novel at twenty-one. Lisa is married and has two children. Visit her at www.lisakleypas.com

Louise Penny

Louise Penny is the Number One New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Gamache series, including Still Life, which won the CWA John Creasey Dagger in 2006. Recipient of virtually every existing award for crime fiction, Louise was also granted The Order of Canada in 2014. She lives in a small village south of Montreal.

Lucy-Anne Holmes

Lucy-Anne Holmes is a writer, actress and campaigner living in Sussex. She is the author of three previous novels - 50 Ways to Find a Lover, The (Im)perfect Girlfriend and Unlike a Virgin - which have been published in ten countries. Lucy is also the founder of the No More Page 3 campaign. To find out more about Lucy follow her on Twitter: @lucyanneholmes.