This was a very quick read. In fact, it took me two days only, reading into the early hours of the morning. I could not put it down. It was engrossing and a compelling whodunit crime mystery / thriller and it drew me in right from the very first chapter. Was is a literary masterpiece? No. Did it create a lot of discussion at Book Club? Not really as there is no real depth and substance to the novel apart from it being a great mystery/ whodunit but it was enjoyed by everyone as it was a bit of light relief! Is it unforgettable? Probably not!
The Dry is a story of 2 mysteries. The first set in the present where we meet Aaron Falk returning to his hometown to attend his friend Luke’s funeral—his friend who apparently has committed suicide after murdering his wife and their young son, Billy, but leaving his young daughter alive. The second mystery is set in the past and deals with the killing of Luke and Aaron’s friend Elle, 17 years before, or was her death suicide too?
You sense Falk’s longing to leave his home town after the funeral and get back to his city life and leave behind this village that has haunting memories for him. He is not well received back home and from the outset you know that he is an outcast who has run away from a deep dark past secret. But Luke’s curiosity and suspicions of the brutal murder of his friend’s family and Luke’s own suicide does not lie true with him. He is unable to leave and feels compelled to stay and investigate the mystery that enshrouds the drought stricken village of Kiewarra. What is this 20 year secret that Aaron is hiding?
‘You lied. Luke lied.’
Luke knows that by trying to resolve the current mystery alongside the only person willing to listen to him, Detective Raco, he is going to resurrect unpleasant memories of his past, re-opening revelations that threaten to tear apart this small little town, once again. Tensions and emotions are high and the heat even higher!
Most of her main characters, Aaron Falk in particular, are well-developed despite their clichéd dialogue, and her description of the barren landscape, the dry river bed and the heat in particular, bring the book to life and tie up well with the end!
The last third of the novel was a bit of a letdown as is begins to slow down and becomes a little dry – pardon the pun! Personally I was expecting a hugely exciting denouement but it was a bit of a disppointment and resolved very quickly, as if Ms Harper was unsure how to bring the novel to a satisfactory conclusion. It was rather anti-climatic! I have to admit that I guessed the culprit a few chapters before the end but we were not unanimously in agreement with the demise of Elle! Could soemthing else have happend to her?? I can’t say too much or it will spoil the story for you!
We didn’t love it – it didn’t change our lives – but this was a fun read and gave us more time in Book club to eat drink and talk about other issues!!
I am being very generous by giving the book but I’m not sure that everyone feels the same! Please leave a comments with your thoughts on this novel. Thank you!