#cjsreads2017: The Dry (Jane Harper)


As mentioned previously (check out my original post here), I am partaking in monthly buddy reads with two of my favourite Bookstagrammers- Chandra and Jessica.  For our first read, we chose the highly anticipated debut by Jane Harper, The Dry. In honour of the novel’s “book birthday”, I’m coming at you today with our reviews.

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What Chandra Thought….

Aaron Falk has been away from Kiewarra for 20 years, taken away after events resulting in a shared secret with his best bud, Luke. Aaron returns to attend Luke, and his family’s, funeral. All signs point to Luke shooting his wife, eldest child and then turning the gun on himself – leaving behind his youngest, baby Charlotte.

“You lied. Luke like.” Someone knows his secret and Aaron gets roped into looking deeper into these killing, bringing up memories of his past, the secrets laid within and stirring up more revelations that threaten to tear apart this small little town. Emotions are already at a high considering the long time drought that is threatening the livelihood of all.

Mostly we see the story unfold through Aaron’s eyes with some flashbacks through various perspectives. While a fairly somber story, the author really builds each character. I saw everything play out with clarity in my mind as I was reading. And then WHAM – I did not see that ending coming. A left turn here, a twist there – extremely well written, character driven and a book that’s hard to put down. A must read for crime lovers for 2017.

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What Jessica Thought…

Federal Agent Aaron Falk hasn’t been to his hometown of Kiewarra since he and his father were run out of town 20 years ago. When news of his childhood friend, Luke, and his family are murdered he receives a note from Luke’s father saying, “You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral.” Returning home he learns that the incident appears open-and-shut; Luke killed his wife and young son, Billy, before turning the shotgun on himself, leaving baby Charlotte as the only survivor.

Falk gets roped into staying to help look deeper into the case by Luke’s parents. Falk’s involvement and presence aren’t well-received by the small farming community because of a town tragedy that occurred 20 years ago – that everyone thinks Falk was involved in. Tensions run high as Falk and Raco (local sheriff) begin to unearth long buried secrets, and during the worst drought in decades.

The author does an amazing job developing the characters and telling the story. Through the use of flashbacks, to help the reader understand the hatred the town has for Aaron, and the events that led to the death of Luke and his family. There are a few twists throughout the book and there is a constant feeling that something bad is going to happen. The ending…completely out of left field! Was not expecting that end. It was incredible.

I highly recommend this to anyone that loves a good crime thriller. It’ll keep you on your toes throughout and have you wanting to know what really happened all those years ago.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/59377592-jessica

What I Thought…

The plot was meticulously weaved and multi-layered.  Sins of the past, economic strife, and the collapse of a family unit; there were no stones that The Dry left unturned.   There were so many moving pieces and yet I didn’t any of them to be distracting or overwhelming.  Harper does a brilliant job at blending all of them together to create a well-oiled story.  I also found this one was just the right pace; moments were quick and action filled, causing me to flip the pages quickly and other moments were tender and slow building, creating tension.

I was completely blindsided by the ending; I pride myself on being able to figure out the ends of most mysteries, but this one had me fooled.  A must read!

My full review can be found here!

Well, there ya have it!  Overall, we all loved this read and each one of us considered it a MUST READ for 2017!  Add this one to your TBR’s!  

And in honour of January 10th, a couple of my other loved reads are celebrating their book birthday today!

Check out my full reviews here:

Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

4 thoughts on “#cjsreads2017: The Dry (Jane Harper)

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