Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review: The Dry (Aaron Falk, #1) by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper
Release date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 326
Reading level: Adult
Genre: Mystery
Source: Gift
Series: Book 1
Links: Author Goodreads Amazon

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.


I'm torn between 4/4.5 stars because I did genuinely enjoy this one. I've been flying through thrillers lately and this one had some of the best reviews I'd seen. Right off the bat, one of the most unique aspects of THE DRY was simply the fact that it was from the male perspective. I realized I have not read many thrillers with a male main character in awhile. I liked it! Aaron Falk lives in Queensland, Australia and works as a federal agent, having left his small town out in the country many years ago. A funeral with mysterious circumstances brings him back and Aaron quickly becomes caught up in the action. Not only because the victim is his childhood best friend, but because of his own secrets that are starting to come to light.

Now, I understand if that description makes you hesitate a bit. There are quite a number of mystery novels (SHARP OBJECTS and ALL THE MISSING GIRLS immediately come to mind) in which the main character returns to their hometown and become caught up in the current situation all while battling their past. And yet, THE DRY felt different. Perhaps it was the setting that stood out. A small town in Australia facing the worst drought in years. The secondary characters are all very well-developed and it was neat to see the intersection between the new residents that were unfamiliar with Aaron's past and the old residents who were not too welcoming.

Aaron becomes involved in the case at the request of the victim's parents. It was a little strange how easily Aaron was able to "unofficially" get involved even if he was a federal agent, but maybe that's just how things work in the middle of nowhere Australia! He assists a local police officer in gathering clues and determining what actually happened. I liked seeing how each new twist was revealed and I have to say I was definitely surprised by the ending. Aaron faced quite a few challenges and lost the trust of almost every character at one point, but he persevered. I liked Aaron's toughness and how diligent he was in focusing on solving the murder even while his past was coming back to haunt him. THE DRY did have quite a few flashbacks as this was a sort of "two mysteries in one".

Overall, I enjoyed THE DRY. It was twisty and suspenseful and a start to a series I am definitely interested in continuing. My only faults were that some aspects of the plot seemed a bit unbelievable and there were a few overused mystery tropes.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments, so feel free to leave your thoughts :)