REVIEW: THE DRY By Jane Harper

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Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well…

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret… A secret Falk thought long-buried… A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface…

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Sometimes a book comes along (not too often) and I just know from the first sentences that I’m going to like it! This was the case with The Dry, Jane Harper’s debut novel. Try this for yourself and see if you’re not eager to keep reading….

                  It wasn’t as though the farm hadn’t seen death before, and the blowflies didn’t discriminate. To them there was little difference between a carcass and a corpse.

The words are pitch perfect, the writing evocative and the tone just menacing enough that I had to read on to find out about that corpse. Read on I did and I was rewarded with one of the best prologues I’ve read in recent memory! Don’t you love when that happens?

The deaths of the Hadler family were tragic, heartbreaking, and once law enforcement delved deeper past the initial scene, they became suspicious. There were aspects of the crime scene that just didn’t make sense to local police sergeant Greg Raco. Federal investigator Aaron Falk, who was childhood friends with Luke Hadler was also left questioning aspects of the crime scene and at the request of Luke’s parents decides to stay in town a little longer to delve into the deaths with Raco. I really enjoyed these two characters. I thought they were intelligent, insightful and well-written.  I especially found Aaron’s backstory compelling as we discover very early on that he has a long history with the town and with Luke Hadler.

Of the many things I loved about this book, the main mystery surrounding the deaths of the Hadlers was just one part. There was a second mystery which I won’t spoil for you but I will say the author did a fantastic job of incorporating both mysteries into the narrative without flipping perspectives or jumping back and forth between time periods. This was such a refreshing surprise to read a linear narrative structure that allowed you to stay present with the mysteries but still provided just the right amount of backstory at the perfect times in the story. In fact, about halfway through the book, I was enjoying it so much I headed to Goodreads to find out what else Jane Harper had written so I could see check with my library and request the books. Imagine my shock when I discovered this is her DEBUT! All I can say is WOW! I wish every debut was as strong and well-written as this one. That being said, the only critique I have and it’s a small one, is that I felt a slight disconnect with the ending and the resolution of the Hadler’s deaths. I won’t say more but when others read this I’d love to discuss! Hats off to Jane Harper for writing such a wonderful story to kick off 2017! One thing is for sure, I’ll be auto- buying whatever she writes next.

4.5/5 Stars

This book will be published January 10th, 2017 so hit your preorder buttons now or get on your library website and request this!

Many thanks to Netgalley, Flatiron Books, and Jane Harper for my advanced copy. I’m  happy to provide an honest review

FRIDAY FINDS

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Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Jenn at  Booksandabeat which gives us a chance to share recent books we’ve added to our never-ending TBR pile. This week has been a more realistic and productive week for me in that a couple of the books I’ve added I’ve actually already started reading!! This is great news for my out of control TBR.  Here are a few of my top additions….

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To Be Published Dec 6 by Atlantic Monthly Press

Internationally bestselling author Val McDermid is one of our finest crime writers, whose gripping, impeccably plotted novels have garnered millions of readers worldwide. In her latest, Out of Bounds, she delivers a riveting cold case novel featuring detective Karen Pirie.

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from twenty-two years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward. But it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

I just got my Netgalley approval for this yesterday and it’s going to be archived Dec. 6th so I dropped everything and began reading last night and so far I love it. This is my first Val McDermid novel and I’m so excited because she’s one of the authors I promised myself I would read in 2017 so I’m ahead of schedule:) I’ve got A Place of Execution on my TBR for my next read of hers.

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Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life.

Erica conceives a book about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their own shared past. While her interest grows into an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case. But it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past. 

Here’s another author I’ve been dying to try and since I was in need of a new audiobook and saw this was available from my library I grabbed it!  I actually ordered The Ice Child from Amazon as I thought it sounded so good but after chatting with Chelsea from The Suspense is Thrilling Me and Abby from Crime By the Book I decided to start with this book as it’s first in the series and Abby highly encouraged me to start there:) Thanks ladies! To make this read even more fun, my blogging friend Sam from Clues and Reviews and I have decided to buddy read this! I’ll keep you updated on our thoughts but so far I’m enjoying the story and the narration

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To Be Published Jan 10, 2017 by Flatiron Books

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well…

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret… A secret Falk thought long-buried… A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface… 

This was a recent Netgalley grab and it sounds so good! I’m looking forward to reading this author and a plot filled with secrets is right up my alley:)

Has anyone read any of these? Are any of these also on your TBR pile? If not, what’s your top TBR picks this week? I’d love to hear your thoughts and I might as well add some more recommendations to my ever increasing pile:) Happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend!