The Dry

The Dry

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:

"A breathless page-turner, driven by the many revelations Ms. Harper dreams up…You'll love [her] sleight of hand…A secret on every page." --The New York Times

"One of the most stunning debuts I've ever read… Every word is near perfect. " --David Baldacci

A small town hides big secrets in The Dry , an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

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.

Publisher: New York :, Flatiron Books,, 2017
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9781250105608
Characteristics: 328 pages ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

SPL_Brittany May 19, 2017

For me this novel read like a pot that started as a simmer that little by little without knowing slowly increased its temperature to a full boil. Harper starts slow - for me almost painfully slow, and deftly builds the story to the point where you are compelled and engrossed to figure out who com... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 14, 2019

I really enjoyed this story. As a lover of thriller-mysteries, I thought the story was compelling and the pacing worked (every moment in the book felt very purposeful). It was definitely a page turner for me. Looking forward future works from this author.

Dec 19, 2018

Investigator Aaron Falk returns to a small Australian town where he once lived for the funeral of his former best friend. When the friend’s parents entreat him to stay on and look into what is being called a murder-suicide, he reluctantly faces his own conflicted feelings about the town and another death 20 years in the past. Very atmospheric mystery, a debut for this author. Pretty amazing writing. Another Aaron Falk mystery available now with another coming in February 2019. Always great finding a new series to follow.

Dec 17, 2018

The description of the Australian outback created a vivid backdrop that most readers will recognize as any small-town with its hierarchy of status, income and the prejudices and discrimination that come with it. The main character shows great strength by continuing to investigate despite his initial confusion and threats from residents he imagined were his friends. A great setting for a mystery read with well-developed characters. Good group discussion book.

The Dry is Jane Harper’s debut novel, set in a remote rural town in Australia. Immediately the story has an atmosphere radiating heat, tension and small-town secrets. It introduces Federal Agent Aaron Falk who was run out of town as a teen, returning to attend the funeral of his estranged best friend who’s killed his wife and son in a murder-suicide. I found myself engrossed in the town’s colourful residents, their past and their current tensions as they struggle in the grip of a severe drought that’s bringing their lives to the brink of ruin. Rich in Australian culture and interesting characters, it was hard to put the book down and the ending was both a surprise and a satisfying resolution. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery or is into Liane Moriarty’s novels. (Submitted by Pippa)

Nov 20, 2018

Jane Harper doesn’t mess around in the debut mystery of hers. She will convince you of any number of possibilities concerning the Hadlers and Ellie. It’s a pleasure trying to suss out the mystery and engage with the characters. And Harper writes some great characters, to include the setting. That viable initial sketch takes on greater nuance and meaning as you wonder just who these people both were and are.

Recommended for readers of Mysteries and Thrillers, especially not-so-gritty ones. Readers of Westerns. For those who like to read authors of other countries or stories set in other countries.

If I were to pair this with a film: The Dressmaker (2015) w/ Kate Winslet.

Oct 20, 2018

The book is well written and drew me in, however the solution to the puzzle did not work for me.

ArapahoeSarahD Oct 09, 2018

I am rarely so completely enthralled in a story. The tale of Agent Falk is one I will not soon forget. As soon as I finished this book, I wished for another story by Jane Harper only to realize she'd just released "Force of Nature". Both are must reads!!!

Aug 25, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully crafted murder mystery set in a small Australian town. The author doesn't miss a beat with the creation of this story. It's hard to believe this is a first novel. I cannot wait to read her next book. Do not miss The Dry.

Aug 13, 2018

good mystery.. I really enjoyed this book and the follow up. Forces of Nature. I recommend both.

Aug 10, 2018

The atmosphere of the area is the dust bowl in 1930's America. The town is peopled by worn out people on the brink. I have always considered the Outback of Australia as the last Wild West type frontier, still firmly stuck in the last century and peopled by ghosts of the bad old days. This author will go far if this is her debut novel-great book.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Apr 01, 2017

Violet_Cheetah_131 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top