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The Dry
Cover of The Dry
The Dry
A Novel

Instant New York Times bestseller

"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 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.

Instant New York Times bestseller

"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 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.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 11, 2016
    At the start of Australian author Harper’s devastating debut, Melbourne-based federal agent Aaron Falk returns to his drought-stricken hometown, Kiewarra, for three funerals—those of popular school aid Karen Hadler; her six-year-old son, Billy; and her husband, Luke, Aaron’s childhood best friend. Luke apparently murdered Karen and Billy before turning the shotgun on himself. Falk knows better than anyone that his charismatic mate may have had a darker side—two decades earlier as teens they gave each other bogus alibis for the afternoon of high school crush Ellie Deacon’s suspicious death by drowning. When Luke’s brokenhearted parents beg Falk to investigate, he can’t refuse. But as Falk begins digging with the help of recently arrived Sgt. Greg Raco, including looking into a possible connection to the earlier tragedy, he swiftly discovers that a badge may not protect him from a town driven to the brink. From the ominous opening paragraphs, all the more chilling for their matter-of-factness, Harper, a journalist who writes for Melbourne’s Herald Sun, spins a suspenseful tale of sound and fury as riveting as it is horrific. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House.

  • AudioFile Magazine Debut author Jane Harper's fine prose and narrator Steven Shanahan's expert delivery combine for a transcendent Australian noir experience. Against the backdrop of a devastating two-year drought, federal agent Aaron Falk returns to his hometown for the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke Hadler. Luke has apparently killed his family and then himself, but Falk's own investigation starts to unravel the murder-suicide theory. From the opening sentence of this compelling mystery, Shanahan's accent and speech patterns immerse listeners in the Australian countryside. He also consistently sprinkles in little touches--a stifled yawn, a burp after a swig of beer, a nasally voice for a man with a broken nose--that breathe vivid life into the story and characters. A.N. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
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The Dry
A Novel
Jane Harper
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