“The Dry” by Jane Harper

BethRecommended by Beth

The DryIn the midst of severe drought and punishing heat, the citizens of Kiewarra, Australia are short tempered until a double murder/suicide throws the small community against the ropes. Agent Aaron Falk, returning to his hometown for the funeral of his former best friend Luke – who allegedly shot his wife and son before turning his rifle on himself. Agent Falk is flooded with memories of his past and harassed by those townfolk who remember him and his suspected involvement in the death of a local girl twenty years earlier.

Against his better judgment, Falk agrees to stick around and help out the local police with the investigation. Everything seems to point to Luke being the murderer. Except, the shell casings from the gun don’t match the shells Luke had at his home. And on further examination, some alibis and testimonies don’t hold up. The deeper Falk digs, the more tangled the mystery becomes, and the more blatant the aggression towards Falk becomes. This small town is full of big secrets, and some people are desperate to keep them.

I enjoyed this police procedural mystery a lot; the gradual unraveling of the community in the face of murder and suspicion kept the tension high and the end was truly a surprise. Keep a glass of water handy, the description of the drought and heat will make you thirsty!

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