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‘The Dry’ by Jane Harper

Welcome to Day one of ‘The Dry’ blog tour, really exciting to be one of the first day hosts. The Dry is a debut crime novel based in Australia during the worst drought for a century, when Aaron Falk comes back to the small town for his old school best friends funeral. Luke Hadler was found shot dead along with his wife and son, looking suspiciously like a suicide, but not all are convinced. Falk is tasked with looking into the death of his friend, reconnecting with some of his old school friends and opening up questions about the death of his old school romance that happened 20 years previous. This is Jane Harper’s debut novel, and I have to say it is rather impressive for such. I was hooked within the first 20 pages and then spent the first night reading this, curled up in bed trying to get through as much. It had me hooked and yet oddly afraid that parts seemed so real, to the point it felt it was happening in front of me. Many of the characters were so vivid, you began to actually fear them, while you loved others.

However, about half way through I did find that the pace of the story slowed down quite considerably, not picking up again for about 100 pages. And again, the last40 pages- minus the last chapter- I felt dragged and were quite slow again. Although I do see how they were necessary to wrap up the story.

Following two murders in this novel, I loved the distant sections between past and present, as well as seeing the two cases over lap. I’ve read things similar where the solution to one makes the other obvious, but I’m pleased to say that this one did not! Both had very shocking conclusions to them, that left me in a little matter of shock- especially the death 20 years ago. I would actually be very interested in reading more about that particular one.

One thing about this novel that is still bugging me is the mystery of Gretchen and her son. I wont go into it too much so as not to spoil it, but the question of the fathers identity is brought up in several places along the novel, with a few options being brought up, however this was never fully resolved as to who it was. Now I know some people like to be able to work out their own opinion but for me, I would of liked a clear cut answer.

I was sent this novel by ‘Little, Brown’-thank you very much!!-  in order to be part of the blog tour in preparation for the publication of ‘The Dry’ that is coming out on 12th of January. In the end I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars, however I would definitely recommend it for any crime fans out there that want a quick different read; as well as those new to crime as it is very easy to follow.

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