QBD Book of the Month: Jane Harper’s The Dry

QBD's June Book of the Month is the fabulous literary debut, The Dry by Jane Harper.

the-dry-smaller-versionCountry towns keep their secrets close.  When the struggles of rural life are made worse by a long harsh drought, something has to give.
A young farmer has murdered his wife and son, then taken his truck into the dry scrub and shot himself. At the family's funeral emotions are high. The rage of the townsfolk is made worse by the arrival of a Melbourne policeman, Aaron Falk, who had left the town many years before under a cloud. He had come to say farewell to his childhood friend only to find that things may not be as clear cut as they seem. The killer's mother is sure there has been a mistake, so Aaron takes a few days leave to look into the initial police investigation. The evidence doesn't add up and a few locals make sure his visit is not a pleasant one.
When the local police sergeant starts asking questions too, a past mystery and the  bloody murder suicide lead to a story that twists and turns through past hatreds, local secrets and closets full of skeletons.
Teenage love and betrayal, lies and secrets uncovered, small-town hatreds and old fashioned police work had me guessing to the end. For a first-time novelist Jane Harper has written an assured and masterful murder mystery.
- David, QBD Woden