Audiobook Review: The Dry (Aaron Falk #1) by Jane Harper (published by Macmillan Australia)
This audiobook was a great listen. I loved the Australian narrator – a great change from British or American accents. The Dry is a mystery thriller that focuses on the story of Aaron Falk, a police officer in Melbourne who focuses on money fraud. When his childhood best friend dies in the same rural, farming town where Aaron grew up, he returns and – on the insistence of the dead friend’s father – becomes involved with the investigation as to what happened.
At first, it seems that his friend murdered his family and then committed suicide due to the hardship of the worse drought in a century impacting an already impoverished area, but Aaron soon discovers that there is more to it than meets the eye.
But Aaron’s investigations with the local police officer are not welcome in the town of Kiewarra because Aaron is not welcome. He and his father had been forced to leave twenty years earlier after the death of Aaron’s friend, Ellie, when he was a teenager and the implication of both Falk senior and Falk junior in that murder.
The narrative is told from Aaron’s point of view, slipping into other character’s perspectives for brief glimpses of what had happened in the past. It switches between present day and the past, around the time of Ellie’s death, as Aaron’s probing into Luke’s death becomes an unravelling of Ellie’s at the same time.
I was completely absorbed in this book from the start. I loved the setting in outback Australia, the oppressive heat and worrying threat of a devastating bush fire. Aaron was a straightforward guy who was a bit damaged emotionally but made sensible, considered choices. The characters were all excellently crafted and believable. Most of the characters at some point seemed as if they were the guilty ones, and I enjoyed trying to guess whodunnit.
My only niggle is that the big reveal and subsequent chasing down of the perpetrator happened very quick with little proof / evidence gathering (I thought!) and I also found the writing a bit odd / simplistic in a couple of places, but this might’ve been the narrator putting pauses or inflections where I wouldn’t if I was reading the text.
Definitely recommend this one for people who like mysteries and addictive, un-put-down-able books.
My rating: 4/5
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