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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

"The Dry" by Jane Harper

This is a murder mystery set in a drought-ridden small town in the back of beyond in Australia. Luke Hadler, his wife Karen and six year old Billy had been found head, gunned down. The evidence suggests that Luke, a farmer beset by debt, killed Karen and Billy (but not 13 month old baby Charlotte) before driving away and committing suicide.

Aaron Falk takes leave from his job with the finance police to attend the funeral of childhood friend Luke in the town from which he was chased twenty years ago following the death of a teenage girlfriend; he and Luke had both lied about their alibis. Was this crime anything to do with what happened twenty years ago? Falk and local bobby Raco start an unofficial investigation.

And the lack of water pervades everything.

This was a classic murder mystery with some delightful misdirection but clues were provided in time for the reader to work it out.

Some great phrases:

  • "If Luke had a dollar, he'd spend two to make sure it was gone." (p 33)
  • "call me liberated, but I've got a key to my own house." (p 52)
  • "They'll make a gymnastics team, bending over backwards to prove their investigation was sound." (p 59)
Aaron Falk reappears in Force of Nature.

The Dry won the

This book won the Gold Dagger from the Crime Writers' Association in  2017. Other winners include:
January 2018; 400 pages

You can tell it's good when you catch yourself reading it when you should be doing other things.

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