I am so glad that The Dry is my first book review of 2017. I was invited to take part in the blog tour a few months ago, and have been waiting with anticipation ever since! After hearing so much hype about the book from a friend of mine, I eagerly awaited its delivery to see if the hype surrounding Jane Harper's debut novel was worth it, and let me tell you - it was. Reading The Dry has been the highlight of my January, and here's why! 

Aaron and Luke were childhood best friends, that was until Aaron was accused of committing a serious crime; though Luke offered an alibi more than one person knew that he was lying, and Aaron and his father were run out of town with little intention of returning.

That is until now. The farm town is suffering from a harsh drought and everyone is feeling the pressure including now Federal Agent Aaron Faulk, who has reluctantly returned home after twenty years for the funeral of his best friend.

The reports say that Luke committed suicide after killing his wife and child, but his parents do not believe this and enlist the help of Aaron to find answers, only by doing this, he starts to uncover more than he hoped for. A lot more.

Jane Harper has plotted her debut novel with such precision, that it is near impossible to guess the final outcome. Suspects are kept in play until the very end, and the addition of flashbacks offers a full explanation of what really happened. Every time I thought I had sussed the 'whodunit' I was thrown back into another trail of mystery. 

Though it was a little slow in places, and I found myself forcing the pages over with a heavy sigh, it was definitely worth it in the end. 

I love the language that Jane uses throughout the novel, her descriptions not only help bring her story to life but make you feel as though you are there with the characters living out the story with them. I was addicted to the language from the very first line to very last.

"It wasn't as though the farm hadn't seen death before, and the blowflies didn't discriminate. To them, there was little difference between a carcass and a corpse."

I found that the slightly slower paced chapters added to the overall experience of the novel; they reflected the lethargy of the townspeople due to the drought, and extream heat.

Interesting and enigmatic characters keep you guessing the whole way through. Harper has successfully highlighted the tensions of small-town life - gossip spreads faster than the wildfires.

At points, the characters felt a little two-dimensional and stereotypical, however, this didn't take too much away from the plot or quality of the novel. Two-dimensional characters usually annoy the hell out of me, but as I was already gripped by the prose, I chose to push past this fact, which paid off when their personalities started to shine through. 

Overall, this has been an exciting read and I am very glad that I read it. Reese Witherspoon has recently acquired the film rights to this book, so you should definitely read it before it gets hyped up in the media! 

I am hoping that The Dry will not be the last we hear of Jane Harper, her enigmatic prose and style is not something one comes across too often, and when we do, it's hard to let go!

I would recommend this book to all fans of crime, especially those that have read and loved Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, and Find her.

3.5/5 Stars

You can buy The Dry at all places that sell books, including Amazon.

Published on January 12 2017   ||  RRP £12.99   || Australian Best Seller   || 339 pages (Hardback edt)

*Please note: A copy of the book was supplied for free, in return for a non-bias review. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

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