A working farm will see plenty of death. But for this death the farm has never seen anything like it before.
Billy, six years old – shot.
Karen his mother – shot.
Luke her husband – shot.
Baby Charlotte ? – alive.
It all points towards Luke, a common enough incident, man kills wife and children and then in a fit of remorse kills himself.
Except one child survives.
So who really did kill the Hadler family?
Aaron Falk returns for the Hadler funeral, returning back to a community he left some twenty years previously and has never been back since. Due to events all those years ago his presence now is not going to be welcome at all.
When asked by Luke’s parents to look into the death of their son, something makes him stay and he teams up with the new local sergeant Greg. Between them they come across anomalies which begin to point everything in a completely different direction.
Interspersed throughout the novel is the events which caused Aaron Falk to leave the small country community. Are the events of then a symptom or cause of the present events.
As the drought seems to grip Australia and in particular the town of Kiewarra is the lack of rain making everyone’s judgement is important.
This is a debut novel from an author who clearly has experienced the extreme weather of Australia. As I sit in my home in England, the weather changing throughout the day, and all references to long hot summers and droughts refer back to 1976. This book took me right into the arid landscape, where it was so hot to be unbearable and that no one could possibly be able to survive if the rain didn’t come at some point soon. Is it this which make people accept the death of the Hadler family?
The atmosphere of the book and the well drawn characters make for a book which I could not put down. There is something chilling about the intense heat and the dry landscape that makes this a story that has to be read. It will certainly be one of the books I will remember of 2017.
The Dry is out now.
It seems that we are going to see more of Aaron Falk in the next novel out on kindle in September 2017 and in printed versions 2018.