Nominated by:

State Library of South Australia, Adelaide

National Library of Australia, Canberra

Publisher of nominated edition:

Pan Macmillan Australia

The Dry

Jane Harper    

Who really killed the Hadler family?

It hasn’t rained in Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the farming community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are discovered shot to death on their property. Everyone assumes Luke Hadler committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son.

Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to his hometown for the funerals and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and his childhood friend Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth…

About the author

Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year and the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne. Her next novel, Force of Nature will be released in October 2017.

(from publisher)

Librarians’ comments

Some might call this a crime novel, set in a small drought-affected country town in rural Australia. But it becomes more than that; you can feel the crackle and the heat and the dust as you read it. The townspeople and surrounding farmers and land holders are well fleshed out, and all have their faults and their dramas and their pettiness. The author draws on desperation, on sins of the past, and the struggle to atone, quite beautifully. I couldn’t put the book down, (well I did, for one night, then finished it the next).

Winner of the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript, Jane Harper’s debut novel is a highly acclaimed work which has achieved international recognition. Set in the small town farming community of Kiewarra, The Dry reveals the story of the Hadler family and the devastating murder-suicide which took their lives. Childhood friend of the deceased Luke Hadler, and previous Kiewarra resident, Aaron Falk, returns to the town to investigate the tragedy but as he delves deeper into the case he begins to doubt the murder-suicide charge. Leading crime writers including David Baldacci have praised this book as exceptional. The Dry was commended for the FAW Christina Stead Award 2017 and was the winner of the 2017 Indie Books awards for Debut Fiction.

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