Most of the Northern Hemisphere is shutting down for the summer. It's the end of the school year, the beginning of vacation season and most of the dreams people are dreaming include sand, waves and drinks with little umbrellas. But here at Coffee Light, we're not like most of the world. We're back from our way too-long hiatus with one of the best (mystery) novels I've read in a long time. It's not cozy in any way and there are no drinks with little umbrellas.
Jane Harper's debut novel, The Dry, takes place in a small town in Australia, that has suffered a devastating drought. People's tempers are at the edge and when Luke Hadler and his family are found murdered on their farm, the assumption is that Luke had come to the edge and crossed over it. But like so much in Kiewarra, things are not what they seem.
Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk left Kiewarra twenty years past, but has returned at the request of Luke Hadler's father to look into the murders. Though Falk's specialty is financial misdoings, he returns and begins to not only investigate what happened to his closest boyhood friend and his family, but other secrets of the town.
The Dry is dark, somber, sad and captivating. Aaron Falk takes his place in my pantheon of favorite detectives, flawed and human and tremendously engaging. For those of us waiting for his next appearance, Force of Nature is scheduled for publication in Australia -- may need to schedule a trip there -- in September.
For mystery fans who like their stories noir The Dry is a definite must read. Grab an iced coffee and settle down on a shaded porch. You're in for a great read.
I'm not sure what my schedule will be, but I guarantee you that I'll be back (more than once) this summer. Happy reading!