Book 20 on my “March to 100 for 2019″—Jane Harper: The Dry—A man returns to the town he escaped years earlier and tries to solve a heinous crime.
Aaron Falk, a federal police officer who investigates financial crimes in Melbourne, returns to his rural hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend. Luke committed suicide after murdering his wife and young son, but left an infant alive in the middle of the horrific crime scene. The leading theory is that the relentless drought that is hammering the farms broke Luke financially to the point he snapped.
Already unsettled by the heinous crime, Aaron intends to leave as quickly as possible, with good reason because many of the townspeople suspect his involvement in the murder of a girl during his high school days. Luke Hadler was his alibi for that crime, something that many people never accepted. Aaron would never even have returned for the funeral except for the eight word note he received from Luke’s father—Luke lied. You lied. Be at the funeral.
Though Gerry Hadler doubts what happened two decades earlier, he also doesn’t believe his son murdered his family and committed suicide. So he blackmails Aaron to stay in town, despite the hostility from its citizens, and unofficially investigate the crime.
Through it all, Aaron struggles with his own doubts about his old friend. After all, he knows one thing for sure—Luke did lie. Aaron wasn’t with Luke when Ellie Deacon disappeared two decades earlier. Did his friend lie to protect Aaron or did he create an alibi for himself since that meant the boys lied for each other.
Aaron sets out to solve two mysteries with the help of local police sergeant—what happened to Luke and his family in the present day and does it have anything to do with the death of Ellie long ago.
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