After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead. Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.
If you love small-town mysteries and a great setting, The Dry could be your next favorite read. There has been a lot of talk about this one for quite a while and although it is not my favorite book ever, I can definitely see the appeal. It is magnetic and captivating, smart and atmospheric.
Not since Tall Oaks I had read such a wonderful and creepy prologue. Once you finish those lines, you will need to keep reading, I can assure you that. As for the plot, there are two storylines: the present mystery, and the past incident involving Falk’s best friend Ellie Deacon. But who really killed the Hadler family? Was it the husband, Luke, as everyone seems to think? Is Falk’s friend capable of something so horrible? And could it be related to Ellie’s mysterious death? Or was it someone else, someone who hated Luke and his family?
While the Hadlers’ death is undoubtedly the biggest storyline in this book, I was equally intrigued by Ellie’s death and I ended up caring more about that “ending” than the main one. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both storylines, but Ellie’s story had the tragic touch I always seem to love in books. I also felt like The Dry would make a terrific film and was delighted to know that Reese Witherspoon’s company is already developing it.
I don’t want to say anything that might be considered a spoiler, but this is a classic mystery without crazy twists, so fans of realism will surely appreciate that. There are only a handful suspects and two mysteries, so you can play detective and try to find out what really happened.
To be honest, I would’ve liked to connect more with the characters (I didn’t really care for Falk), but I admit I couldn’t stop reading this book. There was something about it… It is special. The writing was excellent and the story never lost its interest.
Little Brown, 2017