"When Aaron Falk was eleven he'd seen Mal Deacon turn his own flock into a staggering, bleeding mess using shearing clippers and a brutal hand."
You know when people rave about a thriller as being "unputdownable" and you roll your eyes? Well prepare to eye roll because these are my exact sentiments where The Dry is concerned. Here is an Australian country town setting that is very much in the Wake in Fright mode; a hidden seething mess of danger, compounded by the financial concerns of modern farming.
Aaron Falk has been away from town for a very long time due to a life changing event which still has repercussions today. The death of his best friend from childhood, Luke Hadler, Luke's wife and child is initially thought to be a murder-suicide, a consequence of the two years of drought playing havoc with the farmer's livelihood. Luke's parents aren't so sure about that narrative and call in Aaron, who just happens to be a federal policeman, to return home and unearth the facts.
His journey for the truth had me awake through the early hours; desperate to understand what really happened in this horrific instance and the explanation about the earlier, mystery that is Aaron's formative experience. This is a fabulously written novel, it has great pace and mood and I highly recommend you get yourself a copy. It is worth the sleep you will undoubtedly lose.
5 out of 5 secrets buried, look different in the light of day.