"You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral." Federal Agent Aaron Falk is summoned home with these words after his best friend Luke dies in a heartbreaking murder-suicide, turning the gun on himself after killing his wife and 6-year-old son. Falk obeys—but he can't believe his best friend could have done such a thing, and so he starts digging, dragging long-buried secrets back to the surface. The setting is the drought-ravaged Australian Outback, and the brittleness and heat are almost palpable. Imagine an Australian Tana French, and you've got this stellar debut about right. (Psst—we're talking with the author in the MMD Book Club this summer.) Publication date: January 10.More info →
From the Summer Reading Guide. Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns in Harper’s standalone follow-up to her bestselling debut The Dry, with a premise reminiscent of Picnic at Hanging Rock. Alice Russell is Falk’s insider source on a big money-laundering case he’s been working. When Alice disappears during a wilderness expedition with some of the targets of the probe, Falk suspects foul play and rushes to aid in the search. Falk and his teammate soon discover Alice and her respective team members each kept deadly secrets and bore old grudges. If he is to untangle the mystery, he must first untangle the knotted relationships. The setting, Australia's brooding (and fictional) Giralang Ranges, is a character in itself in this intricately-plotted procedural.More info →
From the publisher: "Two brothers meet in the remote Australian outback when the third brother is found dead, in this stunning new standalone novel from Jane Harper. Brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback. Their third brother, Cameron, lies dead at their feet. In an isolated belt of Australia, their homes a three-hour drive apart, the brothers were one another's nearest neighbors. While they grieve Cameron's loss, suspicion starts to take hold. Because if someone forced Cameron to his death, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects."More info →
I’ve long said that Harper’s first novel The Dry is her best work, but now I might have a new favorite. In her latest, Harper returns to the themes that worked so well in her debut: a man returns to his tiny hometown to find that neither the community nor his family have forgotten or forgiven FROM his involvement in a past tragedy—and that’s before a fresh crime brings painful memories raging back. Much of the story is set in seaside caves that the local teens enjoy exploring—but flood when the tide comes in. A deliciously creepy (and sometimes claustrophobic) tale of buried secrets, family tensions, and life after tragedy.