Librarians’ Top June Read

Librarians from our subscribing libraries have once again voted for their favourite novel from our June issue.

Last month’s favourite was The Dry by Jane Harper! Read gr reader Rufus Greene’s thoughts on the book below.

And congratulations to Lidia from D’Houet Library Genazzano FCJ College who won this month’s draw to receive two recent releases!

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A few days ago I was scanning the headlines in the overseas newspapers on the internet when a sentence in the London Evening Standard caught my eye: ‘Jane Harper creates an atmosphere of simmering tension right from the off.’

Investigating further, I learned that Jane Harper is an Australian author whose recently published book has won many awards.

Accessing the local council library catalogue, I found that there were 70 copies of the novel in the system, all out on loan, and 84 eager citizens waiting for those 70 to hurry up and finish reading. Fortuitous circumstances enabled me to acquire a copy, and I devoured it within days.

Aaron Falk, a detective in the Australian Federal Police, receives a note from the father of Luke Hadler: ‘Luke lied … You lied … Be at the funeral.’ Intriguing, I thought, I bet he goes.

He did. Aaron drives from Melbourne to the small country town of Kiewarra – a fictitious place, I suspect, as I couldn’t find it on a map of Australia. Luke, a childhood friend of Aaron, is thought to have killed his wife, his son and then himself. The reasons: depression and money problems caused by the continuing drought.

Luke’s parents, who’d treated Aaron as a member of their family when he lived in Kiewarra, are not convinced that their son is guilty. They ask Aaron to investigate. Greg, the local police sergeant, is also doubtful.

Secrets and underlying hatreds are unearthed, violence erupts and possessions are destroyed. Some alibis are substantiated and some prove to be false. Gossip and rumour in a country town can lead to ostracism, home invasion and bloodshed, but a fabricated alibi doesn’t necessarily mean that the lie is being told to cover up a murder.

Jane Harper has written a clever and plot-driven crime novel set against the harsh Australian landscape and unrelenting drought.

Rufus Green, Brisbane Qld

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