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image of person or book cover 470902978410786559.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon The Dry single work   novel   detective  
Is part of Aaron Falk Jane Harper , 2016 series - author (number 1 in series)
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 The Dry
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description


'Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well ...

'When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

'And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds are reopened. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret ... A secret Falk thought long-buried ... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface ...' (Publication summary)


form y separately published work icon The Dry Harry Cripps , ( dir. Robert Connolly ) Australia : Made Up Stories , 2021 13199545 2021 single work film/TV crime

'When Aaron Falk returns to his drought ravaged town in Victoria to attend his best mate’s funeral, he finds himself drawn into a web of lies and murder, which forces him to confront the guilty secrets of his own past. Based on the novel of the same name, written by Jane Harper.'

Source: Screen Australia funding approvals.


  • Reports in late 2015 indicated that film rights to the then-unpublished novel had been bought by the film company run by Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. The film was funded by Screen Australia for development by Papandrea's production company in August 2017.

  • Dedication: To my parents, Mike and Helen, who always read to me.
  • Number 3 on the Better Reading's 2001 Top 100

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Macmillan Australia , 2016 .
      image of person or book cover 470902978410786559.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 342p.
      • Published 31 May 2016
      ISBN: 9781743548059
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Little, Brown ,
      2017 .
      image of person or book cover 5644403590748428040.jpg
      This image has been sourced from Booktopia
      Extent: 352p.
      • Published January 12 2017
      ISBN: 9781408708170
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      United States of America (USA),
      Flatiron Books ,
      2017 .
      image of person or book cover 3928991894131395949.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 328p.
      • Published 10 January 2017
      ISBN: 9781250105608
Language: German
    • Hamburg,
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Rowohlt ,
      2016 .
      image of person or book cover 8879514636013781364.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      ISBN: 9783499290268

Other Formats

  • Large print.
  • Dyslexic edition.
  • Sound recording.
  • Sound recording (German)

Works about this Work

Monstrous Wounds : Crime, Environmental Catastrophe and Domestic Abuse in Jane Harper’s The Dry Sue Turnbull , 2023 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , 2 vol. 47 no. 2023; (p. 309-321)

'Within the long history of Australian crime fiction, Jane Harper’s The Dry marks a significant moment in the emergence of what has been characterised as “outback” or “rural” noir. With its focus on the small regional community of Kiewarra, Harper’s narrative addresses a number of issues that impact rural communities, including climate change, domestic abuse and gambling. Weaving together a story set in the past and a story set in the present, Harper offers a compelling portrait of the moral and social impact of these issues on rural communities in ways that challenge simplistic assumptions about the limitations of genre fiction to engender empathy. While some have argued that only literary fiction can evoke the kind of empathy that enhances our experiences of the world, this article suggests this is not the case and that The Dry is a powerful and moving portrayal speaking to the effects of environmental catastrophe and domestic abuse within a genre that may appeal to a broad and receptive audience.' (Publication abstract)

Seeking Greener Pages : An Analysis of Reader Response to Australian Eco- Crime Fiction Rachel Fetherston , Emily Potter , Kelly Miller , 2023 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , May no. 71 2023;
'IN THEIR WORK ON HOW NARRATIVE MAY HELP AUDIENCES THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT other species, Wojciech Malecki et al. refer to the ‘narrative turn’ within academia and its proliferation of research that addresses how ‘moral intuitions often yield to narrative persuasion’ (2). In other words, many scholars are currently asking whether narratives can persuade readers to reflect on and perhaps reconsider their own moral beliefs. The research presented in this paper follows a similar trajectory in its discussion of the results and possible implications of a reader response study that investigated how Australian readers respond to works of Australian eco-crime fiction that portray non-humans and global ecological issues such as climate change in a local Australian context. Resonant with ‘narrative persuasion’—the idea amongst social scientists that ‘a narrative is a catalyst for perspective change’ (Hamby et al. 114)—we consider the capacity of such texts to possibly engage readers with the plight of non-humans in Australia under the impacts of climate change.' (Introduction)
Jane Harper, Bestselling Author of The Dry, on Exiles, Writing in a Pandemic and the Rural Noir Renaissance Nicola Heath , 2022 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , November 2022;

'In Exiles, bestselling author Jane Harper's latest novel, detective Aaron Falk (first introduced to readers in 2016's The Dry) travels to South Australia's wine country where he engages in a little post-COVID reflection over a glass or two of red.'  (Introduction)

‘Little Difference between a Carcass and a Corpse’ : Ecological Crises, the Nonhuman and Settler-Colonial Culpability in Australian Crime Fiction Rachel Fetherston , 2021 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 21 no. 2 2021;

'In 1997, Stephen Knight described Australian crime fiction as a genre that is ‘thriving but unnoticed’ (Continent of Mystery 1). While in recent years Australian crime fiction has gained more attention amongst both academics and reviewers, it is still missing from an area of study in which I believe it demands more notice—that is, ecocritical discussions of Australian fiction. In this paper, I investigate the idea of Australian crime fiction as a largely underexplored representation of the modern environmental crisis, discussing how modern Australian crime fiction often portrays the troubling relationship between human violence and the settler-colonial decimation of Australia’s natural environments and nonhuman animals. Such a relationship indirectly alludes to the impact of a changing climate on Australian communities and ecosystems and suggests that popular genre fiction can contribute in profound ways to broader environmental considerations. With this ecocritical framework in mind, this paper analyses the representation of drought, bushfire and the nonhuman in Jane Harper’s The Dry (2016) and Chris Hammer’s Scrublands (2018), and what such texts reveal to readers about the criminal nature of anthropogenic climate change and the settler-colonial destruction of Australian habitats.'  (Publication abstract)

Favourites for 2018 Jennifer Bryce , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: SF Commentary , November no. 100 2019; (p. 47-54)

— Review of First Person Richard Flanagan , 2017 single work novel ; The Dry Jane Harper , 2016 single work novel ; Danger Music Ed Ayres , 2017 single work autobiography
Write Words Win Chelsea Clark , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 27 May 2016; (p. 36)

— Review of The Dry Jane Harper , 2016 single work novel
'Books When Jane Harper put her debut novel up for an award she hoped for feedback, but she won, and scored a film deal. First-time authors often talk about the “journey” of writing their debut novel. Frequently it involves a love of story-­telling as a child, endless journal writing, pages and pages of short stories, first drafts and the seemingly never-ending struggle of getting ­noticed by a publisher.None of that is the experience of Jane Harper, whose first novel, The Dry, is ­released on Wednesday.'
Small-Town Secrets Amanda Ellis , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 7 June 2016; (p. 6)

— Review of The Dry Jane Harper , 2016 single work novel ; Out of the Ice Ann Turner , 2016 single work novel
Unpleasantville Chris Flynn , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 382 2016; (p. 51)

— Review of The Dry Jane Harper , 2016 single work novel
Outback Murder with Mythic Overtones Sue Turnbull , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 11-12 June 2016; (p. 24) The Saturday Age , 11-12 June 2016; (p. 24)

— Review of The Dry Jane Harper , 2016 single work novel
The Dry Review: Jane Harper's Hot Crime Debut Is Mythic and Valiant Sue Turnbull , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 9 June 2016;

— Review of The Dry Jane Harper , 2016 single work novel
'Every now and then an Australian crime novel comes along to stop your breath and haunt your dreams. The Broken Shore by Peter Temple was one, Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher another. Both are books that capture something profound about the Australian landscape and the people who inhabit it. Both are not just great crime fiction, but great Australian novels. The Dry by Jane Harper is another. ...'
Rural Murder Manuscript Wins Journalist $15,000 Prize Jason Steger , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 26 May 2015;
'Jane Harper has taken a significant stride in the footsteps of some of Australia's most successful recent authors by winning this year's Victorian Premier's Literary Award for her unpublished manuscript, The Dry...'
Adelaide Film Scene Produces the Goods 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 29 December 2015; (p. 13)
Jane Sullivan Laments the Lack of Australians in a Hymn to Female Crime Writers Jane Sullivan , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 29 July 2016 2016;
'Raymond Chandler famously advised fellow crime writers that when in doubt, they should have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand. When today's crime writers are in doubt, they have a woman come through the door with a passive-aggressive zinger on her lips. ...'
Crime Q and A in the Suburbs Clive Hodges , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Good Reading , September 2016; (p. 22)
'gr reader CLIVE HODGES recently attended a Q&A session at Riverbend Books in the Brisbane suburb of Bulimba with Melbourne writer Jane Harper, author of The Dry. Jane talked about deadlines, a movie adaptation and one attendee asked if the book would pass the Bechdel Test.'
Horror in the Outback : Jane Harper, Charlotte Wood and the Landscape of Fear Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 19 October 2016;
'From Hanging Rock to Bitter Wash Road, the Australian bush has long provided writers with a backdrop of terror. A new wave of crime fiction is taking it up a notch.'


2018 winner Barry Award Best First Novel
2018 winner British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year
2018 nominated Anthony Awards Best First Novel
2018 longlisted International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2017 shortlisted Australian Booksellers Association Awards BookPeople Book of the Year
Last amended 28 Apr 2023 15:30:27