By Jane Harper
My Rating 4 Stars
Jane Harper has been on my Authors I Want To Try list for a while now and I am glad I picked this up. I am still learning what I enjoy as a reader in adult mysteries--this one happens to be set in Australia and centers on a flashback mystery interwoven with a detective sorting out what happened to his childhood best friend--was he and his family murdered or did he do the unthinkable like everyone believes he did?
What I particularly loved about this is the setting--I could feel the heat permeating off the pages. The hometown/Australia is in a particularly rough period of drought and that is at the backbone of whether Luke, a farmer that relies on the weather to keep his farm afloat, finally decided it was too much. While it seems cruel to say, I loved the dilemma that Harper set Aaron up to face: face the demons of the past while sorting out the death of his childhood best friend. Begged by Luke's mother, federal investigator Aaron Faulk is thrust back into a hometown that he left long ago due to shaky circumstances from when he and Luke were teenagers. While Aaron sorts out Luke and his family's deaths he is also seeking out the answers to that long ago mysterious death of his girlfriend. Lastly, I appreciated the pacing--there were times it lagged and I wished it moved a bit faster (hence the four-star rating)--but for me, this is an engaging read set in an environment that came alive through the author's words. That ending too! I want to know what happens afterward--always a good sign in my eyes.