Wow. What a well-written, page-turning mystery. I really, really liked this book and am looking forward to reading more from Jane Harper.
The story revolves around what looks to be a murder-suicide in a small Australian ravaged by drought. Aaron Faulk returns to Kiewarra for the funeral of his friend Luke Hadler, his wife, Karen, and their son, Billy. It looks like Luke has killed Karen and Billy and then himself. Aaron doesn’t really want to be there because when he was a teenager, his friend, Ellie Deacon, committed suicide and there was a question of whether it was murder – and whether Aaron did it. Luke and Aaron made up an alibi and lied – they said they were together and they weren’t. The town thinks Aaron did it and there is still resentment toward him.
The book looks at the two happenings – Ellie’s suicide and Luke’s death – and whether they may be related. Was it really murder? Did Luke kill Ellie and then kill his family? Was it because of the drought? Money? Guilt? Aaron agrees to stay in Kiewarra and look into the murders with the local cop at the behest of Luke’s parents, whom Aaron was close to. Their investigation leads to the resolution of both cases, but not necessarily with neat and tidy bows wrapped around them.
I can’t say enough good things about this book. Jane Harper brings Southern Australia alive. It is a fantastic tale and it is masterfully told. I highly recommend this book.
I won this book from Goodreads and received no other compensation for this review. This review contained my opinions and they are mine alone.