Jane Harper’s debut thriller The Dry received great acclaim when it arrived on shelves in 2017. Set in the acrid Australian outback, it sees police detective Aaron Falk returning to his hometown for a funeral following the death of a childhood friend. Falk’s return is marred by two major issues. Firstly, his friend appears to have killed his family before killing himself and the town is still reeling in horror that one of their own could have committed such an atrocity – and raising tensions in a community already feeling the effects of a prolonged drought that is ruining lives. The second factor is that Falk left all those years ago under a cloud himself, with many people pointing at him or his father for the disappearance of a local girl. Against his better judgement Falk is now dragged into the aftermath of both investigations and facing the prejudice of the locals, he also finds and begins to notice some connections between the two incidents.
The book was a hugely impressive debut and Harper’s literary rise has continued with this last year’s Force of Nature (reviewed here) and with the forthcoming The Lost Man (available now in Australia and out internationally in February).
The Dry was optioned for a screen adaptation some time ago and it now looks as if the project is starting to move forward quickly. Production will begin in Victoria, Australia in late February 2019 with Eric Bana (Hulk, Hanna, Star Trek, Dirty John) essaying the role of Falk. Robert Connolly, who directed the acclaimed Balibo, will helm the film. Both men will also executive-produce the project.