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The Dry: A Novel

The Dry: A Novel

Escrito por Jane Harper

Narrado por Stephen Shanahan


The Dry: A Novel

Escrito por Jane Harper

Narrado por Stephen Shanahan

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (160 valoraciones)
Longitud:
10 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 10, 2017
ISBN:
9781250117632
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke's steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn't tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there's more to Luke's death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Jan 10, 2017
ISBN:
9781250117632
Formato:
Audiolibro


Sobre el autor

Jane Harper is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, Force of Nature, and The Lost Man. Jane previously worked as a print journalist in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne with her husband, daughter, and son.

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  • (5/5)
    Credited with sparking new interest in Australian rural crime novels, The Dry was published in 2016 to international acclaim, winning multiple awards, with the movie adaptation, to star Eric Bana, currently in production. After a twenty year absence, Aaron Falk reluctantly returns to his hometown, the small drought stricken community of Kiewarra, to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, Luke Hadler, accused of slaughtering his wife and daughter, before turning the gun on himself. Falk is now with the Federal Police, investigating financial crime, and at the request of Luke’s parents, who are desperate to find an alternative answer to such a heinous crime, agrees to go over the farm’s business records. While the accounts prove to be fairly straightforward, it is inconsistencies in the details of the crime that bother Falk.The Dry is an atmospheric novel, evoking the dusty desperation of small farming towns struggling with drought and the myriad of consequences it has both economically and socially. Tempers are short, attitudes are anxious, and secrets fester In the heat.The mystery at the heart of The Dry is well plotted, and revealed at an even pace. Harper effectively builds and maintains tension, even where the past and present intersect. I admit to being a little piqued by one thread of the story that was resolved but felt unfinished.Guilt is is a major motivation for Falk’s investigation. His real reluctance to return to Kiewarra stems from the tragic drowning of another childhood friend, in whose death Aaron, and his father, were unfairly implicated. Driven out of town by the victim’s father, a vindictive bully and drunk, the community is no more welcoming on his return. It makes for an interesting character, struggling with both interior and exterior conflicts.The supporting characters are well drawn, though perhaps not terribly nuanced. It’s actually the absent characters, Luke and Ellie, that are the most dynamic.An impressive debut, I found The Dry to be an evocative and compelling crime novel. I am looking forward to reading the second book featuring Falk, Force of Nature.
  • (3/5)
    A mystery involving a small town in Australia. An agent returns to his home town 20 years later for his childhood friend's death. He stays to help the family investigate further. The main character slips into the role of investigator while continuously being under suspicion for a wrongful death from 20 years prior. This was not as captivating a story as I would have liked to read, unfortunately.
  • (5/5)
    I can’t say enough about Jane Harper’s THE DRY.This book had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I never saw the ending coming. It left me stunned in my chair.The interweaving of incidents and conversations from twenty years previous was expertly done.Very complex characters, a sense of place/location like no other, a horrific plot and measured, brilliant writing left me breathless.I can’t stop thinking about this book.
  • (4/5)
    Can’t believe this is a debut novel! Good characterisations, a sympathetic investigator in Aaron Falk. Falk goes back to his small home town for the funeral of a childhood friend who appears to have killed himself after slaughtering his family. Alex unofficially helps the local police investigate whilst becoming engulfed in childhood memories.The action alternates between now & Falk’s teenage years.I didn’t guess correctly, which is always a bonus, and look forward to reading more investigations by Falk; Harper’s story-telling focusing on characterisation & location rather than detailed forensics.
  • (4/5)
    The Dry by Jane Harper. I enjoy a well written “who done it?” story if the mystery has some literary merit. Jane Harper doesn’t disappoint. The book begins when Aaron Falk returns to his hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend, Luke Hadler. Luke and his wife and son were all murdered in their home and most people assume that Luke murdered his family and then killed himself. Luke’s mother, Barb, does not believe that her son was capable of such a thing and asks Falk, who happens to be a federal investigator, if we would look into it. Barb has always been like a mother to Falk. Falk’s own mother died during his birth. Falk reluctantly agrees to stay in town a little longer to investigate as a favor to Barb and her husband. When Falk starts digging, secrets are unsurfaced. Falk was long ago accused for the murder of one of his friends, Ellie Deacon. A lot of the townspeople treat him unfairly, even cruelly because of this accusation. The mystery of her death was never solved. The town is suffering from a drought and the suffocating heat has seeped into everyone’s bones, leaving everyone on edge. “The crushing vastness of open land left enough space to drown in.” Everyone in the book is a suspect. As Falk explores Luke’s death, he also explores what really happened to Ellie. “Death rarely changes how we feel about someone. Heightens it, more often than not.” Truths are finally revealed among the harsh, dry landscape of Kiewarra.
  • (5/5)
    This novel began slowly for me. I wasn't sure I'd be happy with it as I started it. Much of the story was sad or downright depressing. It certainly did not reflect the stereotype of the happy-go-lucky mates of Australia! I'm now afraid to read a book about Canadians in case I find out they're not all agreeable.This was a solid, slow moving mystery. An man returns to the town of his youth to determine if his friend was a monster or a victim. Tied into it is an old unresolved death. As we read we do not truly know if either will be satisfactorily answered.The writing was very good, the characters were sympathetic or despicable with not much in between. Sometimes it's nice to have such clarity.The ending is somewhat ambiguous but I don't have a problem with that because I feel justice has been served.
  • (5/5)
    What an amazing debut novel - I was engrossed in this evocative story-telling from the opening sentence and could feel the heat, tension and paranoia in a community struggling to survive. All the characters were exceptionally well-drawn. This is a must for lovers of intelligent, well-plotted thrillers. An author to watch out for!
  • (5/5)
    Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his rural small town for the first time in twenty years for the funeral of his childhood friend Luke. He probably wouldn't have come if not for the pressure and threat from Luke's father. Luke and his father left town for Melbourne after the drowning death of Ellie Deacon. He, Luke, Ellie, and Gretchen Schoner were good friends but the relationships between them all were changing as they reached their teen years. Luke was the charismatic but also thoughtless leader, Luke the more thoughtful follower, Ellie the troubled teen who might have been abused by her family, and Gretchen was the new member of the group. When Ellie's body was found, suspicions were that she was murdered rather than dying by suicide. And a cryptic note with the word Falk on it pointed the finger at Aaron or his father. Luke and Aaron agree to say that they were together when Ellie died despite the fact that they were not. Aaron has never been able to get Luke to tell him where he really was. Ellie's father was a powerful man in the area who wasn't above playing mean tricks to get advantage over his neighbors. He and his nephew were instrumental in building suspicions toward the Falks.Aaron wonders if Luke's death - another apparent suicide - after he murdered his wife and six-year-old son didn't have some roots in the past. Of course, there are plenty of current reasons for the deaths too. His farm is failing after years of the worst drought in Australia's history. Aaron coming back resurrects all the old issues from the time when Ellie died. Her father is suffering from dementia but hasn't lost any of his meanness. And Ellie's cousin Grant Dow is more than willing to point suspicion at Aaron too.Aaron teams up with the new cop in town to look into the deaths even though he would much rather leave the town and the events of the past as soon as he can. Their investigation digs up lots of secrets about a number of the residents. I really enjoyed this thriller. The writing was excellent and the descriptions of an area unknown to me made me feel like I was there. The story had multiple twists and turns. I liked the flashbacks to the time of Ellie's death which helped build the story and fill in some of the details.
  • (5/5)
    Having left his hometown as a teenager, only the funeral of his former best friend Luke Hadler could make Federal Agent Aaron Falk return to that small town, and then, only at the command of Luke’s father. The town has suffered much: the drowning death 2o years ago of a teenage girl, the downturn of the economy, the drought that has lasted for many months, and now the deaths, or really, the murders of a young boy and his mother. Official ruling was murder/suicide, but Luke’s parents can’t believe that their son would do such a heinous thing, and they beg Aaron to investigate. Thus begins the intriguing tale of secrets, lies, distrust, bullying, abuse, and more that permeates the town of Kiewarra. Jane Harper’s debut novel has everything a reader looks for in a thriller. Compelling, tightly-woven, intricate, and masterfully written, this page-turner is filled descriptive and picturesque phrases and complex characters. As Aaron unravels the mysteries both past and present, you will feel the characters’ anguish for the past that can’t be changed, and for the future that may be ruined.
  • (4/5)
    Small country towns can be a rich and seemingly endless source of material for novelists, and isolated, outback Australia is proving to be on the upward trend for this particular type of crime genre. Harper does a convincing job of setting out the social perimeters of Kiewarra, giving the reader plenty of scope for trying to solve its mystery. Our group were all impressed with this story, finding the setting realistic, the characters interesting and the plot intriguing. The truth was well buried, but once revealed was not so bizarre to be unbelievable or even over dramatic. Just a sad case of human failure. We had a great discussion on many issues … small town life and the act of returning to your home town after a long absence and the history that people create for themselves and their community. There was also talk about the structure of crime novels and how secondary stories can contribute or take away from the main plot. We had a few questions that needed answers, but overall we were more than happy with the conclusion. So much so that all of us will be reading Harper’s subsequent titles.Monday Night Book ClubTo find a book that is loved by every one of our members is a rare find indeed. But that is exactly what happened this month with Jane Harper’s debut novel The Dry. The small-town story of Aaron and his best friend Luke was thought to be a well-drawn base plot to the complication of events that awaited Aaron on his return to his home town and the funeral of his best friend. The supporting characters were all there, waiting for him and readers were thrown headfirst into the melee and community suspicion around the local tragedy. This structure alone was thought to be a small touch of genius on the author’s part. Instead of introducing characters one at a time as the story unfolded, we find most of them within the first few pages, and then the smoke and mirror strategy begins. But it is not only the clever writing style and intelligent plot that impressed our group. The sense of place … small town, outback, hot, dry Australia, was so well drawn that everyone commented on how much they felt the heat and drought. Many of us have experienced such places and believe Harper certainly has done her research, if not her time in the outback. The social issues raised in the novel were also worth commenting on. Small, isolated communities have their tribulations and although Kiewarra is a fictional town, its people and their dynamics are very believable in this story’s context. Generally, a unanimous opinion on a book can lead to a rather ordinary discussion, but in this case, we found ourselves engaged in what became a very stimulating and enjoyable chat on what we consider to be a piece of brilliant Australian literature.Tuesday Book Club
  • (4/5)
    Aron Falk returns to his hometown about twenty years after he and his father left. Twenty years ago, his friend Ellie drowned in the river, and her father wanted to pin the fault on Aaon. He returned because his friend Luke along with his wife and son died in what at first seemed to be a murder-suicide until the local officer realized Luke did not own ammunition of the type discharged. Aron, now with the state police's financial division and is based in Melbourne. This excellent first in series makes me excited to read more in the series with a "Down Under" setting. While I'd guessed solutions to both crimes, they were less obvious than some mysteries. I listened to the audio version narrated by Steve Shanahan.
  • (5/5)
    I've found a new author to add to my arsenal. Although many of have and will try to escape our pasts, reality is we can't.
  • (4/5)
    This was an engaging Australian crime story. The author did a fabulous job capturing the desperation a rural community faces when gripped by a vicious drought. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed the various flashbacks to when Luke, Aaron, Erin and Gretchen were teenagers. Aaron was a terrific protagonist. Not only was he trying to solve the death of his old friend, Luke, but was battling with past memories and demons. He was extremely relatable, and I felt sorry for the way the townspeople treated him. A great read.
  • (4/5)
    Aaron Falk returns to his hometown, left long ago under suspicion in the circumstances surrounding the death of a girl. The reason his return is the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke. The death appears to be a murder/suicide of the friend and his family in the dire financial circumstances of the farm community in a drought. Aaron is a Federal Police officer who investigates financial crimes. Luke's parents convince Aaron to informally look into the family's death, hoping that there might be another explanation. It's a well written crime drama, with the requisite amount of red herrings, doubt and suspicion abound. I look forward to reading more of her work.
  • (4/5)
    Our Book Club selection for mystery. This was fast paced, interesting and almost all of us loved it.
  • (4/5)
    Kiewarra is a hot and arid Australian town that is in the grip of a calamitous drought. Stores have closed and farmers are struggling to stay afloat. In Jane Harper's "The Dry," thirty-six year old Federal Agent Aaron Falk, who was raised in Kiewarra but now lives and works in Melbourne, returns to attend the funeral of a childhood friend, Luke Handler. Luke was found shot to death in his truck, while his wife and child were gunned down in their home.

    At the request of Luke's bereaved parents, Aaron agrees to take a short leave and lend a hand to the investigating officer, Sergeant Greg Raco. Before long, Falk suspects that practically everyone he meets is hiding something. Equally disconcerting is the chilly reception Aaron receives from the townspeople because of the still unexplained drowning death of his former friend, sixteen-year old Eleanor Deacon, twenty years earlier.

    Harper inserts flashbacks into the narrative that, for a while, raise more questions than they answer. The author's dialogue and character development (except for a one-dimensional bully straight out of central casting) are impressive. Harper depicts Luke as a charismatic but occasionally selfish and thoughtless individual. Aaron, who is intelligent and eager to help, resents the fact that some of Kiewarra's citizens continue to shun and harass him. At least the attractive Gretchen Schoner, a single mother with a five-year-old son, remembers Aaron fondly and seems interested in getting reacquainted. "The Dry" is intense and suspenseful, and the author effectively captures the misery, hopelessness, and anger of Kiewarra's frustrated residents. Although a few of Harper's subplots are contrived and resolved implausibly, this moody and intriguing novel is absorbing enough to pique our interest and keep us invested in the outcome.
  • (4/5)
    This is a perfect summer read where the drought weighs throughout the book, making tempers flare and emotions raw. What I enjoyed most was the remote Australian decor and the characters stuck in the outback where human laws bend due to isolation and scarcity.I could have done without the final revelations which make a stark story even more gruesome. Luckily there a bits of relief which make the story line tenable.
  • (3/5)
    I don’t know how I missed “The Dry” by Jane Harper when it first came out. Actually, okay, that’s a lie; I missed it because the title and cover didn’t compel me. Sure, the hype and praise that surrounded it was on my radar, as well as the fact that copies at the library were always on request and being requested by patrons who came to see me at the desk. But I stubbornly and steadfastly stayed away, until I read the plot description of its sequel “Force of Nature”. Given that the plot of that sounds awesome (suspicious misadventures in nature!), and that it was part of series, I was finally convinced to go back and read “The Dry”, so as to fully experience Aaron Falk and his storyline. But given that I am always looking for new mystery series to follow with interesting detective protagonists, I am happy that I finally gave in and decided to give it a chance, stubbornness aside.While a lot of the mystery series settings I follow are set in America or England, “The Dry” set itself apart immediately by taking place in Australia. Given that I am still desperately missing New Zealand (not that I think they’re interchangeable, mind you, please don’t hurt me, Australia and New Zealand), I was happy to have a story set in Oceania. Australia’s sprawling divide between metropolis vs small town plays a huge part in the story, and set up for a well done ‘small town with secrets’ kind of plot line. Aaron Falk was a fine protagonist to explore this, given that this involves a homecoming to a place that thinks that he’s a murderer. It’s an interesting tweak to the big town detective trying to maneuver in small town politics and society, as Falk knows how it works, and knows that he’s going to be doubly scrutinized with his background. When his old friend Luke’s apparent family annihilation/suicide brings Aaron back for the funeral, the murder of their mutual friend Ellie still lingers, as does the fact that Aaron and Luke were each other’s alibis. So this story has two mysteries: did Luke actually kill his wife, son, and himself, and who actually killed Ellie? The narrative shifts between the present timeline with a third person perspective through Falk’s eyes, and past perspectives through a vaguer third person narration. If that makes sense. It’s not something I’ve seen very often in fiction, and it was interesting getting more information than Falk was getting and seeing how he interpreted the information as it’s fed to him. It makes for a questionable reliability in the storytelling, and I liked being kept on my toes. But while I was kept on my toes, I wasn’t terribly invested in either mystery that was presented. The problem with Ellie’s was that given some of the sad realities of statistics and violence towards women and girls, I didn’t have a hard time guessing the ultimate solution to her fate, and therefore didn’t feel connected to it. And with Luke’s storyline, I wasn’t invested enough in Luke to want to see his name cleared, so while that one did keep me guessing, I didn’t really care too much one way or the other.Falk himself was just fine as a protagonist, but I think that for me the difference between this series and, say, the Tempe Brennan Series (working as my go to for a series with a re-occurring detective type) is that Falk hasn’t really established himself as a unique main character I’m interested in just yet. Tempe Brennan is complex and effervescent and snarky, whereas Falk hasn’t been much outside of a falsely accused outsider looking to redeem a friend (and in some ways himself), and brooding accordingly. I do realize that Tempe has had nineteen books to solidify her personality, and that Falk is really just beginning, so I am not holding any of this as-of-now simplicity against him. There are definitely glimmers of promise within him and where he could go, and I want to see how he’s going to grow in future books now that, theoretically, it won’t be as personal for him going forward. I was happy with the supporting cast that Falk got to play off of. I liked his old friend Gretchen, and her loyalty to him even when others thought that he didn’t deserve it. I liked Raco, a local detective who joins up with Falk on an official investigation against the town’s judgmental gaze. But I’m not sure as of now that they are going to remain large parts of the series, as they are still back in the town that Falk is visiting temporarily. Again, comparing it to Tempe Brennan there are familiar faces that work as foils and give Tempe’s life and character uniqueness and interesting interactions. If it’s just Falk going forward with a revolving door of characters,, it could be a missed opportunity for a strong cast of supporting and familiar faces. We’ll just have to see. “Force of Nature” will give me a better idea of what to expect in this way. And lord knows it’s going to be awhile before my number comes up on the request list.So all in all while “The Dry” didn’t blow me away in the fashion that it did to many others, there is a lot of promise going forward. Aaron Falk may not be Temperance Brennan yet, but I have a feeling that he has the potential to join her as a detective in a unique series that I will follow as it moves forward.
  • (4/5)
    Good crime novel, set in Australia
  • (4/5)
    Good, serviceable thriller with a solid surprise ending that kept me engaged the whole way through. The characterizations weren't always subtle—the obviously bad guys were bumbling drunken oafs and the good women were always lovely, of course, as opposed to one lady whom we're meant to know is unpleasant even before she opens her mouth because she's red-faced, with dull hair in a limp ponytail, squashy with a muffin top, and smokes. But I'm not going to take points away from the book for not trying to be what it isn't, and what it is is very entertaining.
  • (4/5)
    This is a good book.Aaron Falk is a Policeman from Melbourne who returns to his old town of Kiewarra to attend the funeral of his old friend Luke who it appears killed his wife Karen and son.Falk isn't welcomed back as he left 20 years ago and people thought he was responsible for a girl called Ellies death who drowned.Kiewarra is suffering from the worst draught in living memory.Falk with the help of the local Police do some under cover investigating work.It turns out it was the Head master of the school where Karen worked committed these murders he had large gambling debts and they received a grant of $50,000 for School equipment he kept the money Karen found out and was going to confront him, he took the opportunity to try and commit the perfect crime, he then runs away to the Bush and nearly starts a big fire.Well written interesting book.
  • (5/5)
    You just couldn't find a better crafted mystery than this one. The writing is as dry as the Australian landscape mid-drought, and the vivid descriptions will have you gulping liquids as you devour the story. Aaron, Ellie, Gretchen, and Luke are seemingly typical teenage couples, but a death sends their small town of Kiewarra reeling and Aaron away to Melbourne. Twenty years later, Aaron returns, the result of more murders and mysteries. The struggle of farmers to keep going, the terror of the parched land, the narrowness of small town residents who are tied economically to their failing livelihoods, are all so brilliantly incorporated into the plot. There's a few judiciously placed clues and a bunch of likely suspects, and absolutely perfect execution. Can't wait for her next effort!
  • (5/5)
    With rural murder-suicides in the news fairly often lately here in Australia it was interesting to see a crime novel based around such a scenario.Here the situation is set in a small town struggling with the drought and a family whose barely hanging on is suddenly all killed bar the baby daughter. It all seems like another open and shut murder-suicide however the man's elderly parents just can't see it and ask Luke's childhood friend to look into things on his own time. Luke's friend? a federal police officer who deals with financial crime.I found it to be a very readable story and really liked how it laid things out making you think you were working things out and having an idea where things were going only for new information to come to light changing the circumstances. Was well executed.Looking forward to the follow up novel in the series.
  • (4/5)
    Who comes up with these titles? Luckily, the book is quite good, suspense set in the Australian outback, as a long-absent son of the town, Adam Falk, returns for the funeral of his childhood friend Luke, being buried beside his wife and small son and thought to have shot them and then himself. Luke's parents beg Adam to stay a few days and look into the deceased couple's finances, since he's federal agent specializing in financial crimes. Luke's father also has a message for Adam: he knows that Adam and Luke lied about where they were when another friend was killed 20 years ago when they were all in high school, and he wants Adam's help in determining whether his son killed the friend and, therefore, whether his own (the father's) silence about the alibi is responsible for his son being free to kill his family.The town folk remember Adam with loathing and have long ago accepted his complicity or even guilt for the third friend's drowning death. He and his father had been run out of town and settled in Melbourne, where Adam still lives and works. But the new sheriff has no preconceived ideas about Adam and they start investigating together. Both crimes are solved, but while the result of one isn't all that surprising, the other I hadn't expected. One of the stars here is the town and country itself, in the midst of a long drought and slowly dying. It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to live in such a place, and the dryness, dust and heat just permeate the book. The second in the Falk series was published this year.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't dislike this but it didn't blow me away either. It plodded a bit, and when it came to solving the central mystery you could almost take the Scooby Doo route (the only other character in the story) - there just weren't enough candidates for the job. What I did like was the Aussie-ness of it, and particularly the profusion of the word "Mate" which spans the full scale between friendly ("want a beer, mate?") and outright hostile ("You'd better leave before we run you out of town mate").
  • (4/5)
    Engrossing. Small towns don't forget anyone's failings and can be so willing to believe what they're told instead of searching for the truth. Unless you're the town bully, then you're given a wide berth.Aaron learned more than just who killed his friend, Luke, and his family. He discovered who killed his teenage friend, Ellie, and a bit more about himself and what he wants.
  • (4/5)
    I'd started reading the hardback a few months ago but lost interest and set it down. The audio captured my attention much better. The narrator was excellent, and it ended up being a captivating story. I'd pretty much figured things out midway through, but it was still fun seeing how it all resolved. I'm looking forward to the second book.
  • (4/5)
    Aaron Falk has returned to his hometown in rural Victoria, Australia, for the first time in decades. He's only here to attend the funeral of his childhood best friend Luke, who has apparently killed himself and his family. Luke's parents can't believe he did it, and they ask Aaron, who is now a federal lawman who specializes in financial crimes, to investigate.The backstory of how Aaron and his dad came to leave Kiewarra so suddenly all those years ago unfolds slowly, but it's clear from the start that a great many people do not want him back in town. Not helping matters is the devastating drought that has a grip on the area; its effects on his farm are thought to have been the catalyst for Luke's terrible crime. Harper does an excellent job of creating a community in crisis, and her descriptions of the drought-starved land are so vivid I found myself wanting a tall glass of water every time I sat down to read.On the one hand, this is just the opener of yet another crime series. But Harper's skill with characters, plot and setting raise it above the usual debut. It also stands alone, so you could choose to not read any more and walk away satisfied. As for me, I'll more than likely read on.
  • (4/5)
    I liked it enough to continue with the series.
  • (4/5)
    A layered whodunnit set in country Victoria during a drought. The heat, the landscape and interconnections of the small town farming community are all well portrayed. Falk returns to his hometown and his past. The past impacts the present continually in the town, past resentments simmering, past events and affairs always present in some way.