The Dry by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper

I enjoy a good thriller but don’t read them very often. This is a fantastic thriller by a debut Australian author. Famous thriller authors highly recommend it. I really liked it.

the dry

Federal police investigator Aaron Falk returns to his hometown twenty years after he left in a hurry. He’s come to attend the funeral of his childhood friend Luke who it is believed killed his wife and child before himself.

It’s hot, there has been a drought for two years. Farmers are suffering, everyone is on a short fuse.

Just before Aaron left 20 years ago a friend was found drowned, the circumstances have never been resolved. Some people suspect Aaron had a hand in her death, especially her Uncle and cousin.

Luke’s parents and the local cop are looking for answers. They ask Aaron for help in investigating Luke’s family’s deaths.

Twists and turn all the way through. Great edge of your seat ending.

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The Martian by Andy Weir

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The Martian by Andy Weir

A si-fi set in the future where humans can travel to Mars. They go to do testing and can get left there with supplies for a while. Mark and this co-astronauts land on Mars, and there is a catastrophic event. The rest of the astronauts make it back to the ship, they are sure that Mark has died in the explosion.

Mark has not died although he is injured. He watches his ship and supplies fly away from Mars. He has no way to contact anyone. He is a scientist and he is smart. He sets about surviving. He thinks about how to get a message through that he is alive. Not everything goes to plan.

There is a lot of scientific fact in this story which is necessary because it has to be possible and believable. In some places I skimmed over the scientific bits because I couldn’t get my mind around them. This didn’t detract from the story, it made it more real.

This is a thrilling thriller. Recommended for si-fi fans, as well as fans of other types of thrillers. It is very hard to put down.

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Sheppard

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Pretty Little Liars

by Sara Sheppard

I was reluctant to purchase this series because it looked so frivolous.  As a school library we are constantly trying to lift the type of “literature” our students read. But I succumbed to some reluctant readers who really wanted to read the series.

I’m very glad that I did and admit that I was wrong about the depth of the books, still not literature, but definitely much more complex and thought provoking than I imagined.

So, the story goes a bit like ‘I know what you did last summer’.  The four friends have something to hide and somebody knows about it.  Add to this the fact that their friend Ali, the leader of the group and a not-so-nice bully goes missing.

As the story progresses somebody seems to know more and more about the girls and their secrets.  And all teenagers have secrets whether it is who they like, what they said to who or how things are going at home, in the crippling world of peer pressure some secrets are more damaging than others.

So starts this series of twelve books to date which became a popular TV series. Interestingly the TV show doesn’t mimic the books, characters that died in the books stay alive in the series, things that happened in one don’t necessarily happen in the other.  So you can’t pretend you read the books by watching TV, as a librarian I think that is excellent news!

Recommended age 13+

Wool and Shift by Hugh Howey

Wool

Shift

by Hugh Howey

4 1/2 stars

Sci-fi, dystopia in a new setting with a new concept and quite the thriller.  I think Wool will be THE book at the beach this summer.

In Wool the people are living in a community below ground.  The earth is currently uninhabitable.  The people live on levels of the silo, the worker bees getting deeper and deeper into the ground.  They are self-sufficient as a community, but communication is limited between levels.  Life is strictly controlled and it is dangerous to ask questions.

Shift is the prequel to Wool.  You find out how the people got where they are in Wool.  This book raises as many questions as it answers.  Very creative and easy to read.

I went along to meet Hugh Howey at Takapuna Library in April, brought to New Zealand for one event in April by his publisher.  He is a genuine guy.  He seems as amazed at the popularity of his books as I was at his imagination and attention to detail in his imaginary world.  He is a champion of making books available online and has plenty of ideas as to how ebooks and paper books can co-exist.  His popularity soared as he produced these stories as chapters online and later the publishers then paid attention and made offers.  He is also a supporter of ‘fan fiction’ where fans write about characters or settings in the original work, and there are many written around Wool & Shift.

I look forward to Dust the sequel to Wool appearing in August.  It give me time to imagine what I think might happen.

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