“The Dry” (Amazon)

I’m always reluctant to watch the movie adaptation of a book I have read, especially a mystery. But these misgivings fell away quite quickly from the beginning. Even though I knew “whodunit” the cinematography and acting kept me riveted. Set in Australia, where the drought is even more extreme than California’s, the visuals supplement Jane Harper’s 2020 well-written story of secrets, lies and murder in a small town outside of Melbourne. Rarely is a film so faithful to the book as “The Dry” is. Somehow the characters actually look just as I had imagined them. And as in the book, the narrative is driven through the eyes of the protagonist, a city detective who has returned to the town where he grew up (and where he was forced to flee twenty years prior) to attend the funeral of a childhood friend. We see the evidence through his eyes as one by one prime suspects dissolve into false leads. I’m not going to tell you any more, because this is a mystery after all. If you just need a good book to read or listen to and want to skip the movie: I listened to it from a library download.

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