Thursday, 7 February 2019

The Lost Man - Jane Harper

Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron.

The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

Dark, suspenseful, and deeply atmospheric, The Lost Man is the highly anticipated next book from the bestselling and award-winning Jane Harper, author of The Dry and Force of Nature.

The more I love a book and/or an author the harder I find it to write reviews that aren't completely nonsensical! I read Jane Harper's debut novel, The Dry, and fell in love with her writing, her characters, and proceeded to do the same with Force Of Nature. Aaron Falk is an easy character to love, in my book anyway, he has his faults, but there's something about Jane's writing that makes you love her characters. 

I'll admit now I was a bit apprehensive about The Lost Man. I was very much looking forward to another Falk novel but a handful of pages into The Lost Man and I was completely and utterly spellbound! It's the story of three brothers, Nathan, Cameron, and Bub who brought up in the harsh but beautiful surroundings of the Australian Outback. Now all adults, Nathan is divorced with a teenage son, Cameron is married with two young daughters and Bub, a lot younger than his siblings, is working on Cameron's property. 

It's not a spoiler to say that the story opens with Cameron's unexplained death by a well-known local grave that he'd won a prize years earlier for a painting of it. What happens from there is a wild ride of suspicion, violence, lies, and grief. Nathan, struggling with depression due to incidents in the past, is at a loss as to how someone like his brother, who knows the conditions of the Outback, could walk off leaving a car full of emergency supplies to die. All the signs point to suicide, everyone he talks to says that recently he hadn't been himself and there had been 'accidents' which might not have been accidental.

Cameron might be dead but it appears that there is a myriad of threads connecting lots of different things to him, on the surface he was charming and persuasive, had time for everybody, but underneath the cracks were starting to show. Nathan, with not much else to do and coming to the realization that maybe he's not alright, takes the bit between his teeth and starts looking into Cam's death. There are things niggling at the back of his mind that don't make sense but as the story progresses he starts to connect the dots, which lead to a horrifying conclusion.

Not only is it hard not to just gush about The Lost Man it's also hard to talk about the storyline without giving away too much. The Lost Man is a character-driven story, expertly done, with a fascinating collection of people, all totally different but all linked by one defining character, the Outback. As with The Dry, the Outback shines through as a real character and you can feel yourself under the hot sun, the dry dust kicking up around you, and the beads of sweat on your forehead. 

The Lost Man is not just a crime thriller either. It's about family, love, mental health problems, and consequences. Don't take my word for it though, read The Lost Man and I defy you not to fall in love with it. Oh, and for those of you who are fans of Falk, some good news! In The Lost Man, there's a little something to find (let me know if you do!) and there's a movie coming, with Eric Bana as Aaron Falk!!!

My reviews of The Dry and Force Of Nature can be found here and here!

The Lost Man - Jane Harper
ISBN - 9781408708217
Publisher - LittleBrown
Release date - February 7th, 2019

About The Author

Jane Harper is the author of the international bestsellers The Dry and Force of Nature.
Her books are published in more than 36 territories worldwide, with film rights sold to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane has won numerous top awards including the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year, the Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year and the Australian Indie Awards Book of the Year.

Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and now lives in Melbourne.

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