Having read and loved Jane Harper’s first two novels (The Dry and Force of Nature – click links for my reviews), I’ve been lucky enough to have early access to a copy of her latest book, The Lost Man. I’m delighted to host one of today’s stops on The Lost Man Blog Tour.
Pop over and check out the other bloggers participating today!
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Published by Little Brown UK on 7th February 2019
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…
A Wee Summary
Set in the Australian outback, The Lost Man focusses upon the Bright family. When one of the three Bright brothers is found dead, seemingly killed by dehydration and the baking Queensland sun, the rest of the Bright family are brought together to mourn his death, and wonder what exactly happened to Cameron Bright.
We follow Nathan, the eldest brother, who lives ‘next door’ to Cameron – ‘next door’ being three hours’ drive away.
When Cameron is found dead in the shadow of the remote ‘stockman’s grave’, Nathan travels back to his childhood property, the 3500 sq km Burley Down Station, to meet his brother Bub and oversee the removal of Cameron’s corpse.
Nathan can’t fathom why his brother would’ve left his truck, his refuge in the Australian heat, to face certain death. As further information about Cameron’s recent state of mind emerges, Nathan begins to piece together what happened to his brother, all the while facing his own issues from the past.
Harper transports us to the inhospitable Queensland outback, introducing us to the world of flying doctors, School of Air, and the importance of radio communications, cold room stores, and four-wheel drive vehicles packed with basic survival kits.
I could almost feel the red dust on my skin and the parch of thirst in my throat as I devoured this fantastic novel.
Through Nathan, a flawed character whom I instantly liked, Harper introduces us to the Bright family, their characters, and their histories. Traversing time we slowly uncover Nathan’s past, piecing together not only his character, but the Bright family too.
Harper flawlessly creates the scene of the outback. A place where people don’t tend to venture, except perhaps some backpackers seeking work. Would it be possible for someone to enter the far-strewn community without being seen?
For me, this is another huge hit from Jane Harper. The Lost Man is a stand alone novel, so it’s a slighter detour from Harper’s Aaron Falk series. However there are a couple of sneaky crossover references which I really appreciated. As with her other books, I found it so hard to put down as she seamlessly builds the tension.
I find Harper’s writing so atmospheric, and love how she can transport one from the Scottish winter to the unrelenting Queensland outback.
This is the kind of page-turner I could devour whole – a slow-burning mystery, with real characters at its heart.