Saturday 23 February 2019

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Harper is undeniably a master of her art. She is a highly skilled storyteller, and her stories are only getting better. I found myself transfixed by the description of the surroundings, the characters and the tale in general. It's the kind of book that makes you skip sleep.

Kudos to Harper for the level of hands-on research it must have taken to be able to pull this story off with such an authentic feel to it. She captures the complete isolation of the surroundings and the strict rules each and every inhabitant of the land has to adhere to in order to survive.

That is the biggest question when the body of Cameron Bright is found in the outback of Queensland. Why didn't he stick to the rules that have been rammed into him since he was a child? The obvious solution, and perhaps the most painful for the family, is that his death was a choice.

The author shines a light on the adverse psychological affect of solitude, loneliness and the almost impossible task of keeping a property or business afloat in these remote areas. The high rates of suicide in rural Australia are on an upwards trend, and men seem especially reluctant to seek help.

With the suspicion of suicide surrounding the death of their brother both Nathan and Bub have to take a closer look at their own mental health. This is particularly the case where Nathan is concerned, because he has been treated like a persona non grata since an unfortunate incident over a decade ago. Imagine being in a remote area and not seeing another person for months on end and then being treated like a pariah when you enter the only place that offers a break from the isolation.

Harper plots with the slow intensity of a predator stalking their prey, and yet she does so in such a warm and inviting way that the reader becomes so engrossed that they can't see what's coming or what is looking right at them.

I really enjoyed where the author took this plot. It was unexpected, but also absolutely necessary. The motive is universal, the repercussions of what proceeds the motive last a lifetime. It's a beautiful slow-burner of a crime set within the outback, with strong characters and a fantastic plot.

Buy The Lost Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group; Hardcover pub date 7 Feb 2019, Kindle pub date 23 Oct 2018, Paperback release date 27 June 2019

Follow @janeharperautho @LittleBrownUK, Visit

Read my review of Force of Nature by Jane Harper

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