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The Lost Man Reviews

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man

Jane Harper

4.67 out of 5

5 reviews

Category: Thrillers, Fiction
Imprint: Little, Brown
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 7 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9781408708217

Three brothers. One death. No answers. He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron's mind when he was alive, he didn't look peaceful in death. Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other's nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart. They are at the stockman's grave, a landmark so old that 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 choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn't, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects...

5 stars out of 5
Alison Flood
24 Feb 2019

"opens with an image so disturbing it lingers for days"

...opens with an image so disturbing it lingers for days... Harper’s debut, The Dry, centred on the horrific murder of a family in a hot, remote Australian town. Her follow-up, Force of Nature, moved the setting to the bushland, where a woman goes missing on a corporate retreat. The landscape of The Lost Man is even more hostile, even more alien and beautiful, as Harper deftly manipulates her small but fully realised cast to a conclusion that chills, despite the outback heat.


4 stars out of 5
23 Feb 2019

"Harper writes carefully and acutely "

 The Lost Man doesn’t beg for your attention or force the pace; there is nothing flashy or frenetic, no high-concept premise or jaw-dropping (and ultimately incredible) twist in the tail of its carefully constructed plot; it slowly and carefully draws you into a completely believable, meticulously imagined world, and the thrills it delivers are heartfelt and human, and all the more powerful for that.

4 stars out of 5
Laura Wilson
15 Feb 2019

"another splendid slice of outback noir"

When Cameron Bright is found dead from dehydration beside a local landmark, 9km from where his well-stocked Land Cruiser is parked, everyone is baffled. The assumption is suicide, but older brother Nathan – ostracised by the sparse local population for reasons that become clear as Harper spools out his backstory – isn’t convinced. After an uncomfortable return to the family home, he discovers that the rest of his family have secrets to hide … Fabulously atmospheric, the book starts slowly and gradually picks up pace towards a jaw-dropping denouement.

5 stars out of 5
Mark Sanderson
14 Feb 2019

"a gripping mystery that drips with atmosphere"

The Lost Man is a tale of “loneliness, grief [and] rebirth”. Like its precursors, The Dry and Force of Nature, it is a gripping mystery that drips with atmosphere (and sweat). This time, though, Harper has added an emotional heft that is deeply moving. It is her best book yet.

5 stars out of 5
Joan Smith
3 Feb 2019

"Jane Harper has soared into the first rank of contemporary crime writers"

In just a couple of years, Jane Harper has soared into the first rank of contemporary crime writers. Her third novel... returns to the parched landscape she used to such powerful effect in her debut, The Dry. A weather-beaten gravestone marks the boundary between two cattle farms in Queensland, its inscription recording the solitary death of a stockman in the 1890s. Now the body of another man lies beside the stone, with marks in the dust speaking of his futile attempt to find shade. The man owns one of the farms and suspicion falls on his brother, whose business is facing ruin. Three generations of women — the dead man’s mother, wife and daughters — struggle to come to terms with these terrible events, and the family’s shocking history holds the key to this superb murder mystery.