Book Reviews

Aus Reading Month Review: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

My Interest

“The outback”–no not the steakhouse chain, but that hellishly hot, sparsely populated part of Australia where there are more cattle or sheep than people. Where they have “land trains” [imagine a semi with three full trailers going at ridiculous speed on a deserted highway]. This captures my imagination. I’ve enjoyed each of Jane Harper’s books, but missed this one when it came out for some reason. Since it is Aus Reading Month, hosted by Brona’s Books, I thought this would be a perfect fit.

The Story

Cameron and Nathan Bright, along with the much younger brother, Bub, run cattle on a huge “station” in the outback of Australia. The station is so large their individual homes are hours apart by car–imagine! The area is so sparsely populated that they make do with one police officer. When Cameron is found dead, Nathan tries to piece the story together. As the chapters go on, the family’s secrets roll out.

My Thoughts

The word “hardscrabble” has always seemed to me to have been coined for the outback. But perhaps “hot-scrabble” would be better? A place where you plan your car trips to include gallons of water, extra food, extra fuel and more is pretty hard to live in.  You can see in this story how the isolation, the “hardscrabble life” wore down the Bright family, putting them in situations that could never be judged by a jury of their peers–unless all were from the same desolate area, the same hellishly hot and hard existence.

No excuses are made. The story is told–and though I like linear stories, this nonlinear story was amazingly well-told. The roll out of each new secret, each piece of information was done with such a deft touch that I didn’t see them coming. I think this may be may favorite of Jane Harper’s books.

My Verdict

4.0

My Reviews of other Jane Harper books:

  1. Survivors: A Novel by Jane Harper
  2. Force of Nature: A Novel by Jane Harper
  3. The Dry: A Novel by Jane Harper

The Lost Man: A Novel by Jane Harper. Listened to the audio version.

10 thoughts on “Aus Reading Month Review: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

  1. You’ll be pleased to know that Harper’s fifth book, Exiles was published last month – something to look forward too 🙂

    Thank you for contributing to AusReading Month – outback crime stories are a very popular genre in Australia right now (you might also like Chris Hammer’s stories).

    Liked by 1 person

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