The Lost Man
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 HarperThey 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 Lost Man Details

TitleThe Lost Man
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherFlatiron Books
ISBN-139781250105684
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Cultural, Australia, Mystery Thriller

The Lost Man Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    At night, when the sky felt even bigger, he could almost imagine it was a million years ago and he was walking on the bottom of the sea. A million years ago when a million natural events still needed to occur, one after the other, to form this land as it lay in front of him now. A place where rivers flooded without rain and seashells fossilised a thousand miles from water and men who left their cars found themselves walking to their deaths. 4 stars. I think at this point I can definitely say th At night, when the sky felt even bigger, he could almost imagine it was a million years ago and he was walking on the bottom of the sea. A million years ago when a million natural events still needed to occur, one after the other, to form this land as it lay in front of him now. A place where rivers flooded without rain and seashells fossilised a thousand miles from water and men who left their cars found themselves walking to their deaths. 4½ stars. I think at this point I can definitely say that Harper is one of my favourite thriller writers. The Lost Man is a standalone, which, like her two previous novels - The Dry and Force of Nature - really takes advantage of its setting to create a deeply atmospheric and evocative story.This book is set in the dry heat and isolation of the Australian outback. When local good guy Cameron Bright is found dead in the dirt, having dehydrated nine miles away from his parked car, it looks like it could be a bizarre suicide. Men have done stranger things out there in that desert. But his older brother, Nathan, remains unconvinced. Too many things don't add up, and it even looks like a long-buried part of Cameron's past might have come back to haunt him.What follows is an emotional and character-driven tale about families and abuse. Nathan will need to return to memories of his own troubled childhood, growing up with an abusive father, in order to figure out what happened to Cameron.Personally, I think many readers will guess at the direction the story is headed, but that did not make it any less satisfying. I like Harper's novels so much because she focuses on the characters and relationships, making the read about more than solving the mystery. This is the most effective and rewarding mystery/thriller writing, in my experience, because you don't feel like you've been short-changed if you guess the answers.I also appreciate how well the author handled a mystery/thriller where the protagonist was not a detective. Many authors struggle to make this convincing (amateur investigations often seem daft) but she didn't have Nathan grabbing a Sherlock hat and magnifying glass. His uncovering of the secrets was much more natural and realistic than that.At its heart, The Lost Man is more than a murder mystery-- it is a tale of families, loneliness, second chances and forgiveness. A complicated web of loyalties and conflicts exist between the members of the Bright family, and it is extremely compelling to read about. Write more, please.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "He used to say the ones who wandered off called the loudest. For the rest of their lives, their mums would hear them crying out in the wind. Do you think that's true? That this place has ghosts? That the mothers would hear their lost children in the wind."Guys, I'm blown away. I've been a colossal fan of Jane Harper since her debut novel The Dry was published, and more specifically a massive fan of her series protagonist Aaron Falk. Her lush, atmospheric way of writing makes me feel the heat of "He used to say the ones who wandered off called the loudest. For the rest of their lives, their mums would hear them crying out in the wind. Do you think that's true? That this place has ghosts? That the mothers would hear their lost children in the wind."Guys, I'm blown away. I've been a colossal fan of Jane Harper since her debut novel The Dry was published, and more specifically a massive fan of her series protagonist Aaron Falk. Her lush, atmospheric way of writing makes me feel the heat of the Australian outback, and her character driven plots are more engaging than any high octane thriller, placing Harper squarely in the ring as one of the finest writers today. When I found out that The Lost Man would be a stand-alone novel, set apart from her police procedural series, I was a bit anxious due to the fact that I love those novels so much. Clearly, I had nothing to be concerned over, as I'm tempted to go so far as confirming that this is Harper's best work of fiction to date."Dead men didn't talk. Nathan must have thought that a hundred times over the years, but as he drove past the grave, the idea slipped slightly, taking on a strange and unfamiliar form. It was uncomfortable as it lodged itself in the darkest corner of his mind."One of the most appealing aspects of The Lost Man is how it takes a traditional genre and puts the author's unique flair on the subject. If you've spent any time in the world of crime fiction, then you have likely read your fair share of police procedurals and may have even grown weary of their repetitive, familiar behavior. Here, Harper has inserted an amateur detective, the murder victim's brother, and made it read in a believable manner that feels neither contrived nor overdone. As we follow Nathan's journey in determining if his brother Cam was murdered or committed suicide, there are no fancy tricks or improbable action sequences where we shake our heads thinking, "No amateur would be able to pull that off!" "Sometimes, the space almost seemed to call to Nathan. Like a faint heartbeat, insistent and persuasive... Life out here is hard. We all try to get through the best way we can. But trust me, there's not a single person here who isn't lying to themselves about something."Is this a book that will shock you with unexpected twists and floor you with its unpredictable plot? Probably not. As someone who has read more "twisty" psychological thrillers than I can count, I'm finding it beyond difficult to pick up one of those that actually surprises me, or entertains me anymore. The Lost Man isn't that type of read though; this is a timeless tale of family dynamics, all-too familiar abuse, and perhaps a small enough cast that you will possibly guess the final outcome before the reveal. Let it be known, however, that I did NOT have it all nailed down before then. This is the beauty of the book though; it's a small enough cast that your suspicion is cast upon everyone, and as the story progresses between past and present, the reader is brought to an emotional climax after a tense journey alongside of Nathan and his family. The excellence is in Harper's style of writing, her ability to captivate the reader, and talented way of transporting us to a place we may never have a chance to visit in person in our lifetime. If you enjoy emotionally charged, character driven stories, please do yourself a favor and pick this one up the second it lands in your hands. I feel privileged to have found one of my Top Ten reads of 2019 in the first month of the year, but I'll be thinking about this gem of a novel for a considerable amount of time. *I received a review copy via the publisher.
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  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite things about reading is when you pick up a book completely on a whim, unencumbered by expectations, having barely skimmed the synopsis, and it’s the thrill of leaping without being able to see the ground below you, right before you realize that’s called falling.This was one of those times. So, what’s this book about? The Lost Man takes place in the remote Australian outback, where strangers are vanishingly rare, and every soul is known to everyone. A silent place consumed by a One of my favorite things about reading is when you pick up a book completely on a whim, unencumbered by expectations, having barely skimmed the synopsis, and it’s the thrill of leaping without being able to see the ground below you, right before you realize that’s called falling.This was one of those times. So, what’s this book about? The Lost Man takes place in the remote Australian outback, where strangers are vanishingly rare, and every soul is known to everyone. A silent place consumed by a loneliness so ancient that it never truly leaves such places, where time seldom ventures and from which nothing ever leaves.When Nathan Bright discovers his middle brother Cameron dead by the gravestone of an unknown stockman—whose legendary tale lent weight to endless ghost stories—the scene penetrates his haze, but it doesn’t make any sense: why would Cameron stray away from his fully packed Land Cruise under the pitiless sun? What was he doing by the stockman’s grave? The local policeman suggests suicide, but Nathan is incapable of dispelling the sudden cold that settles into him. And none of the terrible details could account for the purity of dread that surges through him when his brother’s skeletons come tumbling out of the closet. Nathan’s vision soon takes on a black-and-white clarity, grim and shocking: Cameron is not the man everyone thought he was.But Nathan has his own ghosts dogging his heels. For ten years, he had tried to fill the space between himself and his family, but the weight of a heinous mistake he’s made a decade before is still dragging at his neck like a yoke. A mistake that cost him his son’s custody and left him abandoned not only by his community, but by himself, left dim and wandering, waking up alone with the feeling of a dreamless night, empty and unyielding.Cameron’s death, it seems, is just another layer of tragedy in a jarring story that’s already seen more than its fair share. ‘Do you think that’s true?’ ‘That this place has ghosts?’ ‘That the mothers would hear their lost children in the wind.’ ‘Oh.’ He reached out and took his mum’s hand again. ‘No.’ He really didn’t. If that were true, the outback air would howl so loud the dust would never settle. It is against the grim backdrop of this reality that The Lost Man gleams so dazzlingly.The Lost Man is a slow paced and immaculately plotted mystery that casts a deep-sunk hook that will reel you in. This book gathered my attention in a tight fist and distracted me from even the things that distracted me most of the time. And although I was far more intrigued by the mystery cloaking Nathan’s past than I was in the creeping, whipping tendrils of the thriller's action plot, I was never bored and always invested.The Lost Man is less a novel and more of an experience: one that is pleasant, even beautiful, but more often than not, slippery and unaccountably wrong-feeling. It's exhilarating. It's exhausting. There is a twist on nearly every page, and there are more than 300 pages. Secrets meld and fuse and shrink until there is only truth. And as every new revelation dawned on me, my shock pivoted in entirely new directions. One of the most ingenious aspects of this book is how the author sagely lets the reader follow the trail of bread crumbs and make the connections, which makes for a tremendously rewarding read. My initial questions were immediately replaced by new ones, crowding my mind, spinning a thread that wraps around the brain, knotting itself into a noose. ‘Life out here is hard. We all try to get through the best way we can. But trust me, there’s not a single person here who isn’t lying to themselves about something.’ But even more than the variously tragic turns and twists, the novel's strength lies in how it deftly develops location, character, and props in perfect proportion. What begins as the story of a brother looking for answers winds up morphing into an affecting portrait of loss and discovery that accumulates in a satisfying crescendo of guilt and redemption. Jane Harper intricately weaves together the scattered threads of the slowly evolving mystery while exploring the lives on its peripheries. Tangled character histories and perspectives is what really orbits this novel and it's the story's most tortured and most complex character who truly connects.Nathan Bright’s story was a constant ache in my throat, like a sob devoid of the grief. Nathan is lonely, and at the bottom of everything—like dregs in a cup—there is no deeper truth in the soul of the red desert than that. He’d been living in increments of days and weeks, bowed down by guilt beyond his strength, feeling the minutes and hours of his life running through him, as though he were nothing but an hourglass of flesh and bone…and that wasn’t really living at all.Nathan has made a mistake and for a decade, he dragged that grim burden from place to place. His marriage failed, the gorge between him and his son is stretching, gaping open like a slash in fabric. He was even barred from ever stepping foot into the town. But there is no wound anyone could give Nathan that he had not already given himself and it takes several pages for him to begin believing that he was better than the worst things he’s done.Jane Harper writes about Nathan’s aloneness and ostracism with a soul-baring poignancy, relentlessly tightening the frigid knot of my sympathy for him. Throughout the book, I kept wondering how such extraordinary hatred and resentment could be visited upon a man who seemed to be a study in kindness and selflessness. When the truth is finally revealed—ugly and honest and bloody and a more than a little bit terrifying—I remember shaking my head, not in denial, but more like I was shaking something off. I was floored with the feeling of disbelief crashing against evidence. Jane Harper doesn't provide a satisfying simple answer. Instead, she gives you enough to let you decide for yourself if the past sets in stone the present, or if the sum of all the scraps of our mistakes is more than what defines us.At its core, The Lost Man is really about the prides and perils of family, about the joys and aches of parenthood, about redemption and unforgiveness, and I'm certain that's what I'll always remember about it. There was something about the brutal heat when the sun was high in the sky and he was watching the slow meandering movement of the herds. Looking out over the wide-open plains and seeing the changing colours in the dust. It was the only time when he felt something close to happiness. Whatever your jam is—fully realized characters, well-earned suspense, mind-bending twists, romance— there is something formidable here for everyone. Highly recommended!
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  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    January 1, 1970
    ***NOW AVAILABLE***I had read Ms. Harper’s previous two books and loved them. They were mysteries, and part of the Aaron Falk series. This is a stand alone novel and quite different.What I loved about this book was Ms. Harper’s descriptive writing. Here is a sampling of her exquisite descriptions of the Australian outback, telling about how it "floods" without raining : "It was a strange sight, even after forty-two years, to watch the water rise, silent and stealthy, under a cloudless blue sky. ***NOW AVAILABLE***I had read Ms. Harper’s previous two books and loved them. They were mysteries, and part of the Aaron Falk series. This is a stand alone novel and quite different.What I loved about this book was Ms. Harper’s descriptive writing. Here is a sampling of her exquisite descriptions of the Australian outback, telling about how it "floods" without raining : "It was a strange sight, even after forty-two years, to watch the water rise, silent and stealthy, under a cloudless blue sky. The river would lap at its banks, swollen with rain that had fallen days before and a thousand kilometers north . . . When it floods, most of this is under water. You can't get over without a boat. The houses and the town are all built on high ground, but the road disappears. . . a lot of properties become islands". This would, indeed, be a strange phenomenon to behold. There are so many beautiful descriptions of what can only be called a brutal place to live, and yet there is beauty there as Ms. Harper’s words convey. There is a legend about “the stockman’s grave” and headstone, supposedly out in the middle of nowhere. Not close to a town or anyone’s home. This is where Cameron’s body is found and that is another puzzle to solve. Why did Cameron choose to come to this site without any supplies?This book was very much about family. The Bright family with Liz and her sons, Nathan, Cameron and Bub. It is the middle son, Cameron, who is found dead at the beginning of the novel. It is a mystery as to why he was found dead apparently from lack of water and food in the unforgiving heat of the outback. His car was found miles away fully stocked with supplies. Cameron had lived here all of his life, why would he leave his car with all of the supplies and set out on his own, with nothing???? On questioning the family it becomes apparent that something has been off about Cameron’s recent actions and we are left to puzzle out why. There is mention of a young woman named Jenna, who had gone to the police when Cameron was only 17, charging him with raping her. With the intervention of Cameron’s powerful father, the charges were dismissed and the woman and her boyfriend left town. Yet she had recently reached out for Cameron’s phone number and address, why??There are many family secrets which come to light throughout the novel. Things went on in Cameron and Ilse’s life with their two daughters which were only talked about in hushed tones. What indeed had been going on???I loved the interaction of Nathan with his son Xander, home for a school holiday. Nathan and Xander’s relationship grows quite a lot in the novel and it’s great to read about their increased understanding of each other.This is still very much a mystery but with lots of familial relationships. The only thing a bit different from this book is that I didn’t feel the tension of solving the mystery that was present in her first two books. This is more of a slow burn but a great read! ADDENDUM: Quote changed on December 5 when I found that I had unknowingly quoted the same passage as another reviewer. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley. The book will be published in February of 2019.
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Slow, but worthwhile!The Lost Man is a character study about the Bright brothers: Nathan, Cameron, and Bub who live in the Australian outback. When Cameron, whom the family considered to be “the golden child,” is found dead by the legendary stockman’s grave, everyone’s at a loss in the small outback community in which they live. Cameron was loved by all and seemed to have the perfect life and family. His death doesn’t make sense. His older brother Nathan tries to figure out what led to his broth Slow, but worthwhile!The Lost Man is a character study about the Bright brothers: Nathan, Cameron, and Bub who live in the Australian outback. When Cameron, whom the family considered to be “the golden child,” is found dead by the legendary stockman’s grave, everyone’s at a loss in the small outback community in which they live. Cameron was loved by all and seemed to have the perfect life and family. His death doesn’t make sense. His older brother Nathan tries to figure out what led to his brother’s death. Was it suicide? Murder? Nathan is the narrator. He is the oldest child and also the black sheep of the family. Having lived in near exile from the last 10 years, Nathan's relationship with Cam was on shaky ground towards the end. With his son Xander in tow, he begins to look for clues around the family farm trying to uncover the secrets behind the brother he barely knew. The Bright family is good at keeping secrets and pretending not to see what’s really going on. The three boys grew up in a tumultuous household and have been deeply impacted by the events of their childhood.Even though The Lost Man is primarily about the Bright brothers, female characters play a pivotal role. While they might be dutifully standing by in the background, their power lies in observation and quiet intelligence. The Lost Man is extremely slow-paced. I started it twice before and wound up pushing it to the side for other books. This time, I picked it up and once again I struggled with the pacing. However, I forced myself to keep on reading and I am so thankful that I did! If you are not a fan of books that move at an extremely slow pace, then this book will probably not work for you. The pace does pick up as the novel progresses and more and tidbits are revealed about the fascinating Bright family. Harper’s writing makes this a worthwhile read. She transported me to the brutal conditions of the outback--I could feel the heat emanating from the pages. The characters are complex and compelling. The mystery behind Cam’s death is interesting, but the development of Nathan’s character takes center stage and held my interest. Overall, The Lost Man is a subtle, multilayered read filled with nuance and secrets that slowly unfold, leading to a startling conclusion. I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars* (rounded up)A Character Driven Novel to be Cherished! Extremely Thought-Provoking. Living is hard in Queensland. The dry, the heat, the financial hardship and the inability to make a living. Families attempt to live off the land, raising cattle, red dust swirling all around them. Most eventually leave and truthfully, few survive.The Bright brothers grew up in a time of struggle. Nathan, a divorced dad to Xander, is the eldest son, who was shunned from town when he was young; Cameron, 4.5 Stars* (rounded up)A Character Driven Novel to be Cherished! Extremely Thought-Provoking. Living is hard in Queensland. The dry, the heat, the financial hardship and the inability to make a living. Families attempt to live off the land, raising cattle, red dust swirling all around them. Most eventually leave and truthfully, few survive.The Bright brothers grew up in a time of struggle. Nathan, a divorced dad to Xander, is the eldest son, who was shunned from town when he was young; Cameron, the middle son, is married with two children, and is also a very successful rancher and businessman; and Bub the youngest, has always felt like an outsider.When Cameron’s body is found at the Stockman’s Grave, it seems unfathomable. Did Cam take his own life or did someone end it? If so, was it stranger or someone close to him? For me, “The Lost Man” isn’t a suspense or a mystery novel, even though it begins with the death of Cameron Bright. It is a slow moving yet fascinating character study of a family in turmoil. My favorite characters are Nathan and his son, Xander. Every thought and action they take in this book are sheer perfection. Xander is extremely observant and is also wise beyond his years and as for Nathan, he just about broke my heart.There are many questions that swirl around in “The Lost Man” by Jane Harper. What is survival about? In addition, what makes a life? Thinking about these answers, my heart is heavy. “The Lost Man” is such a thought provoking book. This was my first read by Jane Harper. Going into it, I was expecting it to be completely different - I was therefore pleasantly surprised as I love character driven novels and the character of Nathan made a huge impression. This is a book to savor, to think about for hours and days after and just revel in the beauty of. This was a buddy read with Kaceey - it garnered much discussion. I think this would be a fantastic book for a book club discussion and I highly recommend this novel. A huge thank you to Cathleen Kenney, Flatiron Books, NetGalley and Jane Harper for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 12.28.18. *Will be published on Amazon and Twitter on release date of 2.5.18.
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  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    ****CRACK****That is the sound of Jane Harper hitting it out of the ball park yet again!! I swear she keeps getting better and better! This is my favorite of her books to date.The outback in Queensland. The sun is hot and unrelenting. It's a harsh climate which makes it hard to earn a living. Nathan, Cameron and Bub are three brothers trying to make a living in the Outback. Nathan is a divorced lonely man who lives by himself and rarely gets to see his teenage son, Xander. He has been shunned by ****CRACK****That is the sound of Jane Harper hitting it out of the ball park yet again!! I swear she keeps getting better and better! This is my favorite of her books to date.The outback in Queensland. The sun is hot and unrelenting. It's a harsh climate which makes it hard to earn a living. Nathan, Cameron and Bub are three brothers trying to make a living in the Outback. Nathan is a divorced lonely man who lives by himself and rarely gets to see his teenage son, Xander. He has been shunned by the town for an incident which happened years ago. He is trying to survive on land which makes it hard to make a living. Cameron is the middle brother, the popular one. He is a married man with two daughters. He is liked and respected in the community. Bub is the youngest and keeps to himself. He feels like the outsider in the family. Not really fitting in, always in his older brothers’ shadows. He has plans for his life and wants to do his own thing. When Cameron's body has been found at the infamous Stockman's grave everyone is shocked. Cameron has been acting as if something has been bothering him lately. What was troubling him? Why would he have been at Stockman's grave? He was supposed to be meeting his brother, Bub. Did he take his own life? Why? Why leave a fully stocked car and walk away?The Lost Man follows this family as the cope with Cameron's loss and prepare for his funeral. I found the title to be very apt as it could apply to each brother in some way. Of course, there is the mystery about Cameron and his death, but this book is also about family, healing, loneliness, relationships, choices, missed opportunities, and starting over.Harper had me from page one and I was thoroughly captivated by this stand-alone novel. The writing is descriptive and vivid. Who couldn't visual that dusty red clay, the scorching son, or feel the heat while reading this book? Fabulous storytelling. Highly recommend!
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Harper shifts direction with her third novel, less crime novel, more a character driven mystery and family drama. What has not changed is her ability to write an utterly gripping story set in the intensely searing heat of the Australian outback, and the depiction of small town life with its claustrophobia, marked with its unforgiving and judgmental attitudes. Two brothers, Nathan and Bub meet at the legendary stockman's headstone, in the middle of nowhere where the body of their brother, Ca Jane Harper shifts direction with her third novel, less crime novel, more a character driven mystery and family drama. What has not changed is her ability to write an utterly gripping story set in the intensely searing heat of the Australian outback, and the depiction of small town life with its claustrophobia, marked with its unforgiving and judgmental attitudes. Two brothers, Nathan and Bub meet at the legendary stockman's headstone, in the middle of nowhere where the body of their brother, Cameron is found. Why is his vehicle with its necessary supplies found parked amidst rocks some distance away? Nathan is with his son, Xander, who normally lives in Brisbane with his ex-wife, Jacqui, now remarried. Nathan has missed most of his son's growing up years after bitter and acrimonious custody battles. He runs his own farm, but his status as town pariah for many years has resulted in him living alone, barely seeing anyone, struggling and drowning in a quagmire of financial debt. He has hardly been in touch with his family, whose family farm was run by Cameron. Christmas is coming, Cameron's funeral has to be planned as the police have decided his death merits no investigation, given that Cameron had been troubled for a while, likely committing suicide. Nathan and Xander stay at the family home, with his grieving mother, Uncle Harry, Bub, and Ilse, Cameron's wife, and their two daughters, Lo and Sophie. Nathan, helped by Xander, wants to get to the bottom of Cameron's death, and finds there are secrets and so much he was unaware of. He finds himself sifting through the past, dysfunctional family history, mental health issues and abuse in its many varied forms.I loved this novel from Harper even more than her others, I think she is developing into an even better writer. She is an expert when it comes to conveying the outback, the deadly scorching heat, the dust storms, the remoteness, how the heat and isolation takes it toll on its inhabitants and its unspoken rules such as you must help anyone in trouble. It has a beauty and a hold on those who know no other home as we can see with Nathan's inner connection with it that outsiders just do not get. Harper's characterisation has you investing in her compelling storytelling and her coverage of the dynamics of family life. Nathan understands the principles underlying the Bright family, don't tell anyone, not even each other and the single ingrained truth, he was on his own. The vastness of the outback and lack of close neighbours means family issues fail to be addressed from external agencies. This is a brilliantly entertaining read revolving around a family drama. I cannot wait to see where Jane Harper goes next as I eagerly anticipate her next book. Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    "He couldn't simply leave, for a lot of reasons. Financial. Practical. And not least because sometimes, quite a lot of the time, he felt connected to the outback in a way that he loved. There was something about the brutal heat, when the sun was high in the sky and he was watching the slow meandering movement of the herds. Looking out over the wide-open plains and seeing the changing colors. It was the only time he felt something close to happiness."I rarely start my reviews with a quote, but I "He couldn't simply leave, for a lot of reasons. Financial. Practical. And not least because sometimes, quite a lot of the time, he felt connected to the outback in a way that he loved. There was something about the brutal heat, when the sun was high in the sky and he was watching the slow meandering movement of the herds. Looking out over the wide-open plains and seeing the changing colors. It was the only time he felt something close to happiness."I rarely start my reviews with a quote, but I wanted to share this description. It is descriptions like that one that pulled me into the story, let me feel as if I were truly there instead of simply reading and observing. This takes true talent, a talent that based on the three novels of hers I have read, this author has in spades. A stand alone, a story of a family who own a large cattle ststion in the outback. Three grown sons and various other family members as well as workers. When the middle brother is found dead by the stockman's grave, a suicide is suspected as he week knew never to go far away from his supplies, the heat a definite killer. The stockman's grave out in the middle of nowhere, a grave that has many urban legends attached. So we enter the life of this family, their secrets, past acts and grievances, things seen but not apparent nor questionable at the time. There is much tension simmering under the surface, and this death will bring all to the surface.The death is only the background, the family and their relationships, past misdeeds and abuses, at the forefront. A story that even those who do not read mysteries will enjoy. A setting that is beautifully described and prose where not a word is wasted. A family that has suffered much but still remain together. Although different from her previous two novels, I think this one is my favorite, it is so realistically portrayed. Now I have to wait impatiently for her next.ARC from Netgalley.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    The Lost Man is a stand alone mystery from Jane Harper. It’s a slow burn of a book. A man is found dead of dehydration out in the middle of his Australian cattle station. There’s no rhyme or reason for him to have been there, kilometers away from his well provisioned, working car. His other two brothers try to sort through the why of his demise. Harper parcels out clues and backstories in small bites. We slowly get to see further into each of the brothers, not to mention the father that shaped t The Lost Man is a stand alone mystery from Jane Harper. It’s a slow burn of a book. A man is found dead of dehydration out in the middle of his Australian cattle station. There’s no rhyme or reason for him to have been there, kilometers away from his well provisioned, working car. His other two brothers try to sort through the why of his demise. Harper parcels out clues and backstories in small bites. We slowly get to see further into each of the brothers, not to mention the father that shaped them. Her descriptions of the outback make it seem like character in its own right. It’s so desolate and so removed from “civilization”. This book grabbed me and I had to force myself to put it down and get on with life. It’s a very quick read because it is so compelling. Harper does a great job getting a family where everyone has secrets just right. I loved the dynamics, that whole hate/love thing. A great ending, Very Satisfying. Highly recommend this one!
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  • Phrynne
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Harper is an author with real talent and a genuine knowledge of Australia and its landscape. In this, her third book, she takes us into outback Queensland with its unimaginably huge cattle stations and its devastating dryness and heat.One major aspect of living in such a place is that the people must be independent as services we take for granted living in a city are not as available. In this story, after Nathan and Bub find their brother dead there are no forensic specialists, no pathologi Jane Harper is an author with real talent and a genuine knowledge of Australia and its landscape. In this, her third book, she takes us into outback Queensland with its unimaginably huge cattle stations and its devastating dryness and heat.One major aspect of living in such a place is that the people must be independent as services we take for granted living in a city are not as available. In this story, after Nathan and Bub find their brother dead there are no forensic specialists, no pathologists, just one lone policeman who covers a huge area. He spends most of the book hundreds of kilometres away dealing with a bus crash and it is up to the family to find their own solutions to the unexpected death.I enjoyed the characters especially Nathan and Xander. The two little girls, Sophie and Lo, are fun too and we see some of the ways children live their outback lives with School of the Air and ponies to ride every day. All very interesting!I enjoyed it all and read it in a day. Now I wait with anticipation to see what the author does next!
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    Once upon a time there were 3 brothers. They all lived on the expansive outback of Australia. Now two of the brothers find themselves standing over the body of the third, wondering… what happened?Nathan - the oldest, struggling after being shunned by his community. Divorced, in debt and painfully alone.Cameron - the middle child. The favorite. He learned early on that a charming smile will win over anyone he comes in contact with.Bub - the youngest. Fumbling about in the shadows of his two broth Once upon a time there were 3 brothers. They all lived on the expansive outback of Australia. Now two of the brothers find themselves standing over the body of the third, wondering… what happened?Nathan - the oldest, struggling after being shunned by his community. Divorced, in debt and painfully alone.Cameron - the middle child. The favorite. He learned early on that a charming smile will win over anyone he comes in contact with.Bub - the youngest. Fumbling about in the shadows of his two brothers. Never able to successfully strike out on his own.Jane Harper writes a highly descriptive tale of life in the outback. The harshness of the terrain, the determination of those who choose to live there and work an unforgiving land. A daily struggle in the searing, relentless heat.A slow, deliberate read that will draw you in, giving you a deep look inside the complexities of a family. Their struggles for success, love and ultimately acceptance.This was my first read by Jane Harper, though I’ve got her two previous books in my TBR shelf that will be moving rapidly up my list!A buddy read with Susanne! So glad we got to read this one together!!☃️Thank you to NetGalley, Flatiron Books and Jane Harper for an ARC to read and review.
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  • Kylie D
    January 1, 1970
    Another marvellous tale from Jane Harper. In this one we find ourselves at the lonely grave of a fallen stockman in the middle of outback Queensland, where another, much more recent, body is lying on the grave. The body turns out to be Cam Bright, a local landowner, but what was he doing in the middle of nowhere? And so far from his car? His older brother Nathan realises that things are not adding up, but Nathan has troubles of his own. As we delve into the families past secrets begin to slowly Another marvellous tale from Jane Harper. In this one we find ourselves at the lonely grave of a fallen stockman in the middle of outback Queensland, where another, much more recent, body is lying on the grave. The body turns out to be Cam Bright, a local landowner, but what was he doing in the middle of nowhere? And so far from his car? His older brother Nathan realises that things are not adding up, but Nathan has troubles of his own. As we delve into the families past secrets begin to slowly reveal themselves, both shocking and surprising.I raced through this book in a day, mesmerised by the narrative and the descriptions of the beauty of the outback. Jane Harper does a wonderful job of transporting the reader into her tale, so much so we can feel the oppressive heat beating down upon us, and we are continually wondering what on earth Cam was doing so far from where he was supposed to be. This book is a must read for all lovers of fiction.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    Having thoroughly enjoyed Jane Harper’s first two novels, I was eager to try this, a standalone, to see how connected I felt. While the story was definitely different, it grew on me and helped cement the sentiment that Harper is one of those authors sure to be recommended by those who read her work. When the body of Cameron Bright is found in the middle of an open parcel of land in Western Australia, questions abound. Discovered on the property of one of his brothers, a vast expanse of over 700 Having thoroughly enjoyed Jane Harper’s first two novels, I was eager to try this, a standalone, to see how connected I felt. While the story was definitely different, it grew on me and helped cement the sentiment that Harper is one of those authors sure to be recommended by those who read her work. When the body of Cameron Bright is found in the middle of an open parcel of land in Western Australia, questions abound. Discovered on the property of one of his brothers, a vast expanse of over 700 square kilometres, no one can be quite sure what happened or if there was foul play. As temperatures rise above 45 degrees Celsius, he could have perished from dehydration, particularly because he was found well away from his vehicle. The flat plains and no one having seen anything also limits the possibility that a stranger completed a nefarious act. As Nathan and Bub try to work through what happened to their brother, news comes from others within the clan, stories that have been kept under wraps until Cameron’s passing. Could some of the middle brother’s antics be coming to haunt him? With a large group of potential suspects and a fairly new member of the police force supervising this vast region, it’s anybody’s guess as to what happened and who might be involved, not to mention what motive might be at play. But, with Christmas approaching, answers will need to be found, if only to put the entire matter to rest. Harper keeps the reader guessing until the final pages, in this wonderfully unique Australian mystery. Recommended for those who have enjoyed the Aaron Falk series and all those who like something a little different. I have long had a fascination with Australia and novels set on that side of the world. I cannot put my finger on it, but I’ve been lucky to have had some wonderful authors depict the area effectively, including Jane Harper. While the terrain differs greatly from my Canadian homeland, the people seem relatively similar, allowing me to have a strong connection and affinity for those who live in and around Australia and New Zealand. Harper introduces the reader to both Bub and Nathan Bright in the early stages of this novel, brothers who have spent much of their lives in a farming family in Western Australia. Their coming upon the third brother in the family, Cameron, takes its toll on them differently, as can be seen in the way Harper depicts them. Not only that, but their abilities to process the news and develop a plan to get to the bottom of what happens seems also to contrast. Nathan struggles with his teenage son, Xander, as well, which only adds to some of the backstory and development that Harper heaps upon the man. Adding a large cast of secondary characters, including multiple generations of Brights and some who married into the family, permits Harper to explore the family dynamic in even more ways, as secrets are revealed and news is shared between the branches. While somewhat a murder mystery, I would also classify this as a novel of familial discovery, as the ‘onion’ is peeled back and those closest to others discover just how little they know. Harper weaves this storyline through the curiosities of rural Australia and how isolation can also flavour this mystery. The end result is a captivating piece that will keep the reader guessing as the react to the news that comes from a variety of sources. Harper has does well, even if fans of the Aaron Falk series are begging for more. Sure to whet the appetite and bring new fans into the fold!Kudos, Madam Harper, for another wonderful novel. Unique in its delivery, but surely satisfying and intriguing.Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    Desolate, dangerous, remote and vast; the Australian outback is a place I’d bet I will never see. Those who make it their home live a hard life coping with the savage heat of a vicious and unforgiving climate. One mistake means death and preparation is essential. The inhabitants know this so it makes no sense when two brothers find their middle brother dead in a godforsaken location and it appears he intentionally wandered off to his death. A death caused by the elements of the outback is grueso Desolate, dangerous, remote and vast; the Australian outback is a place I’d bet I will never see. Those who make it their home live a hard life coping with the savage heat of a vicious and unforgiving climate. One mistake means death and preparation is essential. The inhabitants know this so it makes no sense when two brothers find their middle brother dead in a godforsaken location and it appears he intentionally wandered off to his death. A death caused by the elements of the outback is gruesome. This is an intricately plotted mystery that delves deeply into the inner workings of a family dependent upon each other for survival. This does not disappoint and the writing is superb.
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    The Lost Man is my first read from Jane Harper and what a read! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ The Bright brothers live on enormous adjacent cattle properties in the Australian outback. The Lost Man opens with two of the brothers, Nathan and Bub, meeting at the stockman’s grave landmark where their brother, Cameron, has passed away. Was there foul play, or did Cameron intentionally allow himself to die from dehydration in the brutal outback desert?There are several suspects (in my mind) right away even in this spar The Lost Man is my first read from Jane Harper and what a read! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ The Bright brothers live on enormous adjacent cattle properties in the Australian outback. The Lost Man opens with two of the brothers, Nathan and Bub, meeting at the stockman’s grave landmark where their brother, Cameron, has passed away. Was there foul play, or did Cameron intentionally allow himself to die from dehydration in the brutal outback desert?There are several suspects (in my mind) right away even in this sparsely populated area. Was it Nathan or Bub, the competitive brothers who may have wanted Cameron’s property or possibly a need for revenge? Was it one or both of the drifters living and working on the property?Or was Cameron’s wife, Ilse, somehow involved? The way things transpire, the spotlight blinks on each person in time, and I never knew who the red herrings were because there were several! Now I know why Jane Harper’s writing is first described as atmospheric. YES, it absolutely was. Suspenseful? Another big yes. Dark and gritty? Uh huh! If you enjoy mysteries, stories of family dynamics, easy-to-read, perfectly paced slower burning suspense, this book has your name all over it.The Lost Man is an epic, deeply emotional story that will keep you on your toes, and its slower momentum will allow you plenty of time to analyze and explore what you think happened; that is what kept me invested all the more. I buddy read this with my friend Beth at Bibliobeth, and it was an amazing book to analyze and dissect with a dear friend. ♥️ I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars rounded up.I've read all three of Jane Harper's now. In addition to her exceptional storytelling ability, she is tremendously effective with the imagery she evokes. Reading The Lost Man , as well as The Dry and Force of Nature , I could feel the unrelenting heat of the Australian outback and taste the dry dust, right along with the characters.The Bright family lives in adjoining cattle ranches in the isolated Australian outback, but they're still more than a three-hour drive away f 4.5 stars rounded up.I've read all three of Jane Harper's now. In addition to her exceptional storytelling ability, she is tremendously effective with the imagery she evokes. Reading The Lost Man , as well as The Dry and Force of Nature , I could feel the unrelenting heat of the Australian outback and taste the dry dust, right along with the characters.The Bright family lives in adjoining cattle ranches in the isolated Australian outback, but they're still more than a three-hour drive away from one another. Brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet for the first time in quite a while when their middle brother, Cameron, is found dead on a remote part of the family cattle ranch. He was a victim of the brutal heat, but no one understands what made him brave the elements with no protection, especially when he had planned to meet up with Bub that day.When it becomes clear that there was no reason for Cameron to be outside in the heat for so long, especially when his car was running perfectly and was fully stocked with the supplies one would need in an emergency, the realization surfaces that either Cameron took his own life, or someone forced him into a situation that would end it brutally."They lived in a land of extremes in more ways than one. People were either completely fine, or very not. There was little middle ground. And Cam wasn't some tourist. He knew how to handle himself, and that meant he could well have been half an hour up the road, slowed down by the dark and out of range, but snug in his swag, with a cool beer from the fridge in his boot. Or he might not."Nathan and his teenage son return to the family ranch with Bub. Cameron was managing the ranch, on which lived their mother, his wife, their daughters, a longtime family friend who was more than an employee, and two backpackers Cameron hired. Nathan's relationship with his family has always been a bit distant, as he and his family bear the scars of their violent father. His family worries about Nathan's own stability, as his life has been far from easy, and he lives out in the distance on his ranch by himself.As Nathan and others try to make sense of Cam's last days, to determine if his behavior everyone describes as "on edge" translated into a suicide attempt, or if something more nefarious is at play, old wounds are reopened, old resentments resurface, and worries about the future cause more tension. It seems as if everyone had something to hide, and Cam's death could have had its roots in a decades-old incident that nearly everyone had forgotten about."Life out here is hard. We all try to get through the best way we can. But trust me, there's not a single person here who isn't lying to themselves about something."Was Cam unsettled enough that he took his own life, or did someone kill him? If someone did kill Cam, who was it—Bub? Ilse, Cam's wife? Uncle Harry, the longtime employee? One of the backpackers, whose background isn't quite what they said it was? Or was it a figure from the past, returning to even the score?Can the family ever regain some sense of emotional equilibrium, or will the old scars and hurts continue to block any meaningful relationships? Can Nathan survive his lonely existence, or is he becoming a threat to himself, as many in his family, including his son, fear? The Lost Man is both mystery and a novel about the bonds of family, and how they can be both comforting and troubling.I thought this was a fantastic book. There was so much to appreciate here, from Nathan's own issues and his fragile relationship with his son, to the brutal lives the family had under their father's thumb, and how everyone was determined that the sins of the father not repeat themselves. Harper did such a terrific job getting me completely hooked on this story, and I devoured the entire book in a day.This isn't quite a thriller, but there certainly is suspense, and I was surprised by how Harper tied everything up. I'd actually love to see the Bright family again, that's how immersed I found myself in this story. Harper has had a fantastic run of books so far, and I look forward to what's coming next. I received an advance copy of the novel courtesy of Flatiron Books. Thanks for making it available!See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yrralh/.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed Harper’s novel The Dry, and this one was a little slower paced for me. The premise is that one brother’s body is found inexplicably dead on an old grave far from his car. Two brothers come together to help one police officer—who covers a vast area—to help solve the mystery. Having lived their whole lives in the outback of Queensland, Australia, why would Cameron not have used some form of communication or taken water or rations? He knew how to survive in the outback, so was he d I really enjoyed Harper’s novel The Dry, and this one was a little slower paced for me. The premise is that one brother’s body is found inexplicably dead on an old grave far from his car. Two brothers come together to help one police officer—who covers a vast area—to help solve the mystery. Having lived their whole lives in the outback of Queensland, Australia, why would Cameron not have used some form of communication or taken water or rations? He knew how to survive in the outback, so was he distraught about something and chose to die alone in a miserable way? What other explanation might there be? Nathan, the oldest brother, is still haunted by a mistake he made years ago, as well as grappling with the distance between him and his now-sixteen-year-old son. This is a story about family secrets unraveling. I enjoyed the setting of the dry outback as a character.Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES FEBRUARY 5, 2019.For more reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars rounded upI am in the minority on this one. I think I am the only one that gave this 3 stars. I loved The Dry. That one was my favorite and I even loved the second book. This one was just so slow and boring. I wish I could of loved this one like everyone else. I loved the writing and that's the reason why I finished it. I was expecting a good ending and it wasn't the best for me. I got this on Overdrive so I am not going to write a full review.
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  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    The Lost Man is my first book by Jane Harper and now I am going to read her other books because The Lost Man rates up there with my all time favorite books. The atmosphere and characters rang true for me in this slow moving mystery of the death of Cameron, the middle of three rancher brothers. Cameron's body is found in the middle of nowhere, with no one knowing why he would be there, without his vehicle or his supplies. The oldest brother, Nathan, has been estranged from most of his family and The Lost Man is my first book by Jane Harper and now I am going to read her other books because The Lost Man rates up there with my all time favorite books. The atmosphere and characters rang true for me in this slow moving mystery of the death of Cameron, the middle of three rancher brothers. Cameron's body is found in the middle of nowhere, with no one knowing why he would be there, without his vehicle or his supplies. The oldest brother, Nathan, has been estranged from most of his family and the town for something he did long ago and Bub, the younger brother, seems to be drifting and unreliable. Now the family has to come together, with town officials, to figure out what happened to Cameron and if he was murderedNathan has been living a lonely, isolated life for so many years now and he's not sure who to trust and why someone would want his brother dead. The isolation of the Australian outback might be too much for them all despite the fact that the family is attached to the property in a way that would make it impossible to leave. Nathan loves his son, who lives with his ex-wife, a son he doesn't get to see often and will see even less, as the demands of his son's schooling will keep him away. But during this sad time of Cameron's death, Nathan's son is with him and their relationship is explored along with that of the rest of the family. I cared so much about Nathan and what had happened to him in the past and what was going to happen to him in the future. The book is about more than the mysterious death of Cameron, it's about what could have led up to that death, starting decades ago. And throughout the book, the Australian outback is as much a character in this story as the humans. This book was a five star read for me from beginning to end.
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  • Karl
    January 1, 1970
    The novel “The Lost Man” by Jane Harper is being marketed as ‘Fiction’, subcategory, ‘Suspense’, according to the book. Ms. Haroer’s first two books were categorized as ‘Mystery/Thriller’, this should indicate a change of genre for the author. I could find little suspense in the almost four hundred pages of the book. For me, the book is more akin to the ‘family drama’, ‘soap opera’ categories.The tale is set perhaps in the 1990’s/2000’s in the Australian outback on the western side of the countr The novel “The Lost Man” by Jane Harper is being marketed as ‘Fiction’, subcategory, ‘Suspense’, according to the book. Ms. Haroer’s first two books were categorized as ‘Mystery/Thriller’, this should indicate a change of genre for the author. I could find little suspense in the almost four hundred pages of the book. For me, the book is more akin to the ‘family drama’, ‘soap opera’ categories.The tale is set perhaps in the 1990’s/2000’s in the Australian outback on the western side of the country. The cast includes a family of struggling cattle ranchers trying to survive in a harsh environment. As the story opens, we discover the middle son, Cameron, of the family found dead near a fence line of the property.An important ingredient to the story concerns various young international travelers participating in a popular program in Australia known as ‘backpackers’. The participation is promoted as a cultural exchange: Young and adventurous travelers can experience Australia's wild outback, while farmers gain much needed agricultural labor. Under the program, backpackers wishing to extend their one-year working visa for an extra year are required to complete 88 days of agricultural labor in rural areas that experience chronic shortages of people willing to work in the harsh conditions. Australia has more than 134,000 farming businesses that employ more than 307,000 people, according to the National Farmers Federation. In peak season ‘backpackers’ make up about a third of the workforce.The overall program is a relatively positive experience for many. There is certainly room for exploitation of these workers. A parliamentary inquiry has heard dozens of grievances from foreign workers collected by British authority’s, a recent one being, Mia Ayliff, 21, who was stabbed to death last year by a French backpacker at a hostel in the remote township of Home Hill in far north Queensland. In “The Lost Man” we discover the dead brother, Cameron, enjoyed having sex with the female ‘backpackers’ in his employ. This fact was known to his wife, Ilse, the mother of his two children, who herself was a ‘backpacker’ at one time. We learn early on that the older brother, Nathan, had a naughty with Ilse prior to her encountering Cameron.The book was well written, though a bit out of my normal ‘reading’ zone. I can see many liking this slice of Australian life, and in my opinion “The Lost Man” is not one of the best of this author’s work. This is an advanced reading copy.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    When Bub and Nathan came together at the edge of their two properties where the stockman’s grave was located, they were both shocked to see the body of their brother Cameron lying in the shadow of the tombstone. But why was he there? He knew the countryside like the back of his hand. He knew never to leave his vehicle, or to be without water – but there was no evidence of either. When the lone policeman plus the medical officer arrived, the verdict of dehydration was swift. As Cameron’s wife and When Bub and Nathan came together at the edge of their two properties where the stockman’s grave was located, they were both shocked to see the body of their brother Cameron lying in the shadow of the tombstone. But why was he there? He knew the countryside like the back of his hand. He knew never to leave his vehicle, or to be without water – but there was no evidence of either. When the lone policeman plus the medical officer arrived, the verdict of dehydration was swift. As Cameron’s wife and two daughters tried to come to terms with his death, the rest of the family was stricken with grief. The lead up to Christmas was on them; Cameron’s funeral would have to be held soon; but Nathan struggled to work out why Cameron had died. Quietly working things through in his mind, he knew he should let it go. But he couldn’t…Wow! That was brilliant! A breathtaking, slow burning thriller that captivated me until the very last page. The burning sun, the red dust, the vast and lonely landscape – a desolate countryside; but perfect for The Lost Man by Aussie author Jane Harper. I would venture to say this one is even better than her first two, and I loved them! The Lost Man is a standalone novel – a powerful read which I highly recommend. With thanks to Pan Macmillan AU for my ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Zoeytron
    January 1, 1970
    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.A remote cattle station in Queensland, worked by three brothers.  The land is sere, and the heat is relentless, dangerous.  The wind is full of red dust and grit that lodges into everything.  The story begins with the discovery of the body of one of the brothers.  The questions are just beginning.  With no sign of foul play, is it a suicide or just a terrible error in judgment?        Oh, it's good to be back in the Outback with Jane Harper. Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.A remote cattle station in Queensland, worked by three brothers.  The land is sere, and the heat is relentless, dangerous.  The wind is full of red dust and grit that lodges into everything.  The story begins with the discovery of the body of one of the brothers.  The questions are just beginning.  With no sign of foul play, is it a suicide or just a terrible error in judgment?        Oh, it's good to be back in the Outback with Jane Harper.  This is a story of family, first and foremost.  These characters are fully baked, the story line is intriguing, and the resolution of the mystery is a slam dunk.
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  • Krystal
    January 1, 1970
    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.Jane Harper is a gifted writer. She has the ability to evoke that dusty, dry, Australian countryside and use its atmosphere to build tension underneath an intriguing murder mystery that keeps you glued to the story from page one. This book I found to be particularly clever, as there's no detective figuring things out - there's just the Bright family, who are struggling to come to terms with the horrific death of brother/son/husband/father/uncle/nephew, Cameron.It's told most ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.Jane Harper is a gifted writer. She has the ability to evoke that dusty, dry, Australian countryside and use its atmosphere to build tension underneath an intriguing murder mystery that keeps you glued to the story from page one. This book I found to be particularly clever, as there's no detective figuring things out - there's just the Bright family, who are struggling to come to terms with the horrific death of brother/son/husband/father/uncle/nephew, Cameron.It's told mostly from the perspective of Nathan, who is the eldest son and lives on a neighbouring property completely alone. The lonely nature of the location seems so bleak to me, and it's hard to imagine this kind of 'town', where people live kilometres away from others, and spend days travelling out to fix fences around their lands, etc. I have a vague idea about small Australian towns, having passed though plenty, but the vastness of this landscape was still really incredible to me. That level of isolation terrifies me, and it's a fantastic ploy of the novel to draw on that isolation, and weave it into the hostile environment. Harper has created some fascinating characters here. I found my opinions of them all mutating throughout the book, as their natures became more apparent, and by the end of it I was happy to leave this broken family behind. There are secrets upon secrets, and everyone is suspicious because no one seems to be at first. The information leaks slowly into the story, first raising questions, then answering those with new questions, until you're tearing through chapters trying to figure out what exactly happened to Cameron, and who was behind it. I found it highly addictive because there was always a fresh bone to gnaw on, and more puzzles to solve. It's very Australian, so I wonder how international readers will fare with the language and terminology, and whether that will affect the reading experience. I really enjoyed the setting that was crafted here, and Harper has a way of taking vast, flat, mundane Australian landscape and turning it into a character that plays just as vital a role as the others. The Lost Man will have you thinking a lot about the ugly side of human nature, so be ready to be confronted by your own thoughts and the kind of person they make you. There were so many times in this book where I found myself wondering what I'd do in a similar situation. It explores the many facets of family and protecting loved ones (or not), and dynamics outside the ordinary that will draw you in and make you silent witness to the intricacies of the lives behind closed doors.Safe to say, Jane Harper is still in fine form with this one, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommend.With thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for my ARC.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Fantastic new book by Jane Harper set in the vastness of the Australian Outback, so atmospheric... showing the dangers and loneliness that come with a life lived there.This story is about three brothers who together own quite a spread of land, and one brother is found dead near an old stockman’s grave on their property. This novel is as much family drama as mystery/thriller and I really enjoyed the characters of the extended family.I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway, so, much tha 4.5 Fantastic new book by Jane Harper set in the vastness of the Australian Outback, so atmospheric... showing the dangers and loneliness that come with a life lived there.This story is about three brothers who together own quite a spread of land, and one brother is found dead near an old stockman’s grave on their property. This novel is as much family drama as mystery/thriller and I really enjoyed the characters of the extended family.I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway, so, much thanks to them!
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Harper has delivered a stunner of a third novel! A slow burn of a family mystery, rather than a thriller like her previous novels, but nevertheless full of tension and unspoken threat as a family struggles to understand the death of it's favourite son and brother. When Cameron Bright is found dead of dehydration near local landmark, the stockman's grave, his car nine kilometres away stocked with food and water, his brothers Nathan and Bub can't understand what happened. Living on a cattle s Jane Harper has delivered a stunner of a third novel! A slow burn of a family mystery, rather than a thriller like her previous novels, but nevertheless full of tension and unspoken threat as a family struggles to understand the death of it's favourite son and brother. When Cameron Bright is found dead of dehydration near local landmark, the stockman's grave, his car nine kilometres away stocked with food and water, his brothers Nathan and Bub can't understand what happened. Living on a cattle station in remote and rugged outback Queensland they all know the rules - stay with your car, keep the aircon running if you can and radio for help. Why would Cameron have walked to this grave where there is no shelter? The police can find no injuries and nothing wrong with the car. The family report that although the property was doing well he seemed troubled lately, although they can't accept that he could simply have had enough and decided to walk off into the desert to die.Jane Harper has done her research well not only to capture the feel of life on a large cattle station, its isolation and remoteness, but also the resilience and independence of the people who live there. Her description of the landscape brings to life its harshness and brutality but also its moments of breath-taking beauty. She has also given us some fascinating and complex characters. The three brothers - Nathan divorced and lonely, ostracised by the local town after an unforgivable mistake; Cameron, everyone's favourite, but harbouring secrets behind his facade as an easy going family man and Bub, the youngest who longs to escape from the property. Cameron's wife Ilse, Nathan's son Xander, visiting his father for Christmas and the matriarch Liz are also well depicted and central to the story. I really enjoyed the careful pacing of this novel, with the introduction of the family members and their feelings towards each other and their environment, before the family secrets and lies start to emerge, culminating in an unexpected ending.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    The dry desolate land of the outback. A man found dead by a lone gravestone far away from his car which is fully stocked with water and food in case of emergency. He had no water on him and was searching for shade in a barren land. The little shade of the gravestone not giving him the relief his body so needed.Harper does a terrific job exposing the landscape for what it is; as well as the descriptiveness of the hardiness of the people who survive there and the relationships they have.Great twis The dry desolate land of the outback. A man found dead by a lone gravestone far away from his car which is fully stocked with water and food in case of emergency. He had no water on him and was searching for shade in a barren land. The little shade of the gravestone not giving him the relief his body so needed.Harper does a terrific job exposing the landscape for what it is; as well as the descriptiveness of the hardiness of the people who survive there and the relationships they have.Great twists and background stories. A good ole fashioned who done it, done well!4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Emptiness is seeking attention in weak people and in desolate places.Jane Harper creates a slow-burning story set at a family run cattle station in the parched openness of Queensland. We come to know the Bright family with a complicated matriarch named Liz and her three adult sons: Bub, Nathan, and Cameron. Life here is intense with oppressive heat, dry winds, and the threat of untamed rivers with life-threatening floods stemming from nowhere."A sheet blew in front of Nathan, hiding her from sig Emptiness is seeking attention in weak people and in desolate places.Jane Harper creates a slow-burning story set at a family run cattle station in the parched openness of Queensland. We come to know the Bright family with a complicated matriarch named Liz and her three adult sons: Bub, Nathan, and Cameron. Life here is intense with oppressive heat, dry winds, and the threat of untamed rivers with life-threatening floods stemming from nowhere."A sheet blew in front of Nathan, hiding her from sight as she walked away, and he pushed it aside in time to see her disappear into the house. He turned back to the washing line. The white linen was a dull red-gray in the deepening gloom."Red grit covered everything on this vast land. It seemed to cover the facts, too, of how Cameron's body was found alone a far distance from his car which was packed with supplies. He'd suffered brutally from exposure to the scorching sun much without a prayer. A tarp was draped over his body when he was finally found. It took hours for the one police officer to arrive on the scene. Questions were asked and answers were few. A careless decision, suicide, or heartless murder?The Lost Man is far from a thriller. It is the unknotting of familial threads locked into inadequate stitches initiated so long ago. Harper takes her time with this one as family members interact within the simmer of a thick stew. We will come to know how complicated the relationships were within this pack of brothers and their wives and children. Secrets fester over time and the willingness to do so will have dire consequences. And those consequences have been doled out over the years in the form of shunning and banishment aimed like target practice. These brothers' inner workings will come to the surface in many forms......some expected, some curious, and some shocking.If you have not had the pleasure of partaking in a Jane Harper read before, check out her other books: The Dry and Force of Nature. She is a gifted author who gets deep within the walls of her characters again and again. I know as many others do.......her next book can't get here fast enough.
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  • JanB
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars, rounded up Cameron, one of the Bright brothers, is found dead in a remote area of the desert by Stockman’s Grave, a place of urban legends. Dying of dehydration in the unrelenting desert heat is a dreadful death. Dying in this way with his car, stocked with water and other provisions, only a short distance away makes it perplexing. Was it suicide? Why was he even there and why didn’t he go to his car for the provisions? The officials think it is a clear case of suicide but his brother 4.5 stars, rounded up Cameron, one of the Bright brothers, is found dead in a remote area of the desert by Stockman’s Grave, a place of urban legends. Dying of dehydration in the unrelenting desert heat is a dreadful death. Dying in this way with his car, stocked with water and other provisions, only a short distance away makes it perplexing. Was it suicide? Why was he even there and why didn’t he go to his car for the provisions? The officials think it is a clear case of suicide but his brother isn’t so sure.The mystery of Cameron’s death takes a backseat as the author delves into the stories behind the Bright family: mother Liz, and brothers Nathan, Cameron, and Bud. Nathan is the black sheep, Cameron is the affable guy everyone seems to love, and Bud is the youngest brother who wants to break away from life in the Outback and do his own thing. There is a lot of pain and tension in this family. As Nathan looks into the circumstances that led to his brother’s death, family secrets are slowly brought to light. The complicated family dynamics are what drive this plot forward and the secrets are explosive. Secrets that eventually unlock the key to Cameron’s death. I enjoyed the slow burn and getting to know the stories of these characters. Truly, in different ways, all 3 brothers were ‘Lost Men’. The resolution to the death of Cameron was shocking, yet satisfying. The writing is stellar and Jane Harper does a fabulous job bringing the Australian Outback to life. The oppressive blistering heat, the dust, the isolation, and the harsh conditions makes the Outback a character in itself. This was another fun buddy read with my friend Marialyce, and one we both loved! It was an atmospheric story that kept us riveted from beginning to end. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy a slow burn character study/mystery.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    “ Oh I've come back to plead and danceTo forgive us both all in advance” -- Every Sorrow, Joe Henry, Songwriters: Joe Henry & John Smith “The circle in the dust fell just short of one full revolution. Just short of twenty-four hours. And then, at last, the stockman finally had company, as the earth turned and the shadow moved on alone, and the man lay still in the center of a dusty grave under a monstrous sky.” It was there that the two brothers met, still in shock with so many questions “ Oh I've come back to plead and danceTo forgive us both all in advance” -- Every Sorrow, Joe Henry, Songwriters: Joe Henry & John Smith “The circle in the dust fell just short of one full revolution. Just short of twenty-four hours. And then, at last, the stockman finally had company, as the earth turned and the shadow moved on alone, and the man lay still in the center of a dusty grave under a monstrous sky.” It was there that the two brothers met, still in shock with so many questions running through their minds. How they came to be standing next to a tarp covered body of their brother is something they are all grappling with. Even though it seems to be intentional, they have a hard time coming to terms with the idea of their brother taking his own life. Still, it seems the only rational answer, their brother knew survival in this land depended on having supplies and protection from the heat. But what would drive him to this?This death sets the scene and the tension for all that follows, this family with these three brothers all working the land their father had once worked. Their mother still living there among her sons, those sons now grown, and one now gone. There are grandchildren, as well, one visiting his father, and the two daughters of the one now gone, and his wife, now a widow. Christmas is not far off, and now there is a funeral to plan.Little by little we get to know more about this brother, his relationships with his family members, and how he was seen by each of them. How many secrets will be revealed as the days pass in simple conversations. And then the stories of the brothers, their secrets come to light. Unfair treatment, anger at the injustices of the past, everything feels strained, and the stress builds slowly. I had read Jane Harper’s debut, The Dry, which pulled me in right from the start, and then Force of Nature which I also enjoyed. I’ve been impressed by her writing in all three books, spellbinding and atmospheric, conveyed through her spare prose. I also love that her stories are always a bit more of a mix of genres. A thrilling novel more than a thriller, a family drama, as well as an ode to the outback, the wild nature of a life lived there.Pub Date: 05 FEB 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by Flatiron Books
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