Title: The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Two brothers meet in the remote Australian outback when the third brother is found dead, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper
Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback. In an isolated belt of Queensland, they are each other’s nearest neighbor, their homes four hours’ drive apart.
The third brother lies dead at their feet.
Something caused Cam, the middle child who had been in charge of the family homestead, to die alone in the middle of nowhere.
So the eldest brother returns with his younger sibling to the family property and those left behind. But the fragile balance of the ranch is threatened. Amidst the grief, suspicion starts to take hold, and the eldest brother begins to wonder if more than one among them is at risk of crumbling as the weight of isolation bears down on them all.
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 by Jane Harper is a captivating, character-driven mystery set in the Australian Outback.
Nathan Bright, middle brother Cameron “Cam” and youngest brother Bub are co-owners of the family cattle station, Burley Downs. Nathan spends little time with the family since he is running cattle on his own property. However, when repairs are needed, everyone pulls together due to their isolated location. When Cam fails to show up to work on a project with Bub, fear quickly strikes and a helicopter is called in to search for the missing man. Cam’s body is soon found at the grave of a stockman who perished over century ago.
Despite the police ruling that Cam’s death is an unfortunate mishap due to the harsh conditions and soaring temperatures, Nathan is driven to look into the circumstances of his brother’s death. Too many inconsistencies in Cam’s behavior in the weeks leading up to his death coupled with the fact his brother’s fully stocked vehicle is miles from where his body is discovered rouse Nathan’s suspicions. Why was Cam nowhere near the repeater he was supposed to repair with Bub? More importantly, why Cam would walk nine kilometers to the stockman’s grave without taking supplies with him? Are Nathan’s concerns there is more to Cam’s death than meets the eye accurate?
Nathan has been long estranged from his family and he rarely spends time in their company. Devastated by his divorce ten years earlier, he spent a good number of years in a protracted custody fight with his ex-wife. Nathan lives a very isolated, solitary life that is only broken by visits with his sixteen year old son, Xander. In the aftermath of Cam’s death, Nathan stays at Burley Downs with his mother, Liz, Bub, honorary uncle Harry and Cam’s wife, Ilse, and their young daughters, Sophie and Lo. Amid tense undercurrents and complicated histories, Nathan learns disturbing information about Cam and to some extent, Bub. As the days pass leading up to Cam’s funeral, Nathan reflects back on his childhood and few of those memories are happy.
Unable to let go of his feeling there is more to his brother’s death, Nathan and Xander continue digging into his Cam’s activities. Nathan is confused by the discovery that someone from Cam’s long ago past has been calling. He is also uncovering very disturbing details about his brother’s interactions with Ilse and their daughters. Nathan is also starting to question how his brother’s relationship with Ilse started all those years ago. A very troubling picture of Cam is beginning to emerge but does any of this newly discovered information have anything to do with Cam’s death?
With dark undertones, The Lost Man is a riveting mystery that is multi-layered and engaging. Nathan is a wonderful character whose life has beaten him down and he is barely holding on. The Bright family has a complex history that is full of dark secrets that are clearly influencing the events playing out in the present. Jane Harper once again masterfully brings the harsh and remote setting vibrantly to life. The novel comes to an absolutely stunning conclusion as Nathan finally learns the heartbreaking and shocking truth about Cam’s death. I absolutely loved and highly recommend this phenomenal mystery to fans of the genre.