Yesterday I shared my thoughts on the second novel by Jane Harper, Force of Nature. I’d loved her first novel, her debut novel, The Dry, and i did enjoy her second, but to be honest not quite as much. She’s just published her third novel, which doesn’t feature the same lead character as the previous two. ‘The Lost Man’ was as almost non-stop and I stayed up far too late to finish it. It’s an amazing book, I’m in awe of her writing, of the plot, the different narrative threads which weave through so cleverly, the characters who are ambiguous and subtle – like real people in fact. I can’t imagine how anyone could guess the solution which is presented after following the lives of the Bright family over a few days before Christmas – and following them back into their past lives.
The novel, like the other two is set in Australia; I’ve been there once but didn’t go anywhere near the outback where this is set. The remote vastness of the harsh environment is conveyed so vividly, I have to say it was terrifying… I’m not sure i ever do want to go there!
This is what the blurb on Amazon says:
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…
The mystery is more of a why than a how, but you have to know the how in order to appreciate the why… if that makes sense! It’s a really brilliant, gripping book!