BOOK CLUB: The Lost Man

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Author: Jane Harper
ISBN: 9781743549100
RRP: $32.99
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Lost Man is the third book by talented Australian author Jane Harper and it’s another 5 star read for me.

The Lost Man is set in the vast outback of Queensland. Two brothers meet at the border of their neighbouring cattle properties, at the legendary landmark that is the stockman’s grave. A landmark that has been a part of the landscape for so many generations that no-one remembers the truth of the site.

The stockman’s grave casts a shadow that offered little hope for the middle Bright brother Cameron when he found himself under the relentless outback sun.

Cameron’s death raises many questions and through the anguish of saying goodbye the family is left to try and unravel the mystery. Cameron had been troubled in recent months, did he lose hope and walk into the unforgiving sun because if not the isolation leaves few suspects.

The Lost Man is a slow burning suspense that is completely character driven. The cast of characters is quite small because the Bright cattle properties are so large, and so far out of town, that the only real interactions are the family and the staff. Town is a number of hours away and there is only a single police officer, who happens to be hours in the other direction when Cameron is found.

Nathan is the older Bright brother, living on an adjoining property to the rest of the family and still about a 3hr drive away. He is living a life more isolated, and is deemed a much greater risk. He often leaves his radio off and is completely uncontactable, which concerns everyone who cares about him. He had issues in town a couple of years ago and has been shut out and shunned, completely unwelcome in his hometown. Nathan has grown accustomed to the isolation and now can go months without hearing another voice or seeing another person.

Cameron seemed to have it all together; lovely wife, two gorgeous daughters, a successful cattle property and the respect of the town. What is it that was troubling him? No-one seems to know.

Harper has woven a captivating tale of the hardships of life on the massive cattle properties in outback Queensland, the isolation, the stress, the risks associated with supplies if there are floods. It really is almost unimaginable to me to try and picture what life would be like. Add to all of that distance and isolation the prospect of mental health issues or medical issues and how do you ensure everyone’s wellness. More to the point how do you recognise the signs of someone being at risk?

Cameron’s death looks pretty cut and dried but there are things that just don’t quite add up. Nathan and his teen son Xander continue investigating on their own because it’s too hard to just accept that things are as they seem with so many inconsistencies. The question is how do you move forward when you don’t like what you uncover?

The Lost Man was a captivating story that I should have read in a short matter of days but just lately my books are almost gathering dust, much to my dismay. I was invested in these characters, their heartaches, their grief and their decisions. We uncover a lot of the past and the way that it shapes our present.

A slow burning suspense of endurance, of courage and of finding the strength to change the shape of the future.

Jane Harper can be found on her Website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Lost Man is book #46 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2018.

Thanks to Pan MacMillan 50 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading and reviewing The Lost Man so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments.

The Lost Man is available now through Pan MacMillan, Booktopia, Angus & Robertson and where all good books are sold.

51 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Lost Man

  1. The Australian outback has rules for survival, and everyone who lives there knows them and lives by them if they want to survive. This is the story of one brother who doesn’t come back one day. Cam left his vehicle fully stocked with supplies, his family back at the station, and he went into the desert. Nathan, his brother doesn’t know why.
    Jane Harper has a beautiful ability to take you deep into the Australian outback and make you feel the heat, the loneliness, the isolation, and the harshness of living a life an outback life. She makes it all come alive and you begin to understand the feelings and thoughts experienced by those who live that life everyday. It is also about the way we live our lives and how a person is perceived to be is not always the truth.
    Cameron’s death is then unravelled through the families search for the truth. This is a book about family dramas and is as much about family secrets as it is about a crime investigation.
    Jane Harper has paced the book well and I cannot fault her writing style. I am looking forward to checking out her other books 
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Pan McMillan for the chance to review this book.

  2. Firstly a big thank you to Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to read this book and also to write this review.

    I have previously read Jane Harpers The Dry, a book that I literally could not put down, giving up precious sleep to read even. It was absolutely brilliant so of course I was looking forward to Lost Man!

    Overall I did greatly enjoy the book, it was slow to begin but build momentum as you became invested in the Bright family and felt their emotions unfold. By the end I couldn’t put it down so just persist, it’s worth it. We live in a constantly stimulating world that if it doesn’t get us first page we can easily be disheartened. This will not leave you like this.

    Harper manages to keep you visually stimulated with her vivid descriptions of the hot sun in the outback setting, Reading it in summer certainly helped too.

    Easy and pleasant to read, with a good undone that’s unpredictable well to me it was anyway.

    I’m hoping there’s a possibility of a sequel? Who knows other than Jane perhaps.

    Not one to give spoilers in reviews but just read it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    Congratulations Jane Harper

  3. Once I started this book it was difficult to stop reading it!
    The author spends time setting the scene in the harsh Australian outback.
    The plot thickens as tensions between the family come to light .
    Not everything is as it seems! The ending may surprise you!
    Thanks to beauty and lace and Macmillan for allowing me to review this wonderful book by Jane Harper.

  4. I’d like to thank Beauty & Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to review this wonderful book, the third novel by the talented Jane Harper. Having already read Jane’s previous novels, my expectations were high, and The Lost Man certainly did not disappoint.

    The Lost Man began somewhat slowly, in a way that seemed to mirror the environment that Jane depicted so clearly. I could almost feel the stifling heat and the sense of desolation and isolation, creating an atmosphere of tension and the perfect setting for the novel. Initially, events seemed to be clear-cut – Cameron, the middle of the three Bright brothers was found dead beside The Stockman’s Grave, a lonely landmark in the vast outback setting, having surrendered to the elements. Questions arose, however – why was Cameron at the grave, why was his car found some distance away, still stocked with supplies of food and water, and what role did his state of mind play in his death? As the novel explored the intricacies of its characters, apparent facts were worn away and certainties became less certain. As Nathan, the eldest brother, delved deeply into his family’s secrets, the pace of the novel increased and I found myself having to read “just one more chapter”.

    The Lost Man is a well-written, expertly crafted novel, both in terms of its character exploration and its depiction of the environment. Once again, Jane Harper has delivered a five-star reading experience.

  5. The Lost Man by Jane Harper. What a fantastic read. I took my time turning each page with this book. It’s the kind of story that brings so many emotions through issues that hit home for many, family trauma, history, love and loss. The best thing about this book was more then this though, it was the way it was written. The descriptions of the landscape. I felt like I could feel the heat from the land and the isolation of being so far from anything. Three hours from town, three hours from your local pub.
    A great read that I will be recommending. Thank you Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity read this.

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