Book Review

THE LOST MAN by Jane Harper

Rating: 4.5 / 5

I actually have another book by Jane Harper on my TBR for June to fulfill the Aussie Author prompt for the Reading Women Podcast’s birthday bingo game, but when I stopped off at the library for something else, I spotted Jane Harper’s THE LOST MAN sitting on the new release shelf. I had heard so many good reviews for Jane Harper in general and this book in particular that I had to bring it home! As it turns out my readathon last weekend had a prompt for a book set in a country I’ve never been to and Australia definitely qualifies for me!

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, child abuse.

THE LOST MAN begins with a man found dead under mysterious circumstances alongside the stockman’s grave, a local landmark with many stories as to how it came to be there in the middle of nowhere. The setting is the Australian outback in the brutal heat of December. It is a place where your nearest neighbors are hours away and a broken down car can lead to a quick death if you are ill prepared. It appears that this man Cam has wandered off about 9 miles from his vehicle with no supplies, so initial signs point to suicide.

Cam’s brother Nathan is our POV for the story. He is down on his luck after a messy divorce and family squabbles that leave him an outcast among the limited number of neighbors he has. He lives on the next ranch over, but hasn’t seen his brother or the rest of his family in months. He steps in to ask questions and reason through Cam’s last few days, attempting to figure out what exactly happens.

Jane Harper’s writing is superb and she really brings to life a setting that I am wholly unfamiliar with, but feel as though I now have some understanding. Living in this setting is isolating and there is a very real danger of depression and suicide. In the wake of Cam’s death, everyone has a heightened concern for Nathan’s mental well being as well.

I’ve seen this book sometimes labeled as a thriller and there are some aspects of a thriller, but I found the mystery label to be much more accurate. This is a book that delves into characters and their backstory, slowly revealing additional clues as to what happened to Cam in his final days and building up the suspense. I definitely didn’t see the ending twist coming ahead of time and I thought it all came together beautifully!

This book has left me very excited that I have two more Jane Harper books waiting for me on my shelf and I plan to pick up THE DRY before the month ends! I definitely recommend that you pick up a copy of THE LOST MAN if you enjoy a good mystery with excellent writing!

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