Welcome to another great book! The Lost Man @janeharperautho @flarironbooks #mystery #australia #familydrama #fictionfriends #duoreviews @JanBelisle @absltmom

Hearing so many raves about a book can oftentimes be the “kiss of death” for one goes into the story with expectations that are lofty and sky-high. Many times, you can be disappointed but happily, in this book, every expectation was met and then some.

The Lost Man
“They lived in a land of extremes in more ways than one. People were either completely fine, or very not.”

Jan’s review

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 when his car, stocked with water and other provisions, is only a short distance away makes it perplexing. Was it suicide? Why was he there and why didn’t he go to his car for the provisions? 

Yes, there is a mystery to solve but it 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. I enjoyed the slow burn and getting to know the stories of these characters. Truly, in different ways, all three 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.  Another fun buddy read with Marialyce, and one we both loved! An atmospheric story that kept us riveted from beginning to end. Both of us finished the majority of the book in one day. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy a slow burn  character study/mystery.

Marialyce’s review

Three brothers, a mother, two wives, one of then an ex, and assorted other characters drive this novel into something special, something that weaves its web among the members of this family and spits out an end that is both shocking yet so understandable.

A brother, Cameron, is dead, found lying atop an old grave deep within the desert atmosphere of inner Australia. His family is shocked as to the why of Cameron’s death. Is it a suicide, or is something else amiss about this passing? Cameron was well aware of the dangers of the environment and as his SUV is found and searched, the things Cameron would need to survive, are all there in tack. Why would he leave his car when his survival existed in that vehicle?

“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.”

The women of the story are sad, but it is the mother who seems the most affected. She was there grieving as any mother would, but there was much below the surface of this intriguing character. She was a woman who lost both her son and her husband previously in a car accident. The remaining brothers each bear their memories of Cameron, some of which are the elements which propel this story into something unexpected and unnerving. There are secrets here bubbling up in every chapter that takes one onto a road which is mired in tragedy and hidden secrets.

I definitely recommend this book to all those who so enjoy character driven novels that flirt with the unknown and juxtaposed characters with their environment. It’s not one man who is lost but perhaps of family of men who are.

Ms Harper does a wonderful job of laying out her characters before her reading audience, dissecting them one by one until the reader feels that they have a keen understanding of each and every one of them. You think you know them, but then she delivers pieces of them, character flaws that have you wondering if you understand human nature at all.

Jan and I read this one together and feel that we found quite a wonderful intriguing book that kept us going from the beginning to its very surprising conclusion.

and here’s the author:

Jane Harper is the international bestselling author of The Dry, Force of Nature and The Lost Man.
Jane is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and has won numerous top awards including the Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year, the Australian Indie Awards Book of the Year, the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, and the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year.
Her books are published in more than 36 territories worldwide, with The Dry in production as a major motion picture starring Eric Bana.
Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK, and now lives in Melbourne.

15 thoughts on “Welcome to another great book! The Lost Man @janeharperautho @flarironbooks #mystery #australia #familydrama #fictionfriends #duoreviews @JanBelisle @absltmom

  1. Glad you both loved it! I still haven’t read any of her books, but my husband bought me this one for my birthday, so I’m going to squeeze it in over the summer. I can’t wait! Fantastic review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic review! I have this on audio to review and I have not got to it yet! Hopefully soon April is a little calmer than March was I might still be reviewing March books in September!

    Liked by 1 person

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