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The Lost Man

by Jane Harper

The Lost Man by Jane Harper X
The Lost Man by Jane Harper
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Feb 2019, 320 pages
    Dec 2019, 368 pages


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There are currently 41 reader reviews for The Lost Man
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Sharon G. (Chicago, IL)

The Lost Man Review
I loved this book because it drew me in immediately to the three brothers story; Nathan, Cameron and Bub. Cameron, the middle brother, is found dead on his ranch in the remote Autralian outback by the grave of the mythical and mysterious Stockman. Cameron's death leads us into the story of the lives of Nathan, Cameron and Bub, their family and the story of the Stokman. They come to life as Jane Harper weaves the past and present together so that you have a history of the family, their weaknesses and strengths and how hard it is to live in the Outback. So, at the end you wonder which of the brothers is the Lost Man or is it the Stockman who went astray.
Judy B. (Santa Fe, NM)

Another Australian Heart-Twisting Good Story
Three brothers, a mean father, a loving mother--put them all in a pot and cook! What do you get? A great story! This book is Jane Harper's third story that takes place in the "Outback" of Australia and it is one that keeps changing the further you read. The oldest brother is at his parents ranch with his teenage son because the middle brother has been found out in the far outback dead and his car is found a number of miles away from where he died. The youngest brother is just there! Also at the ranch is the middle brother's wife and two daughters and and the grandmother. You are told that the grandfather who is also dead was a mean son-of-a-gun to his three sons. The question is how did the middle son get to where he was found and why did he leave his car with supplies of food and water in the car and "walk" to where he was found?? Read "The Lost Son" and you will find all the answers! A fantastically good read!
Jill S. (Chicago, IL)

Character-driven and atmospheric
The Lost Man is one of those books that starts with a simmer and then ignites and becomes unputdownable. Jane Harper makes ample use of dialog to illuminate her characters -- two brothers who meet up at a fence line after their middle brother is found dead. Little by little, their back story is revealed (introducing us to wives, kids, and so forth) and they become so real they could step off the pages. The remote Australian outback comes alive as its own "character", and the desert heat and near-total isolation is palpable; the book positively radiates atmosphere. I will add this: I was not a big fan of The Dry and chose this based on the fact that it was a standalone and had some great advance buzz. To my mind, this book is MUCH better than her debut novel with an increased emphasis on the characters and less on the detective work. If psychological tension and suspense is up your alley, I would definitely recommend it.
Gina T. (natick, MA)

the lost man
From the first page I was transported to the Australian outback. A gritty, fast-paced mystery with the setting as a main character. Beautiful prose, you felt the ache, loneliness and desperation..
I was reminded that we all carry our past with us and some are more successful in moving forward than others.
The plot was not predictable and the setting unfamiliar- For those looking to read something different but well-written, this is it.
i read her first novel, The Dry which was good.This novel in my opinion, is even better. I have always been drawn to westerns and remote areas; I love reading about characters that are pushed to the extreme.I think this book would appeal to both men and women. it would be a good book club choice.
Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)

The Lost Man
Set in the remote Australian outback The Lost Man by Jane Harper is stunningly brilliant. The outback is a significant character in this dark suspenseful mystery. You can almost feel the relentless heat and red dust. The mystery is of good and evil surrounding the murder of a brother. It is set in a family unraveling. I was captivated until the last page!
Linda P. (Orlando, FL)

Hot and Bothered
Jane Harper is a master at setting a scene. With her new book, The Lost Man, you will want to be prepared and ready to settle into living in the stark, endless and solitary desert region of Australia. You are deep in dry red dust which settles into everything including your desolate soul. This story revolves around the unexplained death of one brother at a remote desert grave marker. The lead protagonist, Nathan, is unable to accept the ruling of his brother's suicide because they were raised to survive brutal terrain and Nathan doesn't believe his brother was suicidal. Options for what occurred are limited because the only people close are family members or employees who are incapable of doing the unthinkable. However, as the story unravels, Nathan finds out there is little he knows about his brother's character and has missed a lot of clues. Although ruled a suicide, Nathan soldiers on to a shocking conclusion to this mystery. This is a well-told story so be prepared to wander in this wilderness. Jane Harper only tells her story in detail and I love it. No shortcuts, not many clues, and great character development, Ms. Harper really deserves credit for building suspense. Atmospheric, anxious, ghostly, foreboding, and fulfilling…this story checks a lot of boxes. The desert backdrop is a metaphor for people who are dried up and ready to quit, hot and bothered about daily trials and tribulations, parched for life's joys, living on the edge until they drop off. Bravo to Jane Harper for another excellent tome. 5 stars.
Frances N. (San Francisco, CA)

Even better than her first two books
I think this book will end up being one of my year's favorites. It is a complex, tension-filled tale of a family and the Australian Outback. The land is unforgiving and so are the people; both are oppressive. The ranchers live insular lives, far from neighbors, often rarely speaking to other people and when they want do speak, it's as if they don't know how to go about it. The climax and the ending are just about perfect in their surprise and justification.
For fans of her other two books, this is a stand-alone; but an off-handed remark reminds one of the other books.
Shirley T. (Comfort, TX)

The Lost Man by Jane Harper
The Lost Man is the best novel yet from Australian author, Jane Harper. Her description of the desolate desert and the extreme heat of Queensland sets the stage for an unusual and fascinating family drama. As the story unwinds from a death in the desert, the family members react to reveal sharply different characters and how they live in this harsh environment. The generational effects of living in a dysfunctional family and the events of the past in the nearest town influence how each one reacts to this death. Each person is so well described that their reactions and relationships keep the mystery totally believable and intriguing to the last page. This a "must read".

Beyond the Book:
  Cattle Ranching in Australia

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Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Lost Man
by Jane Harper

"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian outback make it easy to give this 5-stars!"

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