Summary and book reviews of The Lost Man by Jane Harper

The Lost Man

by Jane Harper

The Lost Man by Jane Harper X
The Lost Man by Jane Harper
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  • Published:
    Feb 2019, 320 pages

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Book Summary

Two brothers meet in the remote Australian outback when the third brother is found dead, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper.

Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback. In an isolated belt of Western Australia, they are each other's nearest neighbor, their homes four hours' drive apart.

The third brother lies dead at their feet.

Something caused Cam, the middle child who had been in charge of the family homestead, to die alone in the middle of nowhere.

So the eldest brother returns with his younger sibling to the family property and those left behind. But the fragile balance of the ranch is threatened. Amidst the grief, suspicion starts to take hold, and the eldest brother begins to wonder if more than one among them is at risk of crumbling as the weight of isolation bears down on them all.

Dark, suspenseful, and deeply atmospheric, The Lost Man is the highly anticipated next book from the bestselling and award-winning Jane Harper, author of The Dry and Force of Nature.

1

Nathan Bright could see nothing, and then everything all at once.

He had crested the rise, gripping the steering wheel as the off-road terrain tried to snatch control from his hands, and suddenly it was all there in front of him. Visible, but still miles away, giving him too many minutes to absorb the scene as it loomed larger. He glanced over at the passenger seat.

"Don't look," he was tempted to say, but didn't bother. There was no point. The sight dragged the gaze.

Still, he stopped the car farther from the fence than he needed to. He pulled on the handbrake, leaving the engine and the air conditioner running. Both protested the Queensland December heat with discordant squeals.

"Stay in the car," he said.

"But—"

Nathan slammed the door before he heard the rest. He walked to the fence line, pulled the top wires apart, and climbed through from his side to his brothers'.

A four-wheel drive was parked near the stockman's grave, its own engine still running and its air ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian Outback make it easy to give this book a 5-star endorsement (Norman G). I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful tale, well-told (Linda S).   (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).

Full Review Members Only (765 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harper's sinewy prose and flinty characters compel, but the dreary story line may cause some readers to give up before the jaw-dropping denouement.

Booklist
The atmosphere is so thick you can taste the red-clay dust, and the folklore surrounding the mysterious stockman adds an additional edge to an already dark and intense narrative. The truth is revealed in a surprising ending that reveals how far someone will go to preserve a life worth living in a place at once loathed and loved.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. The mystery of Cam's death is at the dark heart of an unfolding family drama that will leave readers reeling, and the final reveal is a heartbreaker. A twisty slow burner by an author at the top of her game.

Reader Reviews

Barry E. (Margate City, NJ)

Five star book
This was very different from Harper's first book which I realized received rave reviews despite my less than enthusiastic review. This book on the other hand was terrific, although I feel labeling it a mystery is not right. This in a true sense is a ...   Read More

Ann B. (Kernville, CA)

Character-driven mystery braided into Outback family saga
This crime novel set in the Australian outback has elements of a typical mystery, but it's the conventions it lacks that make it so satisfying. Our protagonist, for example, is not a PI, cop, or otherwise typical gumshoe character. Rather, he is a ...   Read More

Sue P. (Albuquerque, NM)

The Lost Man
When I saw Jane Harper's third novel as a "First Impressions" choice, I was thrilled. Having just finished her 1st and 2nd novels, I knew I was in for a treat. Ms. Harper has a talent for describing people and locations in such a way that one gets ...   Read More

Meara Conner

Lost Man by Jane Harper Review
Over the past several years, Jane Harper has made a name for herself in the crime fiction genre with her superb Aaron Falk series. I'm glad to say that Harper's third novel, Lost Man, does not disappoint! The plot was engaging, the locale provocative...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Cattle Ranching in Australia

Jackaroos at a cattle station in Australia's Northern TerritoryJane Harper's The Lost Man takes place on a cattle station in the Australian Outback. Cattle stations function quite differently than American or European beef cattle ranches. Many are extremely large; the territory devoted to raising the livestock is generally hot and arid, producing little vegetation, and so an immense area of land is required to support relatively few head of cattle. There are over 100 cattle stations in Australia that are larger than the biggest American ranch. Because the acreage is so immense and the herd so spread out, rounding up the animals can take weeks. Ranch hands no longer exclusively ride horses to accomplish this, frequently relying on ATVs, dirt bikes, or even light aircraft to spot the cows.

Because of ...

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Readalikes

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