Scott's Book Review

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Scott

Jane Harper (http://janeharper.com.au/Books) has followed up the success of her first two novels The Dry (2017), and Force of Nature (2018) with this crime thriller published in February 2019.

A summary of The Lost Man is as follows.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the scorching sun of the Australian outback. Here they are each other’s nearest neighbour, although their homes are hours apart.

They are at the ‘stockman’s grave’, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. The limited shadow cast by the stone has been the last relief for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and perplexity by their sibling’s hideous and mysterious death.

Something had been troubling Cameron. Had he chosen to walk to his death, or has something altogether more sinister taken place? Past mistakes and complex family secrets lie behind the desiccated victim.

Harper is at her best describing human life at extremes, and the factors of weather, distance and isolation play prominently here. Her evocation of the harshness of the Australian landscape is palpable.

The Australian setting and the bitterness of the human struggle reminded me of Partick White (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_White#List_of_works) whom I read as a teenager. White won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973. The Tree of Man (1955) and Voss (1957) can be particularly recommended. The author conveys the grandeur and fragility of the human condition.

I think you may enjoy being er…transported to Australia for this absorbing crime thriller by Jane Harper.

Check if this Antipodean crime thriller is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue here at https://www.sllclibrary.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/BSEARCH

384 pages in Little, Brown

First published February 2019

ISBN 978-1408708217

Jane Harper

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