Review by Sarah McDuling
Like many people, I was utterly blown away by Jane Harper’s astonishing first novel, The Dry. And then, still riding the enormous success of her debut, she smashed it out of the park again with her second novel, Force of Nature.
Publishing two bestselling and award-winning novels in two years is quite an impressive feat. Now, with the impending release of her third novel, The Lost Man, I think the question everyone is asking is … can Jane Harper do it again?
You guys. She has totally done it again!
The Lost Man rocketed past all my high expectations and set a whole new standard that will be very difficult to beat. When I first heard that this book would not feature Aaron Falk as a main character – I’ll admit I had some misgivings. I love Aaron Falk. Everyone loves Aaron Falk. I should have known better than to doubt the genius of Jane Harper. Despite how much I loved her previous two novels, I am stunned to admit I think The Lost Man may well be the best thing she has ever written!
This incredibly gripping and intense novel begins with one of the most cinematic opening chapters I have read in ages … probably since the opening of The Dry. Set in outback Queensland, once again Jane Harper brings the Australian landscape vividly to life. Every page of The Lost Man is drenched in atmosphere. The harsh, unforgiving terrain is depicted almost like a character in it’s own right, with a vital role to play.
Harper draws readers into a strange alien landscape, a wasteland scorched beneath an unrelenting sun – an eerie, godforsaken place where “rivers flooded without rain and seashells fossilised a thousand miles from water and men who left their cars found themselves walking to their deaths.”
If you enjoyed Jane Harper’s previous books and felt any concern when you heard that her new book wouldn’t feature Aaron Falk … fear not! For one thing, I predict many readers will come to the end of The Lost Man feeling as I did – that this is Jane Harper’s best novel yet! For another, if you are an observant reader you may spot a subtle shout out to The Dry hidden within the pages of The Lost Man – a little easter egg for the fans to find, if they are paying close attention.
Touching on a lot of dark themes, including domestic violence and rape, The Lost Man is a story about family and secrets. It’s a story about pain and violence and how it can echo through generations – about how untold suffering will eventually find a way to be heard. It’s also a complex and utterly enthralling mystery that asks a burning question…
What happened to Cameron Bright?
Click here to order your copy of The Lost Man
The Lost Man
Three brothers, one death, a fenceline stretching to the horizon.
Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland.
They are at the stockman's grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron.
The Bright family's quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish.
Something had been troubling Cam. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn't, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects...
For readers who loved The Dry and Force of Nature, Jane Harper has once again created a powerful story of suspense, set against a dazzling landscape.
About the Contributor
Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling
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