Ok, I’m not going to even try to pretend that I wasn’t completely thrilled to find an advance copy of Jane Harper’s new novel The Lost Man
in my letter box (thanksPan Macmillian Australia
!) – I have been looking forward to this one since it was announced!
The Lost Man takes us into the unforgiving landscape of rural Queensland…
The man lay still in the centre of a dusty grave under a monstrous sky.
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 chance for their middle brother, Cameron.
The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…
I loved this and absolutely flew through it. I hardly know what to say about this, so I’m going to share some of the things that helped me fall in love with this book…
I have no idea how she does it, but I just find Jane Harper’s writing so authentic
– her characters really feel like actual country blokes\. Despite the lack of female characters in this one, I felt like it had some definite feminist-y undertones. There are some bits that deal with violence and domestic violence – so look for more info if this is something you watch out for.
The Lost Man is told from the perspective of one of the brothers of the man who has died, which I thought made it feel less ‘police procedure-y’ than Harper’s Aaron Falk books, but at the same time I didn’t really feel like this protagonist was overstepping the kind of investigation someone would really do in that situation (if that makes sense?).
Another thing I really enjoyed about this (and Harper’s other books) is that there is enough going on in people’s relationships to give interest and some red herrings as you try to untangle what happened, but not so much that it feels unrealistic/contrived.
I know it’s incredibly shallow of me, but can we please just talk about this cover for a minute? THOSE COLOURS (insert heart eye emoji here!). This is definitely one of my favourite covers of the year – the deep red orange at the bottom, and the green blue fading into black at the top are just perfect together, and of course it is even more striking in real life.
Obviously this one won me over. I’m going to see Jane Harper talk about it later this month, and I can’t wait to hear more about her writing process and inspiration. I gave this a solid 4 out of 5 stars, and think it is a must read for fans of Aussie crime books – especially if they’ve enjoyed her other books. I really think this will have pretty wide appeal, and would probably be a fairly safe bet for Christmas shopping (it’s November! We can totally talk Christmas shopping!)
***The Lost Man***
Source: I was thrilled to get an early copy of this one in the mail from Pan Macmillan.
Genre: Rural crime
Read it if you love: Aussie crime, Harper’s other books.
Find Jane Harper online here