Jane Harper is a British-born Australian author who has written three books--The Dry, Force of Nature and The Lost Man. And all of them have a couple things in common for me. From reading the description, none of them had an immediate appeal for me.
Something else all three have in common? They are some of the best books I have had the pleasure to read over the last year or so.
So when I found out Harper had a new one coming out, I read the description and thought, hmmm, maybe not. Then thought better and picked it up.
Harper writes so well that what may initially seem like a dry story on the surface (excuse the pun), is so much more than that. It’s layers of story, well-developed characters and an engrossing plot that all come together to make each book almost impossible to set down.
From the Publisher:
Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper
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 Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…
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.
A family’s golden boy is found dead in the desert on the border of the family’s land, seemingly from exposure. Two brothers, grapple with the discovery, wondering what could have gone wrong and how their brother, a seasoned rancher, could have found himself in such a predicament.
It definitely sounds like a book that a lot of people would find interesting. For me, I’m not really one to read stories about ranchers in the Australian Outback. It’s just so outside my world that I have trouble relating to these types of stories.
Except when Jane Harper is the author. The Lost Man was amazing. Because it didn’t just focus on Cameron’s death, but told the story of the family and the community. And although it certainly is not my world–it was while I was reading the book.
The story is told from the point of view of the somewhat prodigal son, also the oldest brother, Nathan. He is a divorced dad who disgraced the extended family years ago, left the community and lives a quiet life ranching his land, hours away from his family. Although the book is built around the mystery of Cameron’s death, it is framed by the story of Nathan’s life and family.
I noticed that some readers found the book slow moving. I really didn’t. I was so riveted by the story that I never wanted to set it down. I will stay that the story is meaty and there is a lot to process. But instead of letting it bog me down, I really relished every morsel of this one.
I really can’t recommend this book more. This one came out February 5 so you can run right out and grab a copy. Or order it online and wait for it to come to you!