Cover art for The Lost Man
Macmillan, October 2018
Softcover, 384 pages
23.3cm × 15.3cm × 2.8cm

The Lost Man

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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... 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.

Reviewed by Barb Sampson

Barb takes care of the web orders here at Boffins, and is your contact for book club enquiries. She spends all her spare time curled up on the couch reading and for the last several years has reviewed books on the Afternoon Program on ABC radio Perth.

When his brother is found dead in an isolated spot in outback Queensland it looks as though it must have been suicide, but Nathan Bright finds it difficult to believe that Cameron would take his own life, and can not help but ponder the alternative. As they gather on the family property, Nathan starts digging around and asking questions. Once he starts though, it’s difficult to stop, and all sorts of secrets come to light.

Like her debut The Dry, this novel is set in a community under immense pressure. Extreme heat and isolation make living very difficult, even dangerous, and people cope with that pressure in different ways. The story is about our ability to hide from what has been staring us in the face all along, to put our head in the sand even when there are signals that something is amiss.

It’s tense, oppressive and disturbing stuff.

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