Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson
Just when you thought Jane Harper had already raised the bar for crime fiction she goes and changes the game all over again, this time with a brilliant standalone novel that explores a crime hitting much closer to home.
The Lost Man tells the story of the Bright family, whose quiet existence on Queensland cattle farming land is shattered when middle brother Cameron is found dead at the boundary between their two extensive properties, his car lying abandoned mere kilometres away. The question of just how and why he ended up there is one which will drag up all manner of ghosts for the Bright family, particularly the eldest brother Nathan and Cameron’s widow Ilse, as mysterious events of the past bleed into their present with devastating effect...
The Lost Man is essentially a standalone novel (although hardcore Aaron Falk fans should stay alert for a subtle shoutout), but it’s one that sits right up there with the greatness that we’ve come to expect of Jane Harper and indeed of Australia’s best crime fiction novels. So don’t sleep on this one - the Harper hype is much deserved.
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.