The Lost Man (2019) by Jane Harper

The Australian outback, the stockman’s grave stands isolated. The last resting place occasionally attracts visitors but today two brothers stand over the grave. Because lying dead at the grave is their brother.

Cameron abandoned his car miles away, and seemingly walked across the outback to die at the stockman’s grave, walking into the middle of nowhere. Did he commit suicide? With no obvious reason and many simpler ways to achieve the same end, his family is at a loss to understand what happened.

But the family has secrets. And as the sun beats down, those secrets begin to be revealed…

Haven’t done a blog tour for a while, so when I was asked to take part in this one, I was happy to agree. I loved Jane Harper’s debut, The Dry, and while I thought the follow up, Force of Nature, was a little weaker, it was still a powerful read. And the set-up to this seemed intriguing, a classic mystery set-up.

It’s a strong read, on a par with The Dry. A standalone mystery, the nature of the outback life enables the police characters to step back after the initial enquiry to allow the family, with Nathan in particular, to get to the bottom of what happened to Cam – indeed what has been happening to the many family members over the past few years and the past few days.

As you might expect, this isn’t a classic whodunit, but an effective thriller that slowly builds the sense of mystery and tension. The characters are believable, distinctive and well-constructed and the reader finds themselves drawn into the mystery.

The conclusion, while not really a clued mystery, is effective and contains a genuine surprise, to me at least.

A great read, maybe not for the classic mystery fan but certainly for those who like a thoughtful emotional thriller.

Availability: The Lost Man is released today! Do check out the other stops on the tour.

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