Cover image for The lost man
Title:
The lost man
Title:
The lost man
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publisher Info:
New York : Flatiron Books, [2019]
Physical Description:
340 pages : map ; 25 cm
Abstract:
Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback. In an isolated belt of Western Australia, they are each other's nearest neighbor, their homes four hours' drive apart. The third brother lies dead at their feet. Something caused Cam, the middle child who had been in charge of the family homestead, to die alone in the middle of nowhere. So the eldest brother returns with his younger sibling to the family property and those left behind. But the fragile balance of the ranch is threatened. Amidst the grief, suspicion starts to take hold, and the eldest brother begins to wonder if more than one among them is at risk of crumbling as the weight of isolation bears down on them all.

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Summary

Summary

Two brothers meet in the remote Australian outback when the third brother is found dead, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper

Brothers Nathan and Bub Bright meet for the first time in months at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback.

Their third brother, Cameron, lies dead at their feet.

In an isolated belt of Australia, their homes a three-hour drive apart, the brothers were one another's nearest neighbors. Cameron was the middle child, the one who ran the family homestead. But something made him head out alone under the unrelenting sun.

Nathan, Bub and Nathan's son return to Cameron's ranch and to those left behind by his passing: his wife, his daughters, and his mother, as well as their long-time employee and two recently hired seasonal workers.

While they grieve Cameron's loss, suspicion starts to take hold, and Nathan is forced to examine secrets the family would rather leave in the past. Because if someone forced Cameron to his death, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects.

A powerful and brutal story of suspense set against a formidable landscape, The Lost Man confirms Jane Harper, author of The Dry and Force of Nature, is one of the best new voices in writing today.


Author Notes

Jane Harper is an author who won the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript for her novel The Dry. The $15,000 award was presented at the opening night of the 2015 Emerging Writers Festival. Harper's winning manuscript was chosen from a shortlist of three from more than 130 entries. The Dry tells `the story of a city policeman who is dragged back to the country township he fled years earlier to investigate a multiple homicide'. The Victorian Premier's Literary Award, for an Unpublished Manuscript, is administered by the Wheeler Centre. The Dry won the 2017 Indie Book Award for Derbut Fiction and as Book of the Year. It was also the winner of the 2018 British Book Awards, Crime and Thriller book of the year, and won the 2018 Barry Award for Best First Novel. Her second book entitled Force of Nature was published in May 2018, which won the 2018 Davitt Award for Readers' choice. The Lost Man is her third book and was published in October 2018.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Australia's outback, with its brutal climate and equally bruising isolation, looms as large as any character in this stark standalone from bestseller Harper (Force of Nature). For years, the three Bright brothers-divorced dad Nathan, the eldest; family man and everybody's favorite, middle child Cameron; and the mentally challenged youngest, Bub-have maintained an uneasy equilibrium on adjacent cattle ranches. That flies out the window the week before Christmas when Cameron goes missing; his desiccated corpse is subsequently discovered a few miles from his perfectly operational truck in the shadow of the eerie headstone known as the stockman's grave. Absent any clear indications of foul play, the local authorities undertake a perfunctory investigation, leaving a troubled Nathan to start asking questions that no one wants to answer. In the grim journey that follows, the surviving members of the Bright family must confront some devastating secrets. Harper's sinewy prose and flinty characters compel, but the dreary story line may cause some readers to give up before the jaw-dropping denouement. Author tour. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

New York Times best-selling Harper's two earlier novels were both constructed around the harsher extremes of the Australian outback, and in this one we experience the isolated and inhospitable desert in Queensland. It is a brutal existence for the ranchers who live and work there, in relentless heat, hours away from any vestige of civilization. When the sun-baked body of Cam Bright, experienced at desert survival, is found by his brothers adjacent to a lone headstone in the middle of nowhere, marking the stockman's grave, they are hard pressed to find an explanation. The answer is found only by revisiting their childhood, which was hobbled by a battered mother and flooded with terror by an abusive father. The atmosphere is so thick you can taste the red-clay dust, and the folklore surrounding the mysterious stockman adds an additional edge to an already dark and intense narrative. The truth is revealed in a surprising ending that reveals how far someone will go to preserve a life worth living in a place at once loathed and loved.--Jane Murphy Copyright 2018 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Cameron Bright's body is found in a remote part of his family's cattle ranch in western Australia; his car, which was stocked with supplies and in perfect working order, is parked nine kilometers away. With no sign of foul play, the police conclude that he simply chose to walk into the desert to his death. Cam's brother Nathan isn't so sure. Cam had a thriving business, employees who respected him, a wonderful family, and seemingly everything to live for. But if it wasn't suicide, what happened? The difficulties of being three hours from the nearest town are exacerbated for Nathan, who lives alone on the neighboring ranch, sometimes going without human contact for weeks at a time. The reasons for Nathan's isolation are revealed gradually and enhance readers' understanding of both the community and the individual. As with Harper's previous books (The Dry; Force of Nature), the Australian landscape looms large, and it's difficult to imagine the events in this novel playing out the same way anywhere else. VERDICT Even if readers guess why Cam died, they're likely to be kept guessing the how and the who until the end. Recommended for fans of the author and of mysteries set in rural communities. [See Prepub Alert, 8/13/18.]-Stephanie Klose, Library Journal © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.