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The Lost Man
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Archive - Group Reads > The Lost Man by Jane Harper - June 2020

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message 1: by Jenny (last edited May 26, 2020 07:07AM) (new)

Jenny (diggensjenny) Hello, fellow Crime, Mystery & Thriller readers! This discussion is about, The Lost Man by Jane Harper your discussion leader is PattyMacDotComma

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Please note: If you have not finished reading the book spoilers are permitted in this discussion from the start.
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The Lost Man by Jane Harper The Lost Man by Jane Harper The Lost Man by Jane Harper The Lost Man by Jane Harper


SUMMARY

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.


Aditya | 1865 comments I read it a few months ago and thought it was the weakest of Harper's books. Or maybe I am just more forgiving of flaws when writers are starting out because this has one plot point similar to The Dry which rankled me in both the books. The reason for townsfolk hating Nathan never ringed true to me. Also Nathan might just be the most unfortunate character you will meet in fiction all year. Harper piles so much on Nathan that it becomes a bit comical as though she was desperate for the reader to relate with her protagonist.

Another thing that bothered me was how everyone in the town revered Cameron while everyone in his home hated him. In my experience with small towns, gossip travels faster than wildfire there, so I never bought the dichotomy in Cameron's reputation. Anyway generic characters and predictable albeit satisfying mystery which still had its moments. This was not bad perse just incredibly overrated here.

My Review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Kari This was my first Harper book, so perhaps I had a better experience because I didn't have her other books for comparison. I really enjoyed this. I thought the characters were more well drawn out than characters typically are in these types of mystery/thrillers and I absolutely loved the setting. It was so unique, and I felt Nathan's depression and isolation really highlighted the desolation of the outback. I could tell Harper had a lot of knowledge about the area and how people lived there, and I always enjoy reading about lifestyles so different from my own.

The mystery definitely kept me guessing. My mom and I read this together (I gifted it to her for Mother's Day), and about halfway through we were joking about who could have possibly done it, and making more and more absurd guesses. Very surprised one of those "off the wall" suggestions ended up being right.

I did think the ending was too neat. After the bleakness of the first 3/4 of the novel, it was a welcome reprieve, but it did ring a little false.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

*** Possible Spoiler***
My mystery book club read this. I did not realize this was a stand alone and read both of her previous novels before the club met. I kind of missed Aaron Falk. I did not really care about the characters. The book was more of a family drama fiction than a good mystery to me. It was a slow moving plot

While the father was abusive, I think Cameron was a sociopath. He could probably hide this from the few townspeople since the distance between homes was so great. (Nathan had to walk 9 kilometers to find the truck and this was only a portion of their property)


Kari It was interesting how Nathan's views about his golden boy brother changed the closer he got to Cameron's inner circle. The outback setting highlighted it, but it says a lot about how abusers isolate their victims. The way he messed with Isle's vehicle and hid her papers was really chilling. In a way, Isle and Nathan both had their connections to others severed. I think the book shows us that even in one of the most isolated areas on the planet, people need each other.


message 6: by PattyMacDotComma (last edited Jun 05, 2020 11:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

PattyMacDotComma | 155 comments I loved this one, and it all rang true to me. These properties are a long way from "town", not in the suburbs, and most trips in would be for particular purposes. A drive in might pass a few gates into other properties, but you might not even see the outbuildings.

The main family property that Cameron runs is pretty much a self-sufficient little community, with several generations, while Nathan is on his lonesome, feeling bereft, especially now that his son has left home and gone to Brisbane. Yes, he's pretty sorry for himself.

I use the punctuation marks for "town" to indicate that it could be a big town, a small village, or just a wide spot in the road with a pub and a post office in a story like this. As I recall this one, it was more a place to go for supplies than a place with a whole cafe culture and social groups. Regardless, Nathan wasn't about to socialise that way anyway. Far too sorry for himself and sulking.

Cameron was such a big personality in the family, that nobody would consider crossing him. I don't think they'd dare. This is still very much a man's world, and it may be a case of the devil you know being better than the one you don't. I'm not talking backwoods hillbillies, just family individuals who feel remote, isolated, and powerless.

I did write a review when I read it, if anyone is interested. No spoilers.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Barbara Kyle | 13 comments I'm halfway through The Lost Man and loving it. So far, there is not a single moment in which the tension lags. Harper is superb at wielding literary craft, from her masterful threading of backstory throughout the narrative, to her creation of dialogue so authentic you could swear you hear these people talking right before you. I'm looking forward to continuing to the end of this taut mystery -- and then checking out Harper's previous novels!


Kari Barbara wrote: "I'm halfway through The Lost Man and loving it. So far, there is not a single moment in which the tension lags. Harper is superb at wielding literary craft, from her masterful threading of backstor..."

I agree with this; it's pretty impressive how Harper maintains so much tension when, on the surface, there's not actually a lot going on.


MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 41 comments It just got nominated for a huge award in Britain. The Crime Peculier.


Barbara Kyle | 13 comments Kari wrote: "Barbara wrote: "I'm halfway through The Lost Man and loving it. So far, there is not a single moment in which the tension lags. Harper is superb at wielding literary craft, from her masterful threa..."

Kari, you're right. This is basically a family drama whose layered relationships are peeled back by Cam's mysterious death. I've now finished the book, and although I still admire how Harper maintains the tension, creates the wonderfully believable first person narration by Nathan, and makes us feel the sweltering heat of the Australian Outback, the story, for me, never transcended the level of somewhat mundane dysfunctional family relationships. Nevertheless, Harper is a master of her craft, and I enjoyed my virtual time in the Outback.


Kirsten  (kmcripn) | 0 comments This was the first book of Jane Harper's that I have read and I really enjoyed it. So, if the Aaron Falk books are even better, I am very happy to hear it.

The most memorable part of the book for me was the claustrophobic atmosphere. Considering how isolated they are - it is hardly surprising there wasn't some violence. Especially considering the father was abusive.


message 12: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gem  | 1229 comments Mod
I started listen to the audiobook this morning... my goodness, the narrator is Australian... I'm swooning! lol


message 13: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gem  | 1229 comments Mod
I finished this book a couple of days ago. What an awesome twist at the end, I never who have guess whodunit.


message 14: by MadProfessah (new) - added it

MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 41 comments This is definitely on my TBR, but I’m gonna try “Black Dog” by Stephen Booth and perhaps another CJ Box or Val McDermid book first.


Ashok Koshy (asheffect) | 2 comments This is my second Jane Harper novel. I didn't particularly enjoy THE DRY and was bit sceptical to try another one. But half way through this one, am kind of enjoying the setting of the book and the strained relationship the brothers shared. So far the book has been impressive. Hope the remaining half won't disappoint.


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