When Jane Harper writes about the Australianoutback, the vastness and searing heat are vivid. So too are the characters who live in this harsh climate. This is another Harper murder mystery. A husband and father is found dead by an old lonely grave. His car is found nine kilometres away. Why someone who knew the landscape so well would wander from his vehicle is beyond strange. In this landscape, without water, it doesn’t take long to die.
What unfolds is the kind of story you sometimes hear in the bush: a somber story of families that look alright on the outside but which contain inter-generational violence and cruelty. Many a man becomes a tyrant, an expert in physical and emotional abuse. This is not apparent at first, as loner Nathan leaves his struggling farm to come home after his brother’s death. Harper treads with sure footing as she unravels the psychological complexities of this family as she did in her previous novels, and the result is as gripping as before. I suspect that many others will do as I did, and read it straight through. Many will empathise with Nathan’s sadness as he considers the results of the choices he has made and be glad about the surprising, but not surprising ending. Top marks.
Just when you think you've read it all, along comes Jane Harper with an Australian who dunnit that blitzes the field. The story is told with words that paint the picture of outback and station life, making you feel as if you are there watching the take unfold. I can't wait for more Harper stories! The Lost Man tells of a strange death that appears as impossible for people who know the man. But what transpires makes us ask ourselves how well do we really know people even if we see then every day? So who killed Cameron? You'll have to read the book!
The Outback, the heat, the isolation and relationships where emotions are rarely displayed drive Nathan to the brink of despair. When his brother is found dead, the questions surrounding this mystery slowly surface and the answers are are surprising. Nathan's family history unravells a complicated interplay of hidden character traits that makes this book compelling.
Jane Harper skilfully begins peeling back layer after layer of the characters linked by their location in the relentless Australianoutback. Personal histories and interpersonal dynamics are revealed to uncover what occurred on one fateful day. Like all families there are skeletons in the cupboard disguised by the veneers we have all created.
This is Harper’s 3rd book with a somewhat unusual setting. Interesting (demystified) depiction of outback life that conveys what looks like a realistic impression of the lifestyle, rewards and challenges. I found it a bit slow and would have preferred a little more action.
The author paints an absorbing and accurate picture of isolated life in outback Australia and its often devastating effect on personal relationships in families; a very topical subject. The story of the crime appeals on many levels. Formost is the human condition - relationships; tradition, love, desire, jealousy and greed are central to the tale.
The outstanding feature of this story is the depiction of the arid and semi arid landscapes of outback Australia. Outstanding writing and a very real story set on a cattle station in western Queensland.
An evocative mystery set in the moody emptiness of the Australianoutback. The characters reflect their environment and their isolation, and their relationships and issues are magnified in this setting. Harper has created an authentic work in which people and place transcend the story.