Updated: Mar 30, 2020
How many of you go to the library and leave over zealous with your arms full of books and intentions to read each and every one of them? That is this girl! I always tend to load up my tote bag with all the intentions in the world to get around to them, but sadly have to return unread books on the regular. Whenever I put them in the library return slot, I sing in my head, "Now You're Just Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye to myself, and pour one out for my homies...okay, maybe I don't go that far, but I swear that song does loop in my head! That being said, I have checked out The Lost Man by Jane Harper and ended up returning it unread, that is until recently. Now I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner!
The Lost Man is a slow burn domestic drama set in the deserts of rural Australia. Brothers Nathan and Bub find their brother, Cam, dead in the desert. His car is nearby, stocked with supplies, and no one can understand what happened. Was it suicide or foul play? The tough environment is not for the faint of heart and can be mentally exhausting. Picture living in extreme heat, where you cannot step outside without water, or else you risk immediate dehydration, and being several hours drive away from your closest neighbor. The closest town is nothing to write home about and for parts of the year, the area is flooded and you are restricted to your home for weeks at a time. Even the toughest person can find themselves in a mentally compromising situation, so it is not too far off to imagine that Cam committed suicide.
Nathan is a complex character whose story unravels as his family grieves Cam's death. The title of the novel, The Lost Man, is indicative of both Cam's death and Nathan himself. Though, he is alive, he is a lost soul, who has distanced himself from almost everyone in his life. He lives on his ranch in solitude, tending to the property and the cattle he sells for meat. He has not stepped foot in the closest town in years, due to an incident that he was involved with. This story does not come out until about half way through, so I consider it a slow burn drama. It took a few chapters to get hooked into the storyline, but about halfway through, the story picks up and I could not put it down.
I gave The Lost Man by Jane Harper ★★★★.5 and recommend it to readers who were fans of The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth. It is a very similar style story, but the writing is thoughtful and the character development is outstanding.
Have you read any books by Jane Harper? She has a series that begins with The Dry and I am going to be adding that to my list.