The Lost Man – Jane Harper
A powerful and brutal story of suspense which is every bit as good as Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, which I also loved. The mystery is paired with atmospheric descriptions that put you right in the dusty, dry, arid ranch land of Australia, smack in the middle of two generations of troubled family dynamics. Nathan is the POV character who is living alone on his farm, three hours away from his estranged son and his hometown community. The nearest ranch is the old family homestead where his brothers Cameron and Bub, Cameron’s wife Ilse and two daughters, his mother Liz and his uncle Harry reside. When Cameron is found dead from the heat far from his car and in the shadow of a local legend’s grave, everyone is confounded about what could have happened. What follows is a heady mix of homicide investigation, love story, and family saga and before long we realize every player in this saga is not who they initially appeared to be. Filled with twists and turns we don’t see coming, Harper skillfully sheds light on the various family member’s motivations and secrets, helping us understand the current-day jealousies and resentments bubbling just beneath the surface. It’s not until the final pages that we learn the answer of what really happened to Cameron that day and when we do, suddenly all the pieces fall into place.
This slow-reveal story is mesmerizing so be warned, you’ll find it hard to put down once you start reading.