Friday, 8 February 2019

The Lost Man by Jane Harper Blog Tour

Blog tour alert! As you know, I don’t normally do blog tours that include reviews. In fact, I usually stay away from them and, when asked to be involved, I run to the hills screaming. But when I was asked if I wanted to be involved in the blog tour for The Lost Man by Jane Harper, I was planning to read The Lost Man before the end of last year and make it one of my first reviews in 2019, so it just fitted nicely together. Plus, I have never read Jane Harper but heard she’s wonderful and sounds like an author I could really sink my teeth into reading for my Year of Blood and Magic challenge. 

I do want to say, before I go any further, that I am not going to lie about this book. I was asked to be honest so I am going to be honest, whether the publisher wants me to or not. 

  • Title And Author: The Lost Man by Jane Harper
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review
  • Length: 384 Pages

In the Australian outback, two brothers - Nathan and Bub - stand side by side. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one knows who or why they were buried there. Normally, they would avoid it, but not today. Today, their brother, middle child Cameron, is lying on the grave, dead, due to the heat and lack of water. But why did he leave his fully-stocked car - which had water, food, and equipment - and walk 9 to 10 kilometres away? Some kind of bizarre suicide? If so, what made him do it? If not, the suspect list is dangerously short as the closest neighbours are hours drive away…

The past is a dangerous thing in the Australian outback… 

So… what do I think of this? 

Well, as you know, I like a good crime. I like a good crime with a bit of pace. So, it might come as a surprise as this was a slow, creeping burn of a mystery. Things don’t race by at a hundred miles per hour, but it is slowly revealed, bit by bit, and I weirdly enjoy this. It was a different pace for me but I liked how the Bright family coped with Cam’s death and yet, all the while, this creeping sense dread is lurking in the background, buying its times… 

I am going to say I did kinda suspect how the story was going to end, but there were things that surprised me. Little layers that made me do “Oh!” over. I do think that, yes, this is a mystery story but I would say it’s much more character driven. We looked at how Nathan (who is our lead) and his family cope with Cam’s death. It’s a family driven story with the mystery of what happened to Cam more in the background, but slowly edging forward, like a dust cloud in the outback. 

Another thing I liked about this book was that this book was Australian. I don’t read much Australian fiction (a frighteningly tiny amount), but I was barely half a chapter in before I felt like I was in Australia and, because of that, the vibe of the book felt different to other crime and mystery novels I have read that are set in the UK, the US or in Europe. It had its own voice and style. 

I do want to say before I go any further that this book does have some triggers, so if you are affected by mental health or abuse, you might want to give this a miss. Normally, I would have DNF’ed this myself as, the older I get, the more I dislike reading this type of books. So, why did I not DNF this? Because of the way Jane happened it. It was, like the mystery of Cam, more in the background and it was drip-fed. It is important to the plot and to the characters, but like I said, this is more a character driven story so it’s important to understand why a character behaviour a certain way - unlike other books I have read and DNF which have used these issues as a shock factor. 

It’s very atmospheric and very Australian. It had a quality to it that I don’t see often in the crime stories I’ve read in the past few months. I really enjoyed this book and I enjoyed Jane Harper’s writing. I do believe that, if I’m not careful, Jane Harper might be my next auto-buy author. Can’t wait to find time to read The Dry and Force of Nature…

EDIT: This is a tiny add on in February 2019. I read and wrote this back in late December and I haven't stop thinking about this book since then... yeah. It's going to be one of those books that I am going to love and am going to rate very highly at the end of the year! 

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