Crime Fiction

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The Lost Man by Jane Harper

A story that gripped everyone in our book group.
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The Lost Man was universally loved by our book group. In fact, no-one could find anything negative to say about it! It achieved three 5-Star ratings, and nothing below 4.5 Stars, so it’s our top-ranked read so far this year.

As Oxo explains: “Set in the Australian outback, east of Adelaide, this story of three cattle-ranching brothers grips the reader from the beginning.

“When the middle brother, Cam, doesn’t return from a maintenance repair trip to the isolated fence line, the whole community turn out to search. His body is found with no apparent injuries but some way from his truck, which contains food, water and other vital supplies. So why would he leave his vehicle in 40-degree plus heat? Did he become dehydrated and disorientated and unable to find his way back? The tale unfolds to reveal the family history and discord in this unusual and fascinating setting.”

For several of our group this wasn’t the sort of book they’d usually read. But Jane Harper’s storytelling is so beautifully paced that you have to keep turning the pages. The clues which eventually lead you to understand what has happened (and why) are placed so carefully it’s like following a trail of the smallest breadcrumbs.

Alongside this Harper conveys vividly the vastness and loneliness of the Australian outback, and the struggle to survive out there on a daily basis. The characters are believable and real; and the searing heat and the harshness of the terrain subtly help to build the tension.

This is an emotional and psychological story, expertly written and thrilling to the end. Weeks after some of us finished reading this book we’re still happily talking about it – we enjoyed it that much.

We’re all planning to read more by Jane Harper.

If you enjoy reading crime fiction why not come along to one of our meetings? They’re on the third Friday of every month, 2.30pm @ Oundle Library. It’s all very informal because we don’t have a set reading list. We do, however, enjoy a wide-ranging chat about the books we’ve read and enjoyed. Everyone welcome!