The Lost Man by Jane Harper [7/10]

The Lost Man” is Jane Harper’s standalone mystery after her two successful series instalments and it is arguably superior to both of those. Set in the harshness of the Australian outback, struggling farmer Nathan finds his dead brother Cam, and must wrestle with how Cam died. Suspects include his third brother Bub, other family, and local community members. A reader might feel, after the event, that the storyline is familiar (and an astute mystery reader might well cast aside the red herrings to catch the murderer before the end), but Harper exerts wonderful narrative control and an immersive style from the get-go, resulting in a one-sitting classic whodunnit outing. All the characters ring true and the Australian bush functions as a bit player with a strong presence.

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