The Lost Man: A Teaser

Books

Jane Harper’s first standalone was an intense slow burn of a thriller set in the striking vastness of the outback. When I found out that this was no an Aaron Falk case, I was a bit disappointed but the characters in this novel were equally as endearing with their character flaws, secrets and histories – none more so than the man found dead of dehydration only feet away from the safety of his vehicle at the very start of the book.

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Cameron Bright is a father of two with a beautiful wife, prosperous land and seemingly the best put together of the three Bright brothers. When his older brother Nathan starts to dig deeper into the mysterious death, events from the past and the secret life of Cameron starts to unravel. On the whole, the family is shocked at the unexpected death and can’t fathom what would drive a man to walk out into the desert to his demise. There are members of the household that hint at Cameron’s unstable mental state in the days leading up to his disappearance but there are whispers of something more sinister when a woman who accused Cam of taking advantage of her in their youth makes mysterious phone calls to the house. She wasn’t believed at the time but as the adults who were there start to recount the story, we find out that there are those who did believe her and suspect that Cam’s father drove the girl out of town.

With the police reaching the conclusion that it was a suicide, Nathan, the black sheep of the family who lives in exile starts to dig into who Cam really was as an adult and what secrets his wife and kids might be keeping. It’s pretty clear from the start that he knows that his brother has demons, having been raised in an abusive household and starts to wonder just how stable he really is. What he uncovers is a history of domestic abuse, a wife with an exit plan, adultery and a murder that was committed for love.

What I love about Harper’s books is the atmosphere, being set in an environment as hostile as the outback further augments the intensity and mystery of the story-line as you never know what’s hiding out there. You could fall victim to a killer on the loose or simply getting a flat tire and getting stranded in the elements. The setting creates an urgency that can’t be sated. Her books make me want to immediately experience the vast wilderness of the outback while also never, ever setting foot there at the same time. I could not stop listening to this book, I finished it over the course of two days and was so shocked by the ending that I had to go back and listen to it a second time to see if I missed anything. Even though this is a standalone, there are some references to her debut novel The Dry that I felt were very clever and helped to flesh out some of the character’s stories. It’s a fantastic book, the ending was tragic and unsettling but poetic in its own right. I’m sure that the book is just as good read but if you have a chance to listen to the audio version, Stephen Shanahan is awesome. I loved it, I will listen to it again and again. Have you read any of Harper’s novels? What’s your fave? I think mine is The Dry followed by this one with Force of Nature coming in last but still being very good!

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February Reads

Books

How’s your February going? Sticking to all of those New Year resolutions? Me neither, mostly because I didn’t make any, I’m just making small talk 😛 I haven’t been listening to a lot of books recently and can’t believe that I haven’t even started a single book this month! I usually don’t have an issue with listening to books since I can still do most anything while enjoying one but I just haven’t done it. February is packed with new releases from some of my favorite authors, I have a few books that I plan to make time for this month.

The Lost Man – Jane Harper: This is a standalone thriller, I really enjoy the Aaron Falk character but am still excited to revisit the Outback with some new characters. A husband and father of two is found dead in the elements, the reason for his demise is not immediately known.

HARPER

Redemption Point – Candace Fox: This is Fox’s second book featuring disgraced detective Ted Conkaffey. When we left Conkaffey at Crimson Lake, there were hints that his innocence could substantiated, I can’t wait to see what happens next and what case he and his bizarre partner are working on. I have been waiting for this book for ages, it finally comes out in March so I guess this will be on my March TBR as well.

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The Reckoning – Yrsa Sigurdardottir: I got hooked on this author’s moody, atmospheric thrillers and though the Children’s House series is a bit of a departure, the first installment was insane. I hope this book fleshes out some of the characters that we met in the first book, I have no doubt that the plot will be awesome.

YRSA

The Stranger Beside Me – Ann Rule: Not to jump on the Bundy bandwagon but after finishing the Netflix documentary my curiosity is piqued. I better limit this one to listening only at work otherwise, I’ll be up for for days like the time I listened to a Manson family book.

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I think I can get through these (minus the March release) before the end of the month, I just downloaded The Lost Man and forgot what a fantastic narrator Stephen Shanahan is! Let me know what’s on your list or what books you’ve been loving lately!

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