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The Lost Man

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This gives Jane Harper’s debut The Dry a run for its money in my book­ as the location returns to the Australian Outback after a trip to the rain forest in her second, Force of Nature. Unlike the first two novels, detective Aaron Falk is absent and there is no central cop. This time the mystery is a domestic thriller told from the perspective of Nathan Bright, whose family are at the heart of it. His brother Cameron lies scorched to death in 45-degree heat after crawling around the grave of a stockman who died many decades ago in a place so remote that a year could have passed since the last visitor was there. But Nathan knows there’s no way Cameron would have chosen to die this way. We journey with Nathan as our guide and he’s pretty much as unreliable a narrator as you can get. What Harper does brilliantly is convey the claustrophobia that can be endured despite an endless sky and distant horizons, the stifling domestic tensions, and the small-town rancour, where folk turn on each other. Read our full review here.

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