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When Cameron Bright is found dead in the Australian wilderness miles from his car, his brother Nathan is determined to find out what happened. But what secrets are lurking in the outback?

I was really eager to read The Lost Man. It’s had a lot of pre-release excitement, 5 star reviews and even was a LibraryReads selection for Feb 2019. I was quite disappointed therefore, to have to give it a low star rating. I’ll start with the positives; the setting is a great choice. Deep in the cattle fields of rural Australia, Jane Harper is able to capture both the crippling isolation and also the claustrophobic air of being trapped with those around us with no escape. The writing style is a great accompaniment to this and the descriptions and feeling portrayed within the book made you feel like you are there with the characters.

That said I found the book incredibly slow-paced and drawn out which ruined my enjoyment of it. Although the family dynamics are interesting and I wanted to find out what happened to Cameron the sheer amount of time it took to get to anything concrete was far too long. There’s so much backstory and flashback that actually you only really start to find out what was going on right at the end, making all of the rest of the story feel a little irrelevant. The reveal in the ending left me with unanswered questions – mainly as to how it took so long for the truth to come out and surely most characters already knew or could guess what had happened? This is actually my first Jane Harper book and it sounds like other books of hers are similar in style so perhaps if I had known what I was getting into to start with I could have enjoyed it a little more.

Overall it’s a setting that will stay with you long after you put the book down – I just wish it had a plot to match. Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for a chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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