Monday, April 8, 2019

Harper, Jane (The Lost Man)

I prefer Harper's Aaron Falk series, and likely that's because Falk has continuity (for lack of a better phrase). He is an investigator to begin with and he sits outside the conflict (thereby bringing an external voice). Our protagonist in this story is too embedded in the tale. That can have its benefits, but it makes the reveal strangely disappointing (because it requires his input, and without it there is no ending).

Regardless, you learn vastly more about living in the outback than you did in Harper's previous novels. She absolutely has a penchant and a talent for this (I never expect her to write a novel based in one of Australia's cities). In particular, you learn some of the basic tenets of literally surviving in the Australian wilderness, which are bound to scare the pants off you. (Golly am I pleased we didn't decide to do a road trip to the outback when we were in Australia because it would have been 'Oh, a road trip, what fun, tra la!' Yipes.)

As a personal preference, I didn't enjoy the level of misdirection employed in the novel or the bow-tie ending. Or the reveal, which I sadly saw coming from miles away (not well misdirected, unfortunately). The novel's topic is an important one to keep in the public view, but the novel itself didn't do it the service it deserves.

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