BEST Books 2019.
- Source:Library Journal; Dec2019, Vol. 144 Issue 11, p16-27, 12p, 52 Color Photographs
- Document Type:Book Review
- Publication Information:Media Source, Inc.
- Subject Terms:
Booklist Reviews 2018 December #1
New York Times best-selling Harper's two earlier novels were both constructed around the harsher extremes of the Australian outback, and in this one we experience the isolated and inhospitable desert in Queensland. It is a brutal existence for the ranchers who live and work there, in relentless heat, hours away from any vestige of civilization. When the sun-baked body of Cam Bright, experienced at desert survival, is found by his brothers adjacent to a lone headstone in the middle of nowhere, marking the "stockman's grave," they are hard pressed to find an explanation. The answer is found only by revisiting their childhood, which was hobbled by a battered mother and "flooded with terror" by an abusive father. The atmosphere is so thick you can taste the red-clay dust, and the folklore surrounding the mysterious stockman adds an additional edge to an already dark and intense narrative. The truth is revealed in a surprising ending that reveals how far someone will go to preserve a life worth living in a place at once loathed and loved. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2018 September #1
In Australia's outback, two brothers who are nearest neighbors (though four hours' drive apart) stand at the fence separating their two cattle ranches with their middle brother lying dead for no discernible reason. The family pulls together, but the eldest brother senses that one of their number has cracked under the weight of isolation. A stand-alone from the author who splashed down big with
LJ Reviews 2019 February #1
Cameron Bright's body is found in a remote part of his family's cattle ranch in western Australia; his car, which was stocked with supplies and in perfect working order, is parked nine kilometers away. With no sign of foul play, the police conclude that he simply chose to walk into the desert to his death. Cam's brother Nathan isn't so sure. Cam had a thriving business, employees who respected him, a wonderful family, and seemingly everything to live for. But if it wasn't suicide, what happened? The difficulties of being three hours from the nearest town are exacerbated for Nathan, who lives alone on the neighboring ranch, sometimes going without human contact for weeks at a time. The reasons for Nathan's isolation are revealed gradually and enhance readers' understanding of both the community and the individual. As with Harper's previous books (
PW Reviews 2018 November #3
Australia's outback, with its brutal climate and equally bruising isolation, looms as large as any character in this stark standalone from bestseller Harper (