The Lost Man
Jane Harper
Contributed by Greta Venegas
Chapter 1
Summary

The chapter begins with Nathan and Bub driving to the graveyard where they had been informed on the radio that their brother, Cameron, had been found dead. His body is covered by a faded tarp, which Nathan lifts to reveal his brother’s corpse despite Bub’s insistence that they should leave the body in its covered state. They are both shocked by the news of their brother’s death, leading Nathan to question Bub about Cameron’s whereabouts and activities over the past few days. He learns that Cameron was supposed to meet up with Bub two days ago to fix the repeater mast at Lehmann’s Hill. Due to Bub arriving late for work, he did not find Cameron at the site, and explains to Nathan that Cameron’s car was found eight kilometers away from his body by a pilot sent out to conduct an aerial search.

Analysis

Bub’s response to Nathan, when asked if he was worried about Cameron after not finding him at Lehmann’s Hill, shows the unpredictable nature of the place where they lived. The vast distances between the farms, rough terrain that makes driving in the dark risky, the presence of scavengers, and the heat of the desert increases the likelihood of accidental deaths in the region. Only a small number of people live in the town, something that is evident when Nathan asks when the medical and police teams will arrive at the site — but clarifies that the team only comprises of one police officer and one medical specialist. The distance between Cameron’s body and his car raises numerous questions about whether his death was a case involving murder or suicide.

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