Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that haunts him still resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home.
Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother Finn.
When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the murder investigation that follows. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away.
Firstly massive thanks to Grace Vincent at Little Brown UK for sending me a proof of The Survivors, Jane Harper is one of my few must read authors and this book, well, I feel like I have been waiting for it forever!
Reading this was like revisiting an old friend and I was struck by how much I enoy Jane Harper’s writing, her fourth book and her second standalone, crime fiction set in Tasmania, utilising the beach location and the hostility of a major storm to set the scene. Jane Harper fans will not be disappointed.
This is a story set in a small beachside community, a seasonal place – busy with tourists in summer, derelict in winter. The residents have been there a lifetime and know each other well, their history; their secrets. Kieran and Mia both left for Australia but are back to help Kieran’s parents. In the background of this story is the mighty storm which devastated the town in more ways than one some years previous. As the story unfolds this storm remains prevalent but a body on the beach brings a murder investigation to the coastal town.
As with all of Jane Harper’s novels the location is key as is the environment, the elements if you like, the ebb and flow of the tides present a risk to adventurers exploring the caves, a shipwreck is remembered by a memorial in the sea, ‘The Survivors’ and the local bar, ‘Surf and Turf’ is the heart of the community.
I loved this novel, just as I have loved the 3 books that came before. With small time vibes, the characters are few but well developed and very quickly become familiar. With secrets everywhere and tense dynamics formed from a life time of close living, the story unfolded offering mysteries and false leads in the mission to find out who had killed the girl on the beach and why.
For me the story flowed, the plot was strong and the mystery was one I didn’t solve. A fantastic January read – it’s got my year off to an incredible start. I find Jane Harper’s books highly readable and I fully appreciate the way she utilies location and nature to develop her stories. This will certainly be enjoyed by any Jane Harper fans, but for me she is a go to author and as with her other books, this is one that I would recommend very highly.
Read my reviews for Jane Harper’s other books here –
About the Author
Jane Harper is the author of the international bestsellers The Dry, Force of Nature and The Lost Man. Her books are published in more than 40 territories worldwide, and The Dry is being made into a major film starring Eric Bana. Jane has won numerous top awards including the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel, the British Book Awards Crime and Thriller Book of the Year, the Australian Industry Awards Book of the Year and the Australian India Awards Book of the Year. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and now lives in Melbourne.