Publication: 21st January 2021 – Little, Brown
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…
The Survivors is the new gripping novel by Jane Harper and it is set in Evelyn Bay, a small town on the Tasmanian Coast, that twelve years ago was hit by a storm that forever changed the lives of its residents.
Kieran has spent many years away from Evelyn Bay, but now he is back, together with his girlfriend Mia and their three-month-old daughter Audrey, to help his mother pack the family home before his father, suffering from dementia, moves into a nursing home. When the body of a young woman is found on the beach, the tragedy that shook the town twelve years earlier resurfaces and it is time for Kieran to face his ghosts.
The story is slow-paced and, even though the murder investigation is central to the novel, the story focuses mostly on the characters and their development. Through Kieran’s eyes we are introduced to the other characters in the story: his friends who remained in Evelyn Bay; those who were lost during the storm and their families who are still grieving. At the center there is Kieran, a character that I found flawed, authentic, and relatable. Kieran is carrying a lot on his shoulders: sleepless nights caused by his newborn baby, his father’s illness, but, most of all, his guilt for the role he played in the tragedy twelve years ago.
I genuinely love Jane Harper’s novels. I can’t say I have a favourite – although The Survivors is a close first – as they all feature the author’s addictive writing style and they are full of mystery, intrigue, and atmosphere. The Survivors confirms, once again, that Jane Harper is a master storyteller as she slowly builds a story that concludes with an ending that was unexpected, heartbreaking, and satisfying.
The Survivors is out now and I would like to thank Little, Brown for providing me with a proof of the book.