The Survivors by Jane Harper

A body on a beach.

Secrets that have been waiting to be uncovered for 12 years.

And a family torn apart by guilt and trauma…

Jane Harper’s latest book is set in Evelyn Bay, on the Tasmanian coast, where Kieran Elliot has returned to after twelve years. He left under strained circumstances following a major storm in which his older brother died along with the brother of his friend. Some people still blame Kieran for their deaths. The sister of another friend also disappeared that night and is presumed dead. When Kieran returns to his childhood home along with his wife Mia and young daughter, old tensions are unearthed.

When Bronte, a young waitress, is found dead on the beach following Kieran’s return, rumours of a serial killer spread through the community and everyone seems to have something to hide. As Kieran looks to the past to figure out what happened on the night of the storm, he uncovers some revelations that might be linked with the recent murder.

Like Harper’s previous novels, The Survivors features masterful and evocative descriptions of the sea and the cave system where Kieran explored with his friends when they were younger. The Survivors isn’t as fast paced as her previous books but it builds slowly to create a stifling atmosphere within a small town. The title of the book refers to a metal statue in the sea to commemorate a shipwreck a century ago. It serves as a reminder of the tragic past but it also watches over the town as a ghostly spectre. The title also refers to the people who survived the storm years before and the burden they carry with them afterwards.

Little, Brown, 22 September 2020

About the author

Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year, the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 2017. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.

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