The compelling new novel from Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry.
Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.
The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.
Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.
When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away ...
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NED KELLY AWARD FOR BEST CRIME FICTION 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ABA NIELSEN BOOK BOOKSELLERS' CHOICE - ADULT FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR ABIA GENERAL FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COLIN RODERICK AWARD 2021
LONGLISTED FOR THE INDIE BOOK AWARDS FOR FICTION 2021
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2022 INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
Praise for The Survivors:
'It's now clear Harper has a gift ... every book has a distinct landscape that plays a central part in the plot made possible by her uncanny knack of bringing scenery to life' Daily Telegraph
'Another suspenseful thriller...unearthing dark secrets, hidden guilt and simmering social tensions.' Herald Sun
'A crime-writing force of nature' Adelaide Advertiser
'Global success story' Courier Mail
'Clever with beautifully articulated portrayals of people and place' vogue.com.au
'Jane Harper creates an impressive landscape that serves to illustrate how the experience of place inevitably shapes the lives of those who live there. You may find it hard to leave behind.' Sydney Morning Herald
'With consummate skill, Harper steadily builds the suspense to an unexpected climax, while also taking a sharp-eyed look at the intricacies of small communities and the enduring toll of guilt. Highly recommended.' Canberra Weekly
'An intriguing mystery, but a deeper layer is added by the well-drawn characters and their relationships...a new Harper book is a treat and this is another cracking read.' Good Reading
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The new standalone novel from bestselling Australian author Jane Harper, The Survivors, explores the dangers of reopening old emotional wounds in a tight-knit Tasmanian community. Kieran Elliott is visiting the coastal town where he once lived, with his partner and baby in tow. When the body of a young waitress is found on the water’s edge, his past comes flooding back, bringing to the surface memories the entire town wants to forget. Harper perfectly encapsulates the claustrophobia of being in a small town ablaze with rumours, and the suffocating guilt that comes from past mistakes. The stormy atmosphere of the coastal setting adds an extra level of unease, while the compelling narrative seamlessly weaves between two timelines, creating a real sense of urgency. Like its predecessors, Harper’s fourth book is one that you can guarantee will draw you in until the final page.
Sydney physiotherapist Kieran Elliott, the protagonist of this elegiac suspense novel from bestseller Harper (The Lost Man), has steeled himself for an emotionally turbulent visit to his hometown of Evelyn Bay, Tasmania, where he has returned to help his mother pack up the family home before his dementia-afflicted father moves into a nursing facility. Then the murder of college student Bronte Laidler, who had been spending her summer break creating art inspired by the area's rugged coast, upsets the town. While locals profess that Bronte's killer must be an outsider, many start wondering as do the police whether there's any connection to a tragedy involving Kieran that tore apart the community 12 years earlier. That Kieran's father may have been wandering on the beach the night of the murder raises the stakes. The distinctively Aussie array of stoic characters who are weathered, and in some cases warped, by their uncompromising environment more than compensates for a denouement that feels psychologically false. Harper expertly weaves past guilts with present grief. She remains a writer to watch.
I will survive
Anglo-Australian. Born Manchester. Moved to Victoria aged 8. Moved back to Blighty in her teens, went to uni there, became a journo, then moved back to Geelong, where she worked as a journo while writing The Dry (2016). That drew plenty of critical praise and sold a motzah. Ditto Force of Nature (2017) and The Lost Man (2018). One of the distinguishing features of Ms Harper's work is her ability to evoke place, rural places in Victoria and far western Queensland in particular. This time, she's abandoned the outback for coastal Tassie.
Kieran grew up in Evelyn Bay, a fictional town on Tasmania's east coast. He left after his big bro got dead in a storm that flipped his boat. A teen girl disappeared in an apparently separate incident as well. (The place is like Summer Bay, only colder). Our boy harbours considerable guilt, goes to uni in Sydney, becomes a sports physio, and hooks up with Mia, a girl several years younger than him also from the old hometown. They have a kid and come home to help his Mum pack up the house because his Dad has developed early onset Alzheimer's and has to go into a home in Hobart. Kieran and Mia meet up with a few of the old crew then, wouldn't you know it, a chick croaks, an art student from Canberra down there working on her art during the summer holidays. Stuff happens, mostly character development of the various townsfolk including a successful mystery novelist who has moved to the area. Suspicion is cast far and wide. Resolution is achieved eventually, both short term and long term.
Ms Harper, who has already proved herself a master of Australian psychological mystery stories, proves it yet again. The evocation of place is excellent, as usual, although with so many novels set in the Apple Isle of late, I've just about had a gutful of Tasmania. I found the character development less convincing than her previous work too, but that's probably just me.
Not Ms Harper's best IMHO, but deserves to be a big seller despite that.
Takes a while to wrap up the story and when it does it’s over too quick… pretty easy read though and I didn’t suspect the ending at all
Slow burn that rewards the reader
Another slow burn from Jane Harper that quickly turns into a gripping, unputdownable story.
After many years away, Kieran has returned to the small Australian waterfront town where his brother died and he still feels the guilt of his tragic death. Now that he's back, with his wife and infant daughter in tow, the long buried secrets of what happened all those years ago start to surface. And a new tragedy strikes, threatening to tear the town apart again.
It took me a while to remember who is who as there are quite a few characters but they are all memorable and in usual Harper style it’s beautifully written.
The mystery itself is interesting and compelling. It drives the overall narrative, and infuses it with the prevailing atmosphere that something isn't quite right. The subtle malice flows through the undercurrents of this story, sweeping me away with its quiet intensity. Not much is happening on the surface, but underneath, it relentlessly builds the story into its inevitable and surprising conclusion.
I did find the beginning of the story to be a little slow, but that's pretty typical for me when it comes to Harper's writing. But I hold on for the initial few chapters, and pretty soon, I'm having trouble putting the book down. Now for all the buildup, I did find the ending to be a bit abrupt, as if I blinked and it was over. It sufficiently explained everything, but after following the characters and their storyline for so many pages, I just wanted a little more to fully wrap everything up and satisfy my curiosity.