Updated: Sep 10, 2021
by Jane Harper
Deep, Dark and Atmospheric
Kieran Elliot returns home to Evelyn Bay, a small coastal town in Tasmania after a long absence, with his partner Mia and their infant daughter Audrey. Twelve years ago, Kieran narrowly survived a fierce storm that took the lives of his brother, Finn and his brother’s best friend, Toby. Fin and Toby had been on their way to rescue Kieran when the storm got them first. On the same night of the accident a young 14 year old girl, Gabby, also went missing never to be seen again.
Now another young woman, Bronte, an art student and photographer just in Evelyn Bay for the summer has turned up dead on the beach. Kieran can’t help but relive the memories and secrets of his own close call. The guilt of surviving and of being responsible for the death of his brother weighs heavy on Kieran. And there is another secret about that night that he hasn’t told anyone.
THE SURVIVORS is as deep, dark and atmospheric as the landscape that envelopes the island community. The entire town is angry and upset about the recent death of Bronte. Fingers are being pointed and gossip, secrets and resentments abound. You can feel the tension in the town, with every conversation. The story is a slow roll, that keeps you wanting to know more. Who possibly could have wanted to harm Bronte and why? Is it connected to the past? To Kieran? How?
Harper’s writing is descriptive and visual. Kieran’s character drives the narrative as he visits with his parents and old friends still on the island. Harper expertly weaves the past and present and delivers a portrait of a man consumed by the grief and guilt from his past. But he is a survivor. The light spot in the novel was his strong relationship with his girlfriend Mia and daughter Audrey.
Harper is a international best-selling author of three additional novels: The Lost Man (2019), Force of Nature (2018) and The Dry (2016). She has won numerous Australian and UK book awards. She worked as a print journalist for 13 years and now lives in Melbourne.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher McMillian Audio
Published February 2, 2021
Narrated Stephen Shanahan