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The Survivors by Jane Harper

As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!

Jane Harper is an award-winning and bestselling Australian author and her previous novels, The Dry, Force of Nature and The Lost Man were outstanding! This is a writer who really knows how to spin a page-turning thriller with a distinctive Australian feel.

Once again her new novel is set in Australia, this time in Tasmania. The novel opens with Kieran and his partner Mia, returning to Evelyn Bay, with their three-month daughter in tow, to visit family and friends. This is the place they grew up in, but they don’t visit very often. It’s guilt that keeps Kieran away – the guilt that his older brother died in a terrible storm in a situation that everyone thinks was Kieran’s fault. In this same storm, Mia’s best friend Gabby, went missing, never to be seen again. So returning home is a traumatic place for this couple to visit.

The couple aren’t there long when the body of a young woman is discovered on the beach. It puts them under a great deal of pressure because it dredges up the past. As the police investigate the current tragedy, it opens questions about the long-ago storm and the tragedy, and long-held secrets threaten to emerge.

The Survivors is an atmospheric, emotionally charged read, that moves back and forth in time. Jane Harper captures the wildness of this coastal location with a sunken wreck, guarded over by an imposing sculpture, and winding caves that are filled with secrets. She also captures a family and group of friends holding on to secrets and half-truths, until a new tragedy forces everything into the light.

Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Macmillan Publishers