The Survivors by Jane Harper – Review

Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Published: February 2021
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 384
My Rating: πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹πŸ¦‹.75/5

They had reached the top of the cliffs and stopped at the lookout. Out on the water, The Survivors stood tall.

Jane Harper, The Survivors

Set in the small Tasmanian coastal town of Evelyn Bay, Kieran Elliot has had to live with the consequences of a reckless decision he made twelve years ago which claimed the lives of two young men, one of them being his brother. At the time another young girl Gabby Birch also went missing under suspicious circumstances. 

Now after many years he returns to his home town with his own family to help his parents with a move. But the town won’t let him forget his past mistakes. 

Then, the body of a young artist is found on the beach and a murder investigation follows. Questions arise about whether this may be connected to those past events. Haunted daily by his past, Kieran tries to come to terms with what actually happened all those years ago and discovers that there is more to it than he realised.

There’s just something about thrillers set in a coastal town that gives it an even more ominous feel. I always picture the weather to be gloomy with rough seas and the fact that this book centres around a tragedy that took place at the time of a storm made me picture it even more vividly.

“I’m so tired. I’m so tired of feeling guilty.”

This is definitely one of those books with a slow burn, but it really picks up just after halfway through. The timelines alternate between past and present, giving you just enough to keep you coming back for more. Harper sets the scene so clearly you can just imagine the quiet coastal town. This gives you small town vibes and the locals are not very keen on outsiders.

I like that it also deals with dementia and the difficulties that come with it. People are often misunderstood and it can be so difficult for the family to deal with as well, especially one who has gone through such a traumatic event.

This book explores how guilt can stay with a person for many years, impacting not only their own lives, but those around them as well. If not dealt with properly, it can also increase the risk of developing mental health conditions such as depression.

Overall, a beautifully written novel by a well-known author. I can’t wait to dive into some of her other work.

Disclaimer: I was sent this free copy for review by Jonathan Ball Publishers. This does not influence my review or rating in any way. All views and opinions expressed are my own.

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