The Survivors

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by Jane Harper

The Tasmanian town of Evelyn Bay is still scarred  by the deaths of Finn Elliot and Toby Gilroy and 14-year-old Gabby Birch, who all died or disappeared in a freak storm 12 years earlier.

Many in town, including Finn’s parents and brother Kieran, believe that Kieran was responsible for Finn’s and Toby’s deaths.

He had been trying to escape from sea caves when the water suddenly rose because of the storm. Finn and Toby raced their diving boat to the area. There it capsized and they died.

Gabby had been seen on the beach and then vanished.

Now Kieran and his partner Mia have returned to Evelyn Bay with their three-month-old daughter.

Old wounds reopen when Bronte, a young photography student is murdered on the beach. She had spent the summer taking photos and making sketches of the beach and sea caves. She was building a portfolio for an application for advanced art studies.

A community web page boils over with speculations about the murder. A link to a university memorial page for Bronte includes some of her photos and threatens to bring long-hidden secrets from that fatal night 12 years ago to light.

Several of author Jane Harper’s past novels have dealt with drought-ridden communities. Here she has perfectly captured life in a small resort town seeing the last of the season’s tourists shuffling off toward home.

Harper excels at weaving stories around the simmering tensions and dynamics of family life. Three mysteries spiral around each other in THE SURVIVORS. As the pieces fall together like tumblers in a lock, readers are led in first one unthinkable direction and then another.

Harper is equally gifted at creating stunning endings. She does not disappoint here.

About the Author: Jane Harper (1980 – )

Born in Manchester in the United Kingdom, Jane Harper moved to Australia with her family when she was eight years old. The family lived in a suburb of Melbourne and then returned to the United Kingdom when Jane was a teenager.

She earned a degree in English and history from the University of Kent and then earned an entry level journalism qualification. She worked in England and then returned to Australia in 2008 to take a reporting job at the Geelong Advertiser in Victoria. In 2011, she became a journalist for the Herald Sun in Melbourne.

Her first novel was THE DRY, published in 2016. It was followed by FORCE OF NATURE (2017), THE LOST MAN (2018) and then THE SURVIVORS (2020). Her work has won numerous awards including the Gold ABIA Book of the Year and the Davvit Award for THE DRY, which also won the Crime Writers’ Association of the United Kingdom’s Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year.

Reese Witherspoon has purchased the rights to THE DRY, which was released as a movie in December 2020.


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