By now, Jane Harper has built quite a following with her previous novels such as her debut novel The Dry, which won all the awards going in 2017. Her ‘Outback Noir’ thrillers have firmly captured the imagination of UK readers and her latest is perhaps her best.
In The Survivors, set in a coastal town in Tasmania, follows a young man returning to his home town. The accident that prompted his departure has still left scars in the community, and Kieran is not as welcome as he would wish. When a local girl turns up dead on the beach, secrets and loyalties unravel as the mystery surrounding her death widens to include the circumstances of the tragedy which drove Kieran away in the first place.
The slow burn of plot, which allows the various twists and revelations room to breathe, is one of the many strengths that means that there’s much to admire in The Survivors. There’s a quiet melancholy at work here, and many of the themes of guilt, family and loss will resonate with readers. The result is a satisfying and atmospheric book which won’t disappoint.