06 October 2020

Review: The Survivors by Jane Harper

The Survivors by Jane Harper book cover
* Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia *

Australian author Jane Harper has become a household name in the crime fiction genre. Bursting onto the scene with rural sensation The Dry, she followed up her award winning success with Force of Nature set in Victoria and headed to outback Queensland for The Lost Man. In her latest release The Survivors, Jane Harper takes the reader to a small town on the Tasmanian coastline.

In Evelyn Bay we're introduced to a cast of characters in a coastal setting that will be instantly recognisable to Australian readers. As in previous books, it's the setting that shines brightest. I think Jane Harper writes Australian locations exceptionally well and they're a pleasure to occupy between the pages.

Kieran is our main character and he returns to town for a visit and receives a mixed reception. He isn't warmly welcomed by everyone and it becomes clear he was responsible for a tragedy on the day of the big storm. What happens from there is a slow slow burn mystery with a few obvious red herrings.

As Kieran remembered certain events, the flashbacks became a little confusing. Not contained within their own chapters or unfolding in a clearly defined present/past format, the memories were included within the chapter and I found this style a little confusing and it disrupted the flow.

I enjoyed the dual meaning of the title with The Survivors referring to an artwork at the base of the cliffs commemorating lives lost and saved in a shipwreck long ago whilst simultaneously applying to the survivors of the more recent storm, who carry the tragedies of that day with them still.

A present day crime brings those tragedies kicking and screaming to the surface as the reader tries to get to the bottom of what happened to Bronte and what took place on the day of the storm.

While The Survivors didn't reach the dizzy heights of perfection of The Lost Man for me, the second half of the book did end strongly. The Survivors by Jane Harper is a stand alone recommended for fans of Aussie crime who enjoy a good mystery.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Krystal, I saw this was a 3 star read for you too.

  2. Great review Tracey. I loved this one the best out of all her books and far more than The Lost Man, but for me, that comes down to setting a lot. I also liked Force of Nature more than The Dry. I just really don't like books set in the outback, I've lived in the outback for too long now to enjoy reading about it!
    Like you, I really liked that dual meaning with the title. It was done well.

    1. Thanks for your comment Theresa, and I can totally understand the preference for some settings over others. Glad you enjoyed this so much. I just found myself completely taken over by The Lost Man and didn't experience the same with The Survivors. Wonder where Jane Harper will take us next..?


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