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Review: The Survivors by Jane Harper

Title: The Survivors

Author: Jane Harper

Year Published: 2021

Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 384
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map): Australia

Summary (from Amazon): Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.

Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away...

  I began reading Janet Harper's Aaron Falk series this year and really enjoyed The Dry, thought Force of Nature was okay, and was looking forward to this third installment. Well, this isn't a third book in that series; it's a totally separate group of characters.

This book takes place in Tasmania so it's nice to have a new location that is beach-oriented. Deep diving to see sunken ships, drownings, the sand, cliffs and caves, and beach shenanigans all playing a significant role in the story. There are lots of characters to keep track of, but it isn't overwhelming or complicated. I liked Kieran, our main character, and he is easy to empathize with. I like that his dad's dementia is present and the family's struggle is present and handled well. I also like the friendships that span back to high school for the main characters as they bring history into their present.

I did not figure out who committed the murder and that's always a good thing. There were a few possibilities in my mind and the truth wasn't any of them. But, it's a realistic (and sad) ending. I do think Harper did a great job of connecting the past, the present, the families, and friends. In fact, the title The Survivors, has a few meanings and they are all impactful. I can't say what they are since that would ruin the story.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Cloak and Dagger

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