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The Survivors

by Jane Harper

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5283934,392 (3.74)28
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English (38)  Dutch (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
I'm a bit torn on this review. On one hand, the characters had depth, the family drama was interesting, and the crimes were mostly engaging. But on the other hand, I felt like the telling of the story dragged. I didn't feel really into the book until it was more than a third through. I don't think it was helped by the very slow pace of the narrator. I nearly quit a few times.

That said, around the half-way point, I didn't want to stop listening. I mean, it was still very slow going but by then I was too invested in the who-done-it aspect to quit. The focus moves to a cold case instead of the present day murder which kind of made if feel like the young woman had been mostly forgotten about by the author but it all comes together.

The biggest positive thing I can say about The Survivors is that I really wasn't sure who did it until the end. There were a few trails that could have been totally plausible and I felt good about how everything turned out.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to listen! ( )
1 vote amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
She writes amazing books set in Australia and they have interesting characters, different situations and do not disappoint. I hope she brings back her main character series. ( )
  shazjhb | May 10, 2021 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I’ve read all three of Jane Harper’s earlier novels and The Survivors is definitely my favorite.

Kieran and his girlfriend, Mia, have returned to Evelyn Bay to help his parents. This return is difficult for Kieran since it brings back painful memories and loss. Soon a tragedy occurs which seems to be connected to the tragedy twelve years earlier.

I found the writing to be beautiful and transported me to Tasmania. I knew nothing about Tasmania but felt the cool sea, cave walls, and isolated setting by the end of this novel. As far as the mystery goes I was pretty focused on a couple of people but the resolution took me completely by surprise but wasn’t illogical. ( )
  Nancyjcbs | May 6, 2021 |
In one small Tasmanian beach town: three formerly teenage buddies, now grown men. Two older brothers, drowned. A famous author, a lying police chief. And two dead girls and one missing body, twelve years apart. The author, a genius at simultaneously unraveling clues and ratcheting up suspense, keeps her streak of four winners going in this gripping story of guilt and lies. The setting, with its dangerous underwater caves, is beautifully rendered. There's one tiny useless red herring, but Harper's reliable skills at creating a strong narrator and a population of memorable characters makes this the best of them all.

Quote: "I only take criticism from people I'd go to for advice." ( )
  froxgirl | May 1, 2021 |
Jane Harper, who has taken her readers on a crime fiction tour of Australia, takes us to a small coastal town in Tasmania, a place where a ship once sank, taking over fifty people with it. The wreck remains a destination for divers, and a sculpture of three figures that stand above the waves, known as “The Survivors,” is both a memorial and a constant reminder that the sea, which gives the tourist town its livelihood, is both beautiful and cruel.

Kerian Elliot has returned to Evelyn Bay with his girlfriend and infant daughter to help his mother pack up the house he grew up in. His father’s dementia has gotten so severe she can no longer care for him. Kerian rarely visits and is shocked by how advanced his father’s condition has become. Visits have always been fraught, given the shadow hanging over the family. Kerian’s popular older brother drowned in a ferocious storm a dozen years earlier. Kerian is dogged by guilt about the drowning, and the attitude of townsfolk doesn’t help. They blame him for the death of three young men who set out to sea trying to rescue him from a storm-engulfed sea cave before the storm swamped their boat. Both Kerian and his wife Mia survived the storm, but each lost someone close to them: Kerian’s brother Finn and Mia’s friend Gabby, who disappeared on the beach, but whose body was never found.

The packing isn’t going well – the baby is making sleep elusive and the father’s confused efforts to help just make things harder. Then the body of a young artist is found on the beach, and the rumors of the past return to swirl around the investigation.

Harper takes her time developing the story, unfolding the close relationships that knit the town together, relationships that are becoming unraveled as the police struggle to solve the murder with few clues. A popular novelist who knows the town from summer visits has moved in permanently and has launched an investigation of his own. Everyone has a suspect, and Kerian is increasingly feeling the weight of his guilt bearing down.

The deliberate pacing gives Harper time to develop rich characters and fill in the town’s past, bit by bit. Always interested in the distinctive landscapes of her setting, Harper makes the people who live in the small town part of the landscape, people shaped by the sea and by their relative isolation, which means everyone has ties to each other, ties that are increasingly strained as the investigation drags on without a breakthrough. Though it wouldn’t be accurate to call this novel a thriller, it’s a compelling and deep examination of themes Harper has explored before: the long term scars of the past in small community, the tensions in families who have suffered a loss, and the corrosive effect that blame and guilt have on survivors of tragedy.
  bfister | Apr 30, 2021 |
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Zelfs de diepste geheimen komen uiteindelijk bovendrijven
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For Charlotte and Ted
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from the prologue: She could-almost-have been one of The Survivors.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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