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The Survivors: A Novel Hardcover – February 2, 2021

4.2 out of 5 stars 11,457 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

Instant New York Times bestseller, #1 International Bestseller

“As always, Harper skillfully evokes the landscape as she weaves a complicated, elegant web, full of long-buried secrets ready to come to light.”
―New York Times Book Review

“Harper is to Australia what Tana French is to Ireland, a writer whose psychologically rich plots are matched by a deep understanding of place.”
―Washington Post

“Another suspenseful thriller...And in Harper's proven style, the story is not only atmospheric, it delves deep
into the psyche of main character Kieran Elliott and the townsfolk, unearthing dark secrets, hidden guilt and simmering social tensions.”
―Herald Sun

“The latest stunner from Jane Harper…[She] expertly raises the reader's pulse throughout the narrative, insinuating what happened that day but only revealing the truth slowly as Kieran comes to see past and present in a new light.”
Booklist, starred review

“[Harper is] a master at creating atmospheric settings, and it’s easy to fall under her spell…A layered and nuanced mystery.”
Kirkus

“Jane Harper has created a tightly told, beautifully written, and suspenseful novel… It is a novel of guilt, remorse, injustice, and regret, all skillfully woven together seamlessly into a realistic work of literary power I cannot recommend highly enough.”
Deadly Pleasures

“Harper expertly weaves past guilts with present grief. She remains a writer to watch.”
―Publishers Weekly

“Jane Harper creates an impressive landscape that serves to illustrate how the experience of place inevitably shapes the lives of those who live there.”
―Sydney Morning Herald

“It's now clear Harper has a gift...every book has a distinct landscape that plays a central part in the plot made possible by her uncanny knack of bringing scenery to life.”
―Daily Telegraph

Praise for Jane Harper:
“Ms. Harper is not one to drop a fact [...] without using it later. If you enjoy being hoodwinked…you’ll love Ms. Harper’s sleight of hand. Ms. Harper has made her own major mark.” ―The New York Times

“Such a good storyteller… Harper has again raised the bar for emerging crime writers.” ―Chicago Tribune
“Intense, deeply intelligent psychological thrillers that explore how our pasts – especially our childhoods – mold and disrupt our lives in the present.” ―Christian Science Monitor

“Harper writes with precision and creates a tense atmosphere on the brink of combustion.” ―Real Simple

“Book by book, [Harper is] creating her own vivid and complex account of the outback.” ―New York Times Book Review
“Place is paramount, a multifaceted character that’s in turns brutal and breathtaking.” ―Washington Post

“An author at the top of her game.” ―Kirkus, starred review

“I think of Jane Harper as the Australian Louise Penny. Like Penny's Inspector Gamache series, Harper's books evoke a vivid sense of place, and are as much about her nuanced characters and the moral dilemmas they face as the mystery itself.” ―BookRiot

“Harper works miracles. We’re lucky to witness them.” ―A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Harper evokes the complexities of love, hate, rage, emotional baggage, and a spot of redemption with a spare language that suits her story’s geographical surroundings – and her characters’ deeply interwoven and even more deeply imprinted relationships – down to a T.” ―Seattle Review of Books

“Harper adroitly blends the tension and brisk pace of a thriller with the psychological acuity and stylish prose of literary fiction.” ―Irish Independent

“In just a couple of years, Jane Harper has soared into the first rank of contemporary crime writers.” ―Sunday Times (UK)

“Ms. Harper is not one to drop a fact [...] without using it later. If you enjoy being hoodwinked…you’ll love Ms. Harper’s sleight of hand. Ms. Harper has made her own major mark.” ―The New York Times

“Such a good storyteller… Harper has again raised the bar for emerging crime writers.” ―Chicago Tribune

“Harper writes with precision and creates a tense atmosphere on the brink of combustion.” ―Real Simple

“Book by book, [Harper is] creating her own vivid and complex account of the outback.” ―New York Times Book Review

“Harper works miracles. We’re lucky to witness them.” ―A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author

About the Author

Jane Harper is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, Force of Nature, and The Lost Man. Jane previously worked as a print journalist in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne with her husband, daughter, and son.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Flatiron Books; 1st edition (February 2, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250232422
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250232427
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.24 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.39 x 1.31 x 9.57 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 11,457 ratings

About the author

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Jane Harper is the author of The Dry, winner of various awards including the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript, the 2017 Indie Award Book of the Year, the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards Book of the Year Award and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 2017. Rights have been sold in 27 territories worldwide, and film rights optioned to Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea. Jane worked as a print journalist for thirteen years both in Australia and the UK and lives in Melbourne.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
11,457 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Queen of the Australian small-town contemporary thriller!
By NZLisaM on September 28, 2020
The Survivors – Three imposing, iron, life-size figures erected on the furthered rocks out to sea. A tribute to the lives lost over a century ago when the SS Mary Minerva sank, they stand guard overlooking the site of the shipwreck.

The locals and tourists of the beachside Tasmanian town, Evelyn Bay, recall the dreadful date the storm hit. Rumoured to be the worst weather in eighty years it caused widespread destructive and anguish, and worst of all, claimed three lives.

Twelve years on, Kieran Elliott (whose brother Finn was one of the victims of the storm) returns to Evelyn Bay, with his partner and baby in tow, to help his parents move. Blaming himself for the part he played in Finn's death, Kieran fled town under a dark cloud, and this marks his first visit home in years. He's only been back a day when a body is found on the beach in suspicious circumstances, sparking fresh controversial, stirring up long held resentments and secrets, and causing Kieran to question everything he thought he knew about that fateful day.

The Survivors incorporated everything I love in my small-town mystery suspense. I was very invested in the characters wellbeing, so much so that I was sort of dreading the reveal of the person/s responsible. The final chapters were as chilling as they were emotional, and they definitely threw me for a loop. I'm still reeling, and The Survivors is a work of fiction that will stay with me for a long time.

Jane Harper is famous for using weather and landscape to establish and escalate mood, tension, and uneasiness, and The Survivors coastal setting perfectly captured the inner and outer turmoil, helplessness and despair the characters experienced. The vast, unpredictable, unforgiving nature of the sea, tides, and currents, and the notion that something beautiful, fun, tranquil and non-threatening can turn deadly in an instant, hammered home the trepidation. The ocean is known for hiding its secrets – anything from a wrecked ship, to an unrecoverable body, to a child's sun hat – just like the residents of Evelyn Bay. And just as quickly a secret can be exposed, sometimes an item thought to be lost forever at sea can suddenly inexplicably resurface. Furthermore, the word ‘sea’ is often associated with grief – which along with guilt and regret – was a prominent theme throughout. Moreover, the statues of The Survivors were affected by the tide – fully visible at low-tide, submerged to their waist at high tide, and on the day of the storm, completely obscured by raging water.

There was an element of superstition attached to The Survivors memorial since there were three figures constructed to commemorate the fifty-four victims of Mary Minerva, and coincidentally three locals died in the big storm nearly 100 years later. Some viewed the statues as cold looking and offensive – ever-present, watchful, looming over everything. Also included in the novel to further add to the creepiness were the cliff side caves on a lonely stretch of beach, with their endless passages, and shrieking seabirds, swooping and circling the entrance. Not to mention the Mary Minerva shipwreck itself.

The plot revolved around family, friendship, small town mentality, gossip, rumours, hardship, illness, the growth and maturity that occurs between teenage and adulthood, and how major life altering events can shape people for the better. Serious social issues of toxic masculinity, the damaging effects of hook-up culture, peer pressure, the downside of social media, sexism and narcissism were seamlessly interwoven.

Now I can't decide whether I prefer The Survivors or The Lost Man? Put simply, I hold both in such high esteem. Lovers of Jane Harper, and those new to her thrilling work, will devour The Survivors. Get reading!
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55 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2020
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42 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Joe Bathelt
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of suspense and atmosphere
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2020
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39 people found this helpful
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Mrs C V Pearce
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2020
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34 people found this helpful
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Sarah-Lou
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Jane Harper triumph
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 5, 2020
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22 people found this helpful
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Mrs Anne C Corrigan
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great page-turner from Jane Harper
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2020
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14 people found this helpful
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JaquiP
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a classy writer - absolutely absorbing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2020
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10 people found this helpful
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