The Survivors by Jane Harper - A Book Review

If you’re looking for a good mystery/thriller to entertain you during the long winter months, look no further. In The Survivors by Jane Harper, a man returns to his hometown to assist his parents, but also ends up revisiting a haunting past.  

Plot Summary

Kieran Elliott’s life changed that day almost twelve years ago when a big storm hit his hometown on the coast of Tasmania. Tragedy struck the family and a young woman went missing leading to an investigation of the death that was never resolved. Indeed, the small community members speculate on what they believed to have happened that day. Kieran has moved away shortly thereafter but has returned to help his parents move when his father show’s signs of early dementia. Little did he know that another young woman would be found dead on the beach during his stay: an event that has Kieran reexamining the mystery of what happened that day more than a decade before.

Book Review

The book had me guessing on what happened on the day of the big storm and to the woman on the beach, leading me down several paths. The geography of the area is very well described and creates the perfect setting for a mystery. I found the characters to be well developed and the story flowed quite well. The conclusion of the book was surprising and satisfying. The book has a large cast of characters and much of the book is a slow burn setting the stage for a reveal of the true events. This felt a little too long at times for me and I found my mind wandering. Moreover, it should also be noted that the book shifts quickly between different points in time and this isn’t always readily apparent to the reader. Having said that, I enjoyed this book and would not hesitate to recommend it.

Audiobook Review

I listened to the Audiobook version of the book which was narrated by Stephen Shanahan. His Australian accent was lovely to listen to and he provided an articulate, enjoyable performance. His voice did not change when narrating different characters, but I did not feel this was necessary in this book. I listened to the book at my usual 1.25x speed, which felt comfortable. I would not hesitate to recommend the audiobook version of this story to those who enjoy this format.

What I Liked About The Survivors

  • The well described setting of the book
  • Character development
  • A satisfying conclusion
What I Would Have Liked to be Different
  • The book took too long to set the stage
  • Quickly changing time points without clear definition
I Recommend This Book To:

Those who enjoy a slow burn mystery/thriller.


Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

My rating:

Add The Survivors by Jane Harper to your Goodreads shelf (note there are alternate book covers for this book).

Similar Books I've Reviewed:

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

Don't Look For Me by Wendy Walker

Thanks for reading! I hope I've helped you discover something new to add to your reading list!


  1. This sounds interesting. I don’t tend to read this genre of book. I have always read romance books and books by Sophie kensella. Thank you for sharing your review, you have written a detailed and helpful review for people looking for this style of writing!

  2. Oh that sounds like a good one for sure! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. This sounds like a great listen! I don't think I've listened to a book with an Australian narrator, so I'm tempted to try it just for that, haha!

    Anika |

    1. You definitely should Anika! Thanks for your comment. 😊

  4. I have to admit, this isn't my usual genre but I have a couple of friends who I think this would be perfect for so I'll let them know :)

  5. Thanks for this review! I love a mystery thriller and I'm not opposed to a slow burner at times either, so I'll be adding this on my list! x

  6. This sounds great. Thrillers are one of my favourite genres and I don't mind a slow burn from time to time either. I'll add this to my list! x


  7. Sounds like a good one! Glad you enjoyed it. I would love to hear this narrated in an Australian accent haha. Thanks for sharing x

  8. I have found all of Jane Harper's mysteries to be good & engaging, and I imagine the same to come from this one. I enjoyed reading your thoughts of The Survivors; thanks for sharing!