Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Survivors by Jane Harper
Narrator: Stephen Shanahan
Published by MacMillan Audio on February 2, 2021
Length: 11 hours, 56 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, iTunes
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 town he once called home.
Kieran's parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea, that is both a lifeline and a threat. 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..
It took me a little to get started but that isn’t unusual these days. There is a bit of past / present here with Kieran and his wife, Mia, coming back to their hometown after years away. Kieran’s father is deteriorating in health so he will need to go into care, and the house sold, and his mother to a smaller place. The Survivors is set in a small beach community. It would be hard to leave a long-time home, right on the ocean.
There are a lot of pieces to the world with the families who lost children in a devastating storm ten years ago. There are the survivors, parents and siblings, some have guilt that they lived or feel responsible. The primary characters are newer adults, who were teens at the time of the storm, like Kieran and Mia.
There is a new death, the drowning of a girl who is summer help at the local bar & grill. She was an artist who came to sketch and sculpt art in this environment before going back to school in the fall. Her death brings up the old deaths and guilt. But her death is clearly murder.
Suspects are many and evidence is thin. The murder triggers those still unsettled by the old deaths. I didn’t figure out the killer; I just went along for the ride. It was a tumultuous time for Kieran, facing his parents’ aging, the old death of his loved brother, and the new murder. He is happy these days, loving his wife, Mia and their baby, Audrey. I was fairly impressed with how well he handled his feelings about it all. The ending was satisfying with things settled, past and present.
I haven’t heard this narrator before. The voices sounded well for the region, both male and female voices were comfortable. With the regional accent, I listened at 1.25x speed which is just a bit slower than normal.
Listen to a clip:
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