You feel at first like you’re walking into a room mid-conversation the minute you crack open Jane Harper’s “The Survivors,” 4/21 in my #21in21 reading challenge.
You don’t know what happened in Kieran’s past in this gripping beach town whodunit, but you know it was something tragic, something some townsfolk blame him for — and something he blames himself for, too.
After a young woman’s body is found on the beach, details and secrets from the past are dredged up, piecemeal, it seems that the murder is somehow connected to that fateful stormy day 12 years prior when the entire town and its residents were forever changed by more than the weather.
And just when you think you’re starting to figure it all out and connect the dots between the two events, Harper’s deftly written riptide throws you in a whole other direction, and you’re left with your mouth agape.
Harper’s writing is quite detailed. You can practically smell the salty sea air, see just how pitch-black the dark of night is on the beach, feel the anxiety of being in or near the caves as the tide rushes in — and the cutting pain that Kieran has lived with for so many years.
“The Survivors” kept me on my toes with the turn of every page, and I know this isn’t going to be my last read of Jane Harper. I’m so glad I got the chance to read “The Survivors” though Book of the Month before it came out on Feb. 2.
Up next: “Hunger” by Roxane Gay