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The Survivors by Jane Harper

The Survivors

Early Release

This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait to read it.

by Jane Harper

Quick take

Home sweet home? Well, not exactly. This eerie seaside town is burdened by secrets, storms, and an unsolved murder.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SlowRead

    Slow build

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Puzzle


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unsettling



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 community he once called home.

Kieran's parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. 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...

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Survivors.

Why I love it

One thing I’ve learned from reading scripts is that good writers—of screenplays and novels alike—pay attention to plot above all else. Another thing I’ve learned is that great writers introduce you to an unforgettable cast of characters at the same time. In The Survivors, Jane Harper demonstrates her ability to be a great writer. I enjoyed turning the pages of her latest watertight story, but what I really liked was getting to know Kieran, Mia, and the other characters who bring it to life.

When the book opens, Kieran, his girlfriend Mia, and their baby are staying in the small coastal town where he grew up, visiting family. The mood is already uneasy—Kieran left home after school and doesn’t return often—but then immediately becomes worse when a body washes up on the beach. When a police investigation is opened, painful memories that Kieran has long tried to suppress come roaring back. Meanwhile, a murderer remains at large, and may even be closer than Kieran and his community suspect.

This is a powerful story with all the best mystery elements: family secrets, a trail of clues, and conflicting accounts of “whodunit.” But it’s also a powerful story about forgiveness, regret, and how life-or-death moments subtly shape our identities for decades to come. All the while, the tension builds towards an unforgettable ending, like the gradual coming of an imposing tide. Make this your Book of the Month!

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Member ratings (32,827)

  • John T.

    Boston, MA

    “Slow burn “ & “Atmospheric” usually signal boring to me, but I took a chance with The Survivors. So glad I did. Complex, honest relationships with meticulously believable twists made this one shine.

  • Tami F.

    Gibson, IA

    Moved slow at the beginning. Not creepy or scary. More of a ‘who done it’. The last 100 pages finally get pretty intense! So many suspects! Who killed these two girls 12 years apart? You’ll be shocked

  • Melissa J.

    Plainview, NE

    This was a yet again another amazing read from BOTM. I was sucked into the story and couldn’t put it down. I finished it in two days. I didn’t see the ending coming at all and really felt for Kierian.

  • Morgan H.

    Fairbanks , AK

    Very well written and captivating! I wasn’t sure who did it right until the end which is always a bonus. The author also seamlessly tied ends together but did so in good time so it didn’t seem rushed.

  • Erin M.

    Philadelphia , PA

    Thought-provoking “who done it” that mainly examines relationships, the complexity of guilt and coping mechanisms, and what really matters at the end. Not your typical thriller but so worth reading!