Today, a grueling return to a hometown, where a corpse is found on the beach.
The two known forms of guilt wind up like formidable narrative propellers in the new Jane Harper. There’s the one who feels guilty, Kieran. And then the culprit we are looking for. Kieran’s life is ravaged by the storm that struck twelve years earlier. He was recklessly descended into caves which will soon be flooded. His brother and his best friend took their boat and died trying to rescue him. Kieran is a survivor. The “survivors” are also an alignment of rocks in the sea, mythical lookouts for human follies.
Tasmanian seaside resort Was Kieran’s brother the wonderful boy their mother cherishes? The brother’s friend was himself the eldest of one of Kieran’s best friends. The storm picked them up as they had just finished high school. We are in Evelyn Bay, a small seaside resort in Tasmania.
Kieran comes back to help his parents move. He lives in Sydney where he met his wife, also born in Evelyn Bay. Now there are three of them: they have a baby. No sooner had they returned than a young woman was found dead on the beach. An artist, who was not from the area. Why kill her?
Here, many are angry with Kieran, especially the son of the one who died alongside his brother. However, this boy is the last to have been seen in the company of the victim. Everyone remembers another disappearance, a teenage girl whose backpack was only found. Kieran’s wife’s best friend. Continuing to knit the threads of his plot, Harper connects the fate of the two victims. Is the solution to old friendships?
The Survivors, by Jane Harper. Translated from the English (Australia) by David Fauquemberg. Calmann-Lévy, 416 pp., , 90 €.