The sea at Evelyn Bay washes over the Survivors, the rising and falling tide measured against the bronze bodies commemorating those who survived the long ago wreck of the Mary Minerva. They were designed to be permanently visible from the cliff and sea, and tall enough to never be fully submerged. But Kieran is haunted by the day twelve years ago when the Survivors were gone, the day two men drowned and a young girl disappeared. He’s not the only one.
Kieran has returned to his hometown, a small coastal community built on fishing and forestry that now relies on a brief influx of summer visitors. With his partner Mia, a fellow child of Evelyn Bay, and their infant daughter Audrey, he has returned to help his mother pack up his childhood home so that his increasingly confused father can move into aged care.
Kieran and Mia have barely begun to reconnect with family and old friends when a young woman is found dead on the beach. As the police work in the background to uncover what happened to Bronte, Kieran makes his own discoveries about his past and what really matters to him.
I saved this book for my own journey back home to Tasmania, the location of the fictional town of Evelyn Bay, to help my own family deal with a father’s transition into aged care. Like Jane Harper’s other books, the sense of place was strong and Kieran’s voice rang true to me as a fellow survivor of insular small town life.
Recommended if you like a literary crime novel that is more about people than action.