Author Jane Harper writes books about Australia. Oh, I realize she writes stories about people who live in Australia. But Harper’s main character is always Australia. Her descriptions are so full of color and life that readers can feel the heat and smell the sea salt.
Kieran Elliott left his home in the beach Tasmanian town of Evelyn Bay under a dark cloud, and hasn’t been back since. He returns to help his parents move from their home to a safer environment for his father’s dementia. Kieran brings along his girlfriend Mia and their infant baby. Kieran blames himself for the death of his brother and others during one of the worst storms to hit the coastal area. Though his parents seemed to support him, he has always felt responsible for those who died in the shipwreck.
Unfortunately, soon after they arrive, another young woman is found dead on the beach, reminding Kieran and those in the town who never forgave him not only about the tragedy that took place 12 years prior, but the disappearance of another young woman at the same time.
Kieran and Mia are immediately sucked into the drama, and Kieran is forced to remember the bleakness of those days 12 years ago. His guilt, along with dealing with his father’s increasing dementia, tests the love of his friends and family. Did they actually forgive him?
This is a story of love, but also of keeping secrets that could easily destroy a life. Harper’s books never fail to impress me, not only because her stories are compelling, but because she treats me to a visit down under.
This was another good book from a great writer.