Synopsis: Read on Amazon
Author: Paula Hawkins
This 2015 release ws the first novel by author Paula Hawkins and the reactions was very positive. It tells the story of Rachel, a divorced alcoholic woman who rides a comuter train to London every day and enjoys watching the lives of people living along the train tracks. She is particularly interested in a couple who lives in one of these houses, just a few blocks from where she used to live with her ex-husband, a man who cheated on her and now lives in her former house with his mistressAcome-wife and their new child. When a murder happens, Rachel becomes embroiled in the investigation, giving her a new purpose in her otherwise bleak life.
The story is told from a few POV characters, one of them being Rachel. That, the genre of mystery / thriller with a plot twist, and the fact it has “Girl” in the title dubbed this book “the next Gone Girl”. Plot-wise is not even close. Well, sure, you could recognize a lot of similar themes between the two, but so could you with a bunch of other fictional tales in the same category. It is a tried and tested literary vehicle that works. It does not make the story any less fun to read! This is one of those books that will keep you interested and you’d probably read it quite fast. I had the same experience with other books of this genre in that I read it quite fast!
It is that particular quality of “what is going on here?!!!” That’s the biggest strength of this novel. The author does a great job in making a good profile of the majority of her characters, especially of Rachel. Maybe that is also its pitfall because the book has a very slow start (the type of stuff that a movie* goes through in 15 min usually). You’ll need to read quite a few chapters before getting to the juicy bits. From then onwards the story picks up the pace, but not lacking in details or ever feeling rushed. I personally found the ending partially satisfying, without giving too much away, I felt there were some backstory elements missing which would’ve made this much more interest, but at least you get some resolution.
Fans of mystery / thriller fiction (heck, Gyllian Flynn fans as well) will enjoy the book. The hype makes some sense.
* There is already a movie adaption planned for October 2016! Should be interesting!