Monday, 3 August 2015

The Girl on the Train: Paula Hawkins Review

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins

Rating: 3 Star

Rachel, like thousands of other commuters squeezes into a train each day on its way into London. Just like everyone else, Rachel uses the time to think about the other people around her and the lives she is watching out of the window as the train passes by.

Rachel regularly pays particular attention to one couple who she imagines are leading the "perfect life". After many observations, Rachel has even named them Jesse and Jason. When Rachel learns that the woman she calls Jesse has unexplicably disappeared, she feels compelled to get involved and we follow her on the investigation into this unknown couple's life.

This was an interesting book for me to read because each character is quite negative in nature and that almost led me to stop reading it completely. The main protaganist is a depressed alcoholic, the "perfect couple" turn out to have several deep-seated issues, and even Rachel's supposed friends will have you gripping the book tightly wishing you could give them a piece of your mind.

The story moves very slowly to start, building up a sense of anticipation, but once the investigation into Jesse (real name Megan) begins in earnest it becomes a real page turning thriller.

I am glad that I persisted with this book though, because by the end of the novel I had completely changed my planned rating for it.

I realised that the strong reactions I was having to the characters must mean that a) they were believable and b) that I was engaged into the writer's world.

An engrossing thriller and an acute observation of some very messed up lives.