The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I really liked this book, and raced through it. It’s the author’s first thriller, but I really hope it won’t be her last. It’s easy-to-read, really exciting and has some great plot twists.

I found the main character, Rachel, really intriguing. All other characters in the book revolve around her and because of her flaws, they don’t always like her very much. She’s a really heavy drinker and as the story progresses the full impact of her self-destructive behaviour becomes clear. This could have made her a very two-dimensional character, but the author’s skilful writing and adept understand of the nature of addiction meant that although Rachel’s drinking patterns are predictable, nothing else about her is.

 At the heart of this book is a mystery. Rachel is quite an unhappy character. As well as being a heavy drinker, she’s also overweight, apparently unattractive and trapped in a cycle of self-hatred. Every day her commute to work takes her past the back of her old house, and finding it too painful to focus on where she used to live, she begins to invent fantasy lives for a couple who live a few doors down. They seem to be everything Rachel wishes she was; attractive, glamorous, successful and happy – but then one day Rachel witnesses something which changes everything.

She’s compelled to find out more, and following a missing persons appeal in the press, begins to discover the truth. Dismissed by the Police as a rubbernecker, she takes matters into her own hands and begins her own investigation. This leads to some startling discoveries about old friends and neighbours, and demonstrates very well that none of us are who we really claim to be.

This is a really suspenseful book, especially towards the end as the revelations come thick and fast and secrets are unveiled ten a penny. I’m hesitant to compare this to the ever-popular ‘Gone Girl’ as I feel the plotline is more plausible and well-rounded, but it does seem to fit into the same genre, and I really hope some of you enjoy it as much as I did.

Meg
Membership team

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