The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
Published January 13, 2015 by Riverhead Books
Genres Psychological Thriller, Suspense
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life, as she sees it, is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. Until today. And then she sees something shocking It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm then good?
I enjoyed this book but I felt a bit underwhelmed after all the hype around it. It was a good suspense/thriller, but it wasn’t really that suspenseful, if that makes sense? The story is told from three different perspectives; the main character Rachel, Anna, who is Rachel’s ex-husband Tom’s new wife and Megan, the wife of Scott, who lives 4 houses down from Tom and Anna, in Rachel’s former house. Rachel’s dialogue is mainly during present day, which is the summer of 2013, but Rachel’s dialogue starts all the way back in 2012, giving us a bit of a backstory. Without giving away any spoilers, Scott and Megan are who Rachel has deemed “Jess and Jason”, the couple that she watches from the train. Megan goes missing and Rachel, who is a raging alcoholic and likes to stop by or call her ex-husband Tom when drunk, was seen in the area the night Megan went missing. The farther you read into the book, the more you understand how all of these characters are connected.
The reason I say I was underwhelmed and this book only received a 3.5 rating from me is that I just didn’t really find it that suspenseful. I am always slightly weary about books that have this much hype around them and I decided to finally read this because the movie came out Friday and I didn’t want any of my friends or relatives giving away the plot line before I could finish reading it. I also try not to compare books, but after reading All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, nothing has really compared in the area of psychological thrillers. I actually found the book to be a big slow in the beginning when it’s just Rachel, but found myself much more interested when Megan’s character is introduced. For more of the look you feel sorry for Rachel because her life has utterly and completely fallen apart, but she also seems a bit pathetic, with the way she rationalizes her actions and can’t let go of her ex-husband. Anna was also an interesting character and perspective to bring into the story. I did have a fairly easy time figuring out the plot twist about half way through the book, as the author kept dropping some not so subtle hints about certain things. There were still a few things that surprised me even after I figured out the plot twist. And this might be an unpopular opinion, but I also found the ending of the book to be a little anti-climatic. Again, I try not to compare books but I have read so many amazing thrillers in the last year and I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn, that I am used the endings where literally at the last two pages you are looking around like, “Wait, what?” Overall, I am glad I read the book and I did like it, I just didn’t find it to be as suspenseful as I would have hoped. Anyone else share my opinion on this book? Happy reading!