Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
On the Shelves: Fiction> Suspense/Thriller
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. 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.
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 offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? (Goodreads 2015)
Firstly I need to thank the author, the publishers at Random House UK Transworld Publishers, via Netgalley, for allowing me early access to this book in exchange for a full and honest review.
After reading Gone Girl last year, I’ve been chomping at the bit for some more psychological thriller reads, some suspense- books that you can’t predict no matter how hard you try. And The Girl on the Train delivered in full!
This novel starts by following Rachel, a routine commuter on a train who makes up stories in her head about the people she sees living in a row of houses on her usual train route. But she witnesses something sinister and she begins to question what she thought she saw. Hawkins builds elements of suspense at a nice and steady pace by introducing numerous factors, in the form of other characters who make Rachel seem like she is losing the plot, to key case evidence which seems to point everything away from what Rachel saw. This make you start to question Rachel as a reliable narrator and as a judge of character, by the end of the book, you are basically sitting there not knowing who to trust or what the hell really has gone on- and it was so good.
There is no doubt this book will likely be marketed as “the next Gone Girl” but honestly? I think it has definitely earned that place on the shelf, it’s very similar, and I didn’t actually figure out what was going on until about 82% through- which is rare for me! I love not being able to predict the ending, it’s such a refreshing change. Obviously this review is short and sweet basically because you can’t talk about it much without giving away spoilers.
The Girl on the Train was a fantastic start to my 2015 reading year and I only hope it continues in this fashion because it was just so good!
The Girl on the Train comes out January 13th (I’m a little early I know, but better early than late for once!) and I highly recommend it to fans of Gillian Flynn, and those who love a good suspense or thriller read!