Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Girl on the Train

Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Genre: Thriller

To be honest, you are not going to like any of the characters. There is not one of them that you would invite over for dinner. That does not mean that their story is not captivating. You will be subjected to an unreliable narrator who drinks too much and has an obsession with her ex-husband. His new wife who is adding fuel to the crazy fire and a husband and wife a few houses down that started this whole mess.

Lying about losing her job, Rachael Watson take the train each day to an imaginary job, when the train hits a crossing she looks up, every day the same thing, to see the row of homes that she used to live in. Her ex-husband is now occupying their old home with his new wife and child and a few houses down on the end is a couple that she had never met, but has decided to create her own running synopsis of their lives. Each day seeing little snippets until the ominous moment she opens the paper and sees the woman’s face starting back at her. Now missing, this woman that she has called Jess, whose real name is Megan disappeared on the very day that Rachael cannot account for her time due to an alcoholic blackout and now Rachael is determined to put all of her pieces back together. Maybe in doing so, she will be able to explain the bumps and scratches that she woke up with the morning after.

From time to time, Rachael would get off at this station, the one where her husband and the unknown couple lived; she would stalk and snoop, and on occasion make herself a real nuisance. She was obsessed with both the life that her ex-husband had created without her and with what she thought was the perfect life that the couple (Megan and Scott) on the corner had. To Rachael, Megan and Scott had it all, that is until she saw Megan with another man and something in Rachael unraveled.

It is a little complicated and a little twisty, but Paula Hawkins was able to give each character their own voice without confusing the reader as to whom was speaking.

Thus begins a Hitchcock’ian thriller. Who are all these people? Rachael’s internal narrative is trying to put the pieces together but she cannot recall all the parts and the parts that she does remember, do not blend with what her ex-husband has been telling her. If she could only stop drinking and remember. Why is she so afraid of the red haired man on the train? Does he have something to do with this?

I loved this book; Rachael sprinkled enough truths and uncertainties to have me wondering if I had missed something. The ending is phenomenal. Maybe you will be able to put it all together before I did, since each character had the prescribed motive, means and opportunity, for me it was still a guessing game to the end.

If you are looking for a nice neat “I could have told you who the killer was in the first chapter” type of book, you will not like this one. If you are looking for a book that will keep you guessing and running down rabbit holes with the narrator, then this is the book for you.

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