Book Review

February '15

The Girl on the Train (Hardcover)
Paula Hawkins

This title is the newest addition to the psychological thriller genre made so popular by Gone Girl and Defending Jacob.  It was published 1/13/15, and I keep ordering more and more copies, trying to keep up with the demand at my library!

Main character Rachel commutes back and forth to London on the train every day.  As she gazes out the window, she concentrates her attention on the row of houses next to the tracks where she used to live.  Her ex-husband Tom lives there now with his new wife, and there is another young couple two houses down.  As Rachel fantasizes about what goes on behind those closed doors, she reveals herself as a very unreliable narrator!  Fired from her job because of her major drinking problem, Rahcel continues taking the train in to London and out every day so she doesn't have to tell her roommate that she has lost another job due to drunkenness.  

When the young wife from the house two doors down from where Rachel used to live with Tom goes missing, Rachel is convinced that she has seen somthing important from the train window - and she wants to help with the investigation.  (Yeah, I know you are thinking of Hitchcock's Rear Window!) 

The Girl on the Train is skillfully plotted, the characters clearly drawn.  The author gives the reader small pieces of information, little clues, as the plot progresses - and even the most astute thriller reader may be surprised by the dramatic plot twist at the end.

Debut author Paul Hawkins is a longtime London resident, who, like Rachel, spent a great deal of time commuting in and out of London - on the train.