Release Date - January 6, 2015
Publisher Website - Random House
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Three women, three men, connected through marriage or infidelity. Each is to blame for something. But only one is a killer in this nail-biting, stealthy psychological thriller about human frailty and obsession.Love. Lies. Betrayal. These words capture the heart of The Girl On The Train. Three women and three men all connected by these three words in some way or another. This novel plays with perception. It also examines how well you ever really know anyone. You may think you're getting a glimpse into their world, but the truth may end up being an unsettling reality.
Just what goes on in the houses you pass by every day?
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and evening, rattling over the same junctions, flashing past the same townhouses.The train stops at the same signal every day, and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof terrace. Jason and Jess, as she calls them, seem so happy. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden. Soon after, Rachel sees the woman she calls Jess on the news. Jess has disappeared.
Through the ensuing police investigation, Rachel is drawn deeper into the lives of the couple she learns are really Megan and Scott Hipwell. As she befriends Scott, Rachel pieces together what really happened the day Megan disappeared. But when Megan's body is found, Rachel finds the chief suspect in the case. Plunged into a world of betrayals, secrets and deceptions, Rachel must confront the facts about her own past and her own failed marriage.
A sinister and twisting story that will keep you guessing at every turn, The Girl on the Train is a high-speed chase for the truth.
Paula Hawkins shows herself to be an emerging talent in the mystery genre. Fraught with tension and a fevered pace, this novel captivates and ensnares you almost immediately. Her writing is sharp, crisp and she uses the unreliable narrator trope to great effect.
The question of how well we ever really know someone haunts the pages of this novel. The notion of getting to know someone through brief daily glimpses is played with. Rachel certainly thinks she 'knows' Megan and Scott. However, we quickly see that perhaps Rachel isn't even sure of how well she knows herself. The idea that someone we've become close to could hide who they truly are is terrifying, but scarier still is the possibility of what you might hide from yourself. I loved the way reality and perception twisted and warped as the novel unravels the truth of what Rachel saw and what really happened to Megan.
These characters are all flawed, desperate and imperfect. They make mistakes, and keep making them. They can be frustrating, particularly Rachel. She keeps making the same mistake over and over again. Some of these characters have chilling secrets. As a result, this novel is rather unsettling. It's dark tone chills you and remains long after the novel is finished. The morality in this novel is complex. Everything exists in the murky grey area where nobody is good nor evil. Everyone in this story is capable of kindness and harm in equal measure. This allows for plenty of suspicion as the truth behind what happened to Megan is revealed. Suspicion, and lack of trust for the characters, is something this novel does extremely well. The reader is left guessing and second guessing everything and everyone. It lets the mystery take hold, and become the thing that drives the story.
The end result may not surprise everyone. I myself figured it out before the ending, but there is more than enough within these pages to keep readers satisfied. The tying together of loose ends is done well, and it ensures an ending that is both satisfying to the story and fitting for the story told within the pages of this novel.
Fans of taunt, tension filled stories with plenty of red herrings, twists and surprises will stay up late to devour this delectable mystery. It'll keep you on the edge from page one, and doesn't let go until it's final reveal. It's a fun, obsessive read that will have you turning those pages faster than you might intend to.