21 March 2015

The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Buy

This is the best thriller/suspense adult novel I've read since Gone Girl.  Granted, I spent most of my time these days hanging out in the YA genre.  But still.  It isn't master prose by any means, but there are some lines that are so eloquent and well placed that they definitely stand out.  And the novel is expertly paced and so beautifully woven together as the mystery unfolds.

What most sticks out about The Girl on the Train are the characters.  While I wouldn't exactly classify them all as the scum of the earth, there are definitely all less than perfect people.  We have, for instance:

Rachel: our main narrator; a drunk that likes to people watch out the window of the train, who then invests herself in the case when the woman she studies disappears.

Anna: the woman that stole Rachel's husband, and then had the nerve to move into Rachel's house with him and their baby girl right after the split

Tom: Rachel's husband, who was cheating on her before the divorce

Scott: a super possessive husband, with a loose meaning of "personal space" and privacy

Megan: a woman who is a terrible wife in her own words, that is having at least one affair

And these descriptions just scratch the surface!  What's so great about having a story full of characters you love to hate is that you don't care who the kidnapper/murder ends up being, because you really don't like anyone in the book all that well.  Every single person in this novel is a liar, the narrator most of all.  And I do love me a good crime/suspense novel with a narrator that you have to read between the lines with because you cannot trust them.

I love just about every twisted minute of this novel.  Hawkins keeps readers guessing until the very end.  The only beef I have with the ending is that while the novel slowly unravels these details and back stories about the characters, the revelations leading up to the "who done it" moment happen much more quickly, which makes the ending seem a little out there, even though you can see just about anyone in the novel being the culprit.  At the same time, however, the ending doesn't come out of left field and completely flabbergast you.  So while I'm not sure I am completely satisfied with the ending, it is still a good one.  As soon as I finished reading the novel, I wanted to start reading it again, to pick up on any clues I might have missed.  And I have already started recommending it to my inner circle of family and friends.

This one will definitely be made into a movie.

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