Shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2015.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
In the footsteps of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep, the unreliable narrator domestic drama of untruths is the new 'hot' genre. The author was best known under another name for chick lit entertainments. Hawkins's book is the first stone in a veritable avalanche of titles mining the territory as publishers rush in with a vengeance and has already catapulted to the top of the charts both in the UK and the USA. And deservedly so. The parallel narratives of three women protagonists twist and turn in an unsettling spiral where nothing is what it seems, from what Rachel sees from her train window or Megan does watching the same train from her house by the line, or even Anna down the same road who, coincidentally, stole Rachel's husband. Deliberately unlikeable and dishonest characters add spice to the devilish web of proceedings and make this a terribly clever hit.
Every now and again a debut novel really breaks through and shines. This is one. After a slow start the pace picks up and tension builds through the many twist and turns. Strangely you keep re-evaluating your opinion as to whom the real villain of the piece may be – all very clever. Written in three first-person female voices you slowly see how the women connect and how past events in their lives have helped shape them into the people they are today. Rachel, the girl on the train, is a highly unreliable narrator, Megan is the girl the mystery surrounds as she disappears and Anna is married to Rachel’s ex-husband and neighbour of Megan. It is very good indeed.
Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train...
The reason most of us read thrillers is primarily the inexorable narrative grip that such books exert upon us. That grip is what most of the front-runners in the field possess – and that particular skill is owned by Paula Hawkins, whose The Girl on the Train is already a bestseller, and springs new surprises on us as it progresses, much as Hitchcock’s Rear Window (the template here) did. A solitary commuter, a woman prone to depression, indulges herself by mentally envisioning the happy life of a couple she sees on a train journey. But her musings come into harsh conflict with reality when something she observes suggests that all is not as ideal in their lives as she surmised. Shortly afterwards, she becomes aware that what she witnessed may offer clues in an important – and dangerous – police investigation. Pulses will be quickened…
'Gripping, enthralling - a top-notch thriller and a compulsive read' S J Watson
'The Girl On The Train was so thrilling and tense and wildly unpredictable, it sucked up my entire afternoon. I simply could not put it down. Not to be missed!' Tess Gerritsen
'What a group of characters, what a situation, what a book! It's Alfred Hitchcock for a new generation and a new era' Terry Hayes, bestselling author of I Am Pilgrim
'Clever and compelling! Hawkins keeps the tension ratcheted high in this thoroughly engrossing tale of intersecting strangers and intimate betrayals. Kept me guessing until the very end!' Lisa Gardner
'This is unputdownable ... A fast, clever thriller with a flawed, entertaining heroine' Paula Daly
Publication date: 15/01/2015
Publisher: Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
|Publication date:||15th January 2015|
|Publisher:||Doubleday an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd|
|Genres:||Crime / Mystery, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,|
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.More About Paula Hawkins