The Girl on the Train
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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. ~ Maxim Jakubowski
Click below to view the trailer for the film adaptation of this book which opens in the UK on 7 October 2016.
Shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2015.
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.
The Good Book Guide Review. 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…
~ Barry Forshaw
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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
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...
Browse inside this book
'Really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect.' STEPHEN KING
'The thriller scene will have to up its game if it's to match Hawkins this year' Observer
'A complex and increasingly chilling tale courtesy of a number of first-person narratives that will wrong-foot even the most experienced of crime fiction readers' Irish Times
'achieves a sinister poetry ... Hawkins keeps the nastiest twist for last' Financial Times
'Hawkins masterful deployment of unwittingly unreliable narration to evoke the aftershocks of abuse and trauma is a powerful way of exploring women's marginalization' Huffington Post
About the Author
Publication date5th May 2016
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PublisherBlack Swan an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
CategoriesCrime & mystery
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