Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This is a book, I wanted to read for a long time, so, when finding it for a one week loan in the library in Karlskrona, I grabbed it. Ok, it is translated into Swedish, but still... I was a little bit nervous since it had got such raving reviews from almost everyone, and I was afraid that my expectations were too high. I did not have to worry. This book caught my attention right away, and I had difficulties putting it down and I finished it the same day.

Rachel takes the commuter train from Ashbury to London every day. Having lived herself along the same railway line, she continues to keep an eye on the houses on her old street. She tries to ignore No. 25 since her ex-husband lives there with his new wife and their daughter. She still has not come to terms with the divorce and is harassing the couple with phone calls and e-mails. However, she has discovered a young couple at No. 15, of which she gets somewhat obsessed. She gives them the names Jess and Jason and imagine their happy lives, compared to her own miserable life. We slowly learn that the mixed gin and tonic Rachel drinks on the train on a Friday evening going home, is just the beginning of a trip into oblivion. Her drinking sprees make her wake up with very vague remembrances of what she has been doing.

One day she reads in the paper that Jess (although her name is Megan) is missing. Two things come to her mind; the day she saw Megan kiss a stranger in the garden, which made Rachel quite upset with her at the time; and the vague memory that she was in the neighbourhood when Megan disappeared. She contacts the police to share her information, and gets questioned herself.

It is impossible to tell more of the story without making spoilers, and this is too good to be spoiled. A psychological thriller at its very best. The story is told from the views of Rachel, Megan and Anna (the wife of the ex-husband), and evolves little by little. What you think you know, is not what it turns out to be.

A fantastic, thrilling story which does not reveal the culprit until the very end. It is Paula Hawkins first book, which makes it even more admirable. The female characters, that make up the main part of the story, are very well drawn, and we are there and suffer with them. At least for Rachel, I felt like I wanted her to take a hold on her life and get back to the person she once was. Her problems were very well described, and you felt with her in all her misery.

Dreamwork has bought the film rights and it seems that Tate Taylor will direct. Will be interesting to see who will play the parts of Rachel, Megan and Anna. Something to wait for as well as for another book by Paula Hawkins.

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