There’s obviously been a lot of hype surrounding this book for quite a while now, and I managed to pick up my copy of it for about a fiver in Tesco a few months back. I put it to one side and it’s only recently when EVERYONE and their dog was reading it that I thought I’d better get my ass into gear and read it before I find myself reading spoilers. I took a few days to get into it, picking it up and reading a few pages at a time when I had a break in the day. I went to Liverpool this weekend to catch up with some friends, and that involved a train ride and two bus journeys totalling a couple of hours worth of travel, and that was all it took for me to get well and truly hooked on the story. I finished it the same night after a solid reading session and have to say that it’s one of the best novels that I’ve read in a long time, and it’s absolutely remarkable considering that this is Paula Hawkins’ debut novel.
The story revolves around a woman called Rachel, but you actually get to see another two perspectives. We learn that her current state (a woman suffering severely from alcoholism, blackouts and arguably from depression) is one that developed as the result of a number of devastating events. She loses her job and becomes obsessed with watching a couple from the window of the train on her commute to ‘work’ everyday. She notices something unusual one morning, and from this point onwards she can’t help but insert herself into their lives wherever she can.
I have to say that I did eventually, around 40 or pages towards the end, guess what was going on but I think that’s just because I drive myself mad with theories whenever I can’t work something out- it really wasn’t obvious and I was still slightly shocked with how everything panned out. I liked Rachel as a character, generally speaking, although I couldn’t really connect with her with regards to the alcoholism- I didn’t have much sympathy because she was aware of how it was doing her no favours, and I feel that aspect was overplayed a little bit. On the other hand, I absolutely hated the character of Anna, I thought she was a really unnecessarily nasty, vindictive character and I felt sorry for Megan for a number of reasons, least of all because of what happened to her. The writing was mature and full of suspense, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. It actually got to the point where I refused to go to sleep because I couldn’t wait to finish the end of it, and that hasn’t happened to me for a very long while. I am really getting into the psychological thriller genre recently and this is definitely one of the best I’ve read- I wasn’t really a fan of Gone Girl, and this has been compared heavily to that (although I really don’t think the plots are all that similar really) so if you enjoyed Gone Girl then you’ll definitely love this.
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