Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Publication Date: January 2015
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Format: ebook
Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon|Book Depository|Exclusive Books (SA)
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? 

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

I am not a particular lover of crime fiction and, when in a bookstore, the YA section will always be my first stop. But in an attempt to broaden my reading horizons I have slowly been branching out into the fiction section, tentatively dripping my toes in the world of 'big people' books. My first attempt at crime fiction was, surprisingly, Gone Girl (before the movie I am proud to day), and I loved it. So The Girl on the Train was the next mountain for me to climb, and I happy to say it was a pleasant experience.

The comparisons between The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl were what intrigued me most about this book, and they were the main driving factor for me to read The Girl on the Train. After reading it I didn't really understand why it was compared to  Gone Girl because I found them quite different. Whereas Gone Girl was very dark and intense at times, The Girl on the Train was slightly more reserved in its thrill factor. I wasn't as drawn into the story as I was with Gone Girl but I was still driven by the need to know 'who dun it.' 

I found The Girl on the Train a good crime read, even though I have limited experience with this genre. The characters struggles were very relate-able and the internal turmoil they each faced added good dimension to the storyline. The 'shocker' ending I felt wasn't such a shocker after all but it in no way lessened my enjoyment of this book.

Overall The Girl on the Train is a solid entry into the crime/psychological thriller genre and has succeeded in keeping me interested in this style of writing. I will be on the lookout for future works by the author, and if you have any recommendations for good thrillers please leave them in the comments. I would love to check them out.

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