The Girl on the Train – Book Review
The Girl on the Train (2015) by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller, the plot of which is arresting enough to make you read the book with rapt attention. It stayed in the top position on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 for thirteen consecutive weeks. In addition to that, it remained at the top of the UK hardback book chart for twenty weeks.
Rachel Watson is an alcoholic who is going through a low phase in her life. She takes the morning commuter train everyday and moves past the stretch of suburban homes where she once lived with her ex-husband, Tom. She is in an inebriated state for most of the time, and watching the same couple everyday as her train halts at the signal. She calls them ‘Jason’ and ‘Jess’. She begins to feel like she knows them and makes up in her mind a series of events that she presumes must be happening in their lives.
Tom lives in the same house she once lived in, with his new wife, Anna and their daughter. However, things take a different turn as the woman she had named as Jess turns out to be a Megan Hipwell, who abruptly goes missing and is found dead after a few days. Rachel can’t stop herself from investigating into the disappearance of Megan. Despite the distress caused to Anna by the regular sightings of Rachel in their locality, and Tom’s efforts to persuade her to stay away from as complicated a case as Megan’s disappearance, Rachel gets herself involved in the case.
The story unfolds into a series of unforeseen events and Rachel finds herself getting closer to the bottom of the case. The twists and turns towards the end change the perspective of the reader in the most unexpected way, the realisation of which proves to be quite a mind-boggling experience.
The book provides a nail-biting experience with exceptional detailing. In addition to that, it is quite a short story, in comparison to other books of this genre. So, it is definitely worth a read if you are on the look-out for a short, arresting thriller which will continue to haunt your mind even after you have flipped the last page.
Image Source: Penguin Group