by Paula Hawkins
Narrator: Clare Corbett, India Fisher, Louise Brealey
Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
A debut psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally entangled in a murder investigation because of something she witnesses on her daily commute. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every night. Every day she rattles over the same track junctions, flashes past the same stretch of cozy suburban homes. And every day she stops at the same signal and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof deck, living the perfect life that Rachel craves for herself—a lifestyle she recently lost. She looks forward to observing this household every morning, even makes up names and narratives for its residents. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden, and soon after, the woman who lived there disappears. Unable to keep this information to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and in the process is drawn into the lives of the couple she thought of as Jason and Jess but whose names—she has learned from the news—are really Megan and Scott Hipwell. But the police accuse Rachel of being unreliable, and it’s true that her memories can’t always be trusted. Plus there are the stories that her ex-husband’s new wife has been spreading about her. By the time Megan’s body is found, Rachel is in over her head, intricately entangled in the details of the investigation, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she put others in danger? 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.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is an addictive psychological thriller that held me captive with its flawed, fleshed out characters and spellbinding tale. Folks liken it to Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep and I whole-heartedly agree. This is Hawkins debut thriller and I get goosebumps just thinking about where she will go from here.
As I sit here trying to write my review, I keep referencing the synopsis. I make it a point never to reveal anything that is not mentioned in the synopsis. There is nothing I hate worse than spoilers that rob the reader of discovery. The Girl on the Train is best revealed as events unfold. It is what gives it that Hitchcock thriller vibe. Filled with twists and turns these characters will repulse you as quickly as they will make you feel for them.
Five Caffeinated Reasons to grab your ear-buds and listening to The Girl on the Train
- You love psychological thriller and figuring out the players and pieces. Hawkins does a fantastic job hooking the reader, and dropping red herrings. Her use of an unreliable narrator as the main character is brilliant.
- The characters are complex and as you listen, you suffer a range of emotions from distaste to understanding. Hawkins slowly reveals their stories allowing you to gain understanding even as you want to shake them and say, “Enough, don’t do this.” The tale unfolds from three distinct characters and is broken out in chapter form. Chapters are dated so you are able to connect perspectives and timeline. Rachel our unreliable narrator is the main perspective and we get bits of Anna, her ex-husband’s new wife, and that of Megan the woman whose been murdered.
- The Girl on the Train is addictive from wondering what outrageous thing Rachel will do next to who killed Megan. Hawkins makes you think about what we see when we catch glimpses of others. Have you ever envied a neighbor whose life and family seems picture perfect from those glimpses? Only later you find out things were dreadful. Hawkins will make you as the listener think, as you crave for more answers.
- When done right the audio edition of a brilliant novel can add another layer to the characters and story. Clare Corbett, India Fisher, and Louise Brealey brought these characters to life allowing me to feel their frustrations, taste their fear and become completely immersed in the events that took place. I enjoyed their interpretation of the characters. I listened to the last part as I cooked and my hubby was sitting nearby and he became curious.
- The Girl on the Train is the perfect buddy- read or book club read because you will want to talk about it. It has been five days since I listened and I can still hear the characters in my head. I still cringe when I think of things that happened and the way in which characters behaved. When I drive with my husband in the car and gaze out the window at others ..I cannot help but wonder.