A solid twenty-four hours after finishing Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train my heart is still racing and I have the nervous sweats. I think I can count on one hand the number of thrillers I’ve read, and I don’t really want to call this a “thriller” because I liked it so, so, much and thrillers just aren’t my thing.
To start with, the cover is so great. SO GREAT. Second to the cover art, one of the blurbs on the jacket calls The Girl on the Train “Hitchcockian,” a phrase I both love and find incredibly appropriate. If Hitchcock were still around, he’d have optioned this novel before it ever hit the shelves. I can just picture one (or two) of his blondes in the leading roles.
Here is the set up: Rachel, an alcoholic, divorced, unemployed frump of a woman rides the train into and out of London every morning/evening. On her way to and from, the train she takes usually comes to a stop at a certain bend in the track and if she looks out of her window, she can see a row of houses. One of the houses she can see used to be her own – and now her ex-husband lives there with his new wife and their little baby. Another of the houses she can see from her train window is a few doors down and belongs to an attractive young couple that Rachel thinks of as “Jess and Jason.” She loves watching them, seeks them out every time the train stops at this certain bend, often with a pre-mixed gin and tonic or a few mini bottles of wine. And then one day, “Jess” disappears. And drunk, drunk Rachel butts herself right into the investigation.
OH MY GOSH.
At the end I felt like I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t and it was wonderful. If you are in a reading slump, read this right away.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead | 9781594633669 | January 13, 2015)