Don’t get me wrong. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is not perfect. I need to say that at the outset because I absolutely loved this book. Love, jealousy, lies all feature here and none of the characters is quite what they seem.
Despite that, these characters are believable and mostly sympathetic. If I have a gripe, it’s that one or two loose ends don’t get tied up. But, for me at least, that’s a minor issue in an entertaining and enjoyable read that had my heart racing.
So what’s The Girl on The Train about?
Rachel’s an alcoholic. Drinking cost her her job but since she’s hiding that from her flatmate. She continues to take the train every day as if she were going to work. While she sits on the train, sipping gin and tonic from a can, she has plenty of time to think about her ex-husband. Tom and his new wife Anna, live in the house Rachel used to share with Tom. Rachel’s train passes the house every day and Rachel develops more than a passing interest in Tom and Anna’s neighbours. Megan and Scott seem like a normal couple but when Megan disappears, Rachel finds she know more than she realised. Suspects begin to emerge and Rachel seems closer to each of them than is wise. But Rachel is an unreliable narrator — with gaps in her memory to boot since much of her life is experienced under the influence of alcohol. Her fellow narrators — Anna and Megan — appear more stable at first but the reader soon discovers they’re not entirely reliable either. And then there’s the men who, for one reason or another, are also not to be entirely trusted. All of this makes in a nail-biting page turner that is as strong on plot as it is on character.Trust me. If you liked Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, you’ll love The Girl on The Train.
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[Disclosure: An advance review copy of The Girl on the Train was provided by Random House UK via Netgalley.com for the purpose of this review].