The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
Review Date: 30 November 2015
Author: Paula Hawkins
Release Date: 15 January 2015
ISBN –10: 0857522310
ISBN – 13: 978-0857522313
Available in Hardback, Kindle and audio
The Last Word Review
The ultimate psychological thriller told by a drunken narrator. An outstanding debut novel
Paula Hawkins debut novel is the ultimate psychological thriller that will keep your pulses racing until the very last page.
The story is narrated through the eyes and pen of Rachel a lonely somewhat miserable young woman who drinks a lot, let’s face it Rachel is an alcoholic. Every morning she commutes by train to London to work, there is also a fantasy going on here as she see the same couple every day from the window of her carriage and creates a fantasy world for this couple. What we then realise here is that the sub plot is that this couple live just a few doors away from Rachel’s ex-husband Tom and his new wife Anna.
The narration from Rachel is something that makes The Girl on the Train something very special and incredibly insightful from a woman whose life really has come off the rails. Through the narration you begin to understand how Rachel lives a life through a glass and if often so drunk she has no memory of what has happened in her life. She has had a drink problem for quite some time and the fact that she lost her job because of it adds to the mystery of her daily train journeys into London.
Many reviews I have read of Paula Hawkins debut novel said they could not show any empathy with Rachel, yet I totally became involved with her and she stands out to me more so than any of the other lead characters, yet I am not entirely sure why, I put this down to the incredible skill of Hawkins writing and how she has portrayed Rachel.
When Megan goes missing Rachel believes she holds vital information as what happened, but alas Rachel’s memory is vague to say the least and struggles to recall exact details and the frustration that bubbles to the surface in this taught thriller. Add to this that Rachel continues to harass her ex-husband, lies and is viewed with incredible amount of suspicion by those around her.
Rachel decides to take it upon herself to get involved in the investigation into the disappearance of Megan and also those very close to the investigation.
There is a real twist to the end of the story that will keep you gripped until the very last moments as Rachel finally recalls some detail from one of her previous blackouts. There is so much more to The Girl on the Train that it is at times completely unpredictable a clever and refreshingly brilliant thriller.
With the huge success of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl still very much fresh in our minds, 2015 has seen some brilliant thrillers based around poisonous relationships but without a shadow of doubt The Girl on the Train is the runaway success of the year and a global smash hit and with a film now due to hit the screens late 2016 staring Emily Blunt in the lead role will surely be just as successful on the screen as the book has been through 2015.
If you have been living anywhere other than this planet and you have not yet experienced The Girl on the Train, make this a Christmas book choice to curl up with over the holidays and experience what the rest of the World has in this rollercoaster of a modern psychological thriller.
*Note the main photograph of the jacket of the book is the special edition available from Waterstones booksellers.
Meet the Author
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction.
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller and the runaway number one best-seller of 2015.