The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Girl on the Train

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It seems everyone is reading and talking about The Girl on the Train (B+) by Paula Hawkins so I picked up a copy and jumped on board.

The story centers around three women in crisis. Rachel is unemployed, divorced and has a serious drinking problem. Megan, too, is recently unemployed, married to Scott and has a haunting secret. Anna is married to Tom, Rachel’s ex-husband and has recently given birth to his child; the child that Rachel could not conceive.

Rachel refuses to accept that Tom doesn’t love her anymore. Her excessive drinking leads her to drunken blackouts. Once sober, she can’t recall what she may have said or done. She is living with a friend but is too embarrassed to admit that she was fired. Rather than face the truth, she travels daily by train into London where she aimlessly spends the “work” day. Everyday, she rides past her old neighborhood and “spies” on Tom and his neighbors. On one such trip, blindly drunk and in blackout mode; she becomes a witness to a murder…. Megan’s murder.

In chapters that alternate among the three women the tension and terror build. Though somewhat reminiscent of Gone Girl, Hawkins weaves a psychological thriller that is far more involved. It is not till the very end that the murderer becomes identified thus making for an incredible page-turner. I became so engrossed in the story that I took reading breaks organizing my thoughts in an attempt to solve the crime.

I recommend The Girl on the Train for its entertainment factor. While well written, the ending could have been sharper, clearer and cleaner for my taste. Other than that, I enjoyed the ride and I believe you will too.

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