The Girl on the Train

January can be a bit flat. The festive season recedes whilst debt obligations loom large. Whuppity Scourie seems depressingly distant. What you need is an escape of the thriller variety. Paula Hawkins delivers. The summary is as follows. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life, as she sees it, is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. Then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Paula Hawkins is an assured and confident writer, plaiting together the stories of her three narrators and moving back and forth in time as she narrows in on one fateful – and forgotten, in Rachel’s case – night. There’s Anna, blissfully happy in her new life with Tom, beautiful and serene and maybe just a little bit smug. There’s Megan, who doesn’t quite fit into her world of pilates and coffees and perfect wifedom. And there’s Rachel, careering wildly between drunken disasters, peering into the black pit of the July night when Megan vanished. The Girl on the Train will take your mind off things for a while. It is compulsively readable distraction.


320 pages in Doubleday

First published 15 January 2015

ISBN 978-0857522313



Paula Hawkins

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