The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This won’t be a long review. So much has been said about this thriller already, but I was profoundly disappointed by it, and won’t bother with the film either. Gone Girl was way better, (book and film; my book review here).
The story is told mostly through the eyes of Rachel – who goes past the backs of the road where she lived with her ex on the train to work every day. She’s not got over the split, she’s a depressed drunk, lodging in a friend’s bedroom. She harrasses her ex on the phone frequently.
On the train however, she fantasizes about another couple a few doors down – you can see into the houses sometimes, or they’re in the garden. When the woman disappears, Rachel is drawn to revisit the town where she lived because she saw something from the train. In between Rachel’s voice we flashback to Megan, and later Anna, Rachel’s ex’es new wife joins in. It all comes out eventually, but the twists lack the ingenuity of Gone Girl.
There were some things that really irked me, apart from the dislikeable characters.
The novel is set in the county of Bucks. apparently, but the invented town names she’s used are real towns in neighbouring Oxfordshire – including Witney where the action happens. Witney, constituency of our former PM David Cameron, does not have a station or train line going by it so this felt lazy.
Megan is going to a therapist – and she suffers from transference. The therapist comes to her home, and she goes to his – surely, it should have been kept to the office? Not very professional.
In this case, the novel wasn’t worth the hype. It was OK, but I did guess whodunnit way back. (6/10)
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Source: Own copy