Published May, 2017 by Riverhead Books
Pages: 352, Kindle Edition
This could have been the thriller of the year, just like The Girl on the Train, the successful book that came and took our breath away in 2015 which still holds the same essence and qualities of its genre and the power to grab the attention of a reader from page one. On reading Paula Hawkins new book, I do not feel the same.
It’s very different from her previous work but the base of the storyline is same. It indeed, has the power to grab your attention from earliest chapters and is share same themes like unreliable characters, memory and a mystery surrounding them. The storyline goes like this. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl, Lena. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, Jules, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from, a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
The mystery surrounding the town and the dead body is ingress and very severe affecting a large number of people. To find rest, you have to pick the book and read.
The plot is full of twists, with acute understanding of human instincts, unreliable characters each having skeletons in the closet of their own. These twists might not have a major effect as you keep turning the pages.
The cast of characters if long which some might feel would have a negative effect but on reading it, I think it suits the plot and narration well. Narration is circulating point of view style including two detectives, the orphaned girl and her aunt. At start, it’s hard to decide to point out the protagonist but after reaching the climax, which is takes a lot of time, I am determined with my decision. I could like anyone or hate them and thus, I believe this one of the driving force of this book. The question here is not who is the protagonist at all. Every character represents another piece in the puzzle. When all fits, the puzzle is complete.
The element of suspense and mystery is not in-depth as much as her previous bestseller. The feeling of tension is there but the excitement is lost in between. Provision of history in between the contemporary plot interlocking the stories of the people in this town, especially who are surrounded by the river. The ending is a bit quieter than most of the novels I have read in this genre. It did not feel like a punch in the guts or any emotional relation which is an element used highly in the classics. The curtains were pulled down gently and at the same time steeply.
I enjoyed it just like I have many others but it’s not something out of the box. I know, some of you may even point out that I am comparing to her previous work, but then it is comparable since the genesis of the plots of both the books and writing style share the same origin.
3 out of 5.
Read my review of The Girl on the Train by same author, Paula Hawkins.
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Tagged: 2017-releases, adult, Book, books, British, crime, Fiction, Into The Water, kindle, literature, May, mystery, Paula Hawkins, Reading, suspense, The Girl on the Train, thriller, Writing