JUST FINISHED: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery/Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Girl on the Train is winding tale centered around Rachel, a recently divorced, mentally unstable drunk. Rachel is so ashamed of her life that she rides the train every day to London and pretends to work just to avoid telling her roommate that she is no longer employed. Along the ride, the train makes it typical stop where it skirts around some houses not so far from the one she used to inhabit with her ex-husband, Tom. But a few houses before, there is couple that she has so-named “Jess and James” that seem to have the perfect life. Breakfast on the patio, sweet smiles at one another, ‘good morning’ kisses and hugs. Every day she sees them and puts on an imaginary play of what their lives are like that seems to bring a little happiness to herself, only to be stilled once the train pulls past the house that is now occupied by her ex-husband’s mistress and their child.

This is a typical day in the life of our poor Rachel until the morning she sees Jess outside kissing another man. Raging with anger and fuming with alcohol that Jess could tear apart her family and leave her husband feeling as distressed as Rachel is now, she exits the train to have a word. But unfortunately that is all her memory will allow her when she wakes up the next morning with bruises and cuts all over and a crushing hangover. And to top it off, Jess’s face is on the news and in the paper. She’s missing as of last night.

This was a great mystery novel. It was so refreshing for me to come across one that kept me guessing on what actually happened up until the end. Hawkins not only uses the perspective of the lead, Rachel, but also the missing woman (who is actually named Megan), and the mistress, Anna, with varying timelines to weave the different pieces of the story. The plot moves at a very quick pace and will be sure to not let you set this one down. If you are in the mood for a fast read with timing puzzles and memory games, this one is for you.

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