The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you liked Gone Girl you’ll love this one, too. A young woman goes missing. Is she dead? You think you know who the bad guys and good guys are, but then you’re not so sure. The story is told through multiple characters’ viewpoints. The suspense is ratcheted to unbearable levels. You have to read the next chapter, then the next.

The primary narrator of the tale is Rachel, a self-deluding alcoholic divorcee. Although she was fired and is now jobless, she continues to ride the train into London every day so her flatmate/landlady won’t find out. Tom, her ex-husband, is now married to Anna, the beautiful blond estate agent who has given him the child Rachel couldn’t.

Rachel fantasizes over a lovely young couple she sees from the train every day, Scott and Bridget (although she has her own fantasy names for them). She wishes her life was perfect like theirs. They live very close to her old house, the same neighborhood as Tom and Anna. Bridget, in fact, used to babysit for Tom and Anna. But then Rachel sees something that shatters her illusions about the young couple. A tall dark stranger kisses Bridget, who then goes missing. Tension builds and builds.

As we hear from Tom and Anna and all the other characters, we find that all is not as it seems. The story is written with panache and acted superbly by the voice actors, especially the one playing Rachel. I devoured it. It’s great to be able to give five stars to a number one best-seller. Sometimes they actually deserve it.

I haven’t read any other reviews, but I imagine a few will complain that the ending is too convenient and predictable. It is that, but by that time you will just be so anxious to find out for sure who dunnit (and what happens once it’s revealed) that you won’t care.

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