The Girl on the train

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is yet another psychological thriller likened to Gone Girl. The comparison is really only accurate insofar as they are both psychological thrillers, and both excellent novels.

Rachel – the titular girl on the train – is somewhat of a train wreck: divorced, alcoholic and on a downward spiral. She is the main narrator of the story, occasionally intertwined with the voices of two other characters. All of dubious reliability. Rachel commutes into London during the week. The train stops at the same signal every day, affording her a brief window onto the same patch of suburbia. Rachel fantasises about the occupants of one of the houses in view. She idealises their relationship, in stark contrast to that of her failed one. One day she sees something that shocks her deeply. Before the train moves on, Rachel’s already on the path that will lead to her involvement in a police investigation. The future she seems destined for, even her past, is malleable and up for revision, as is that of many others whose lives have been touched by the girl on the train.

 

Book review by Nick – Broadbeach Branch Library staff member.