The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

9780857522313-largeWhat I thought:

Rachel, in her thirties, divorced (husband left her for another woman), drinks to ease the pain, boards the same train every day – the 8.04 to London. Every day that same train grinds to a halt on the track backing on to a row of houses where Jess and Jason live. Or at least that’s what Rachel calls them. Jess and Jason are in love, they are happy and they have the life Rachel wants. Jess is a fashion designer and Jason is a Doctor and flies off to war-torn countries to save lives. Not really, but that’s what Rachel wants to believe when she stares into their window every morning at the same time. Only one morning, something happens. Something that shatters Rachel’s daydreams and destroys everything she thinks she knows about them and this sets off a chain of events that starts to get out of control.

The idea is a great one. I was intrigued. I wanted to know more. While I admit the book is well enough written to keep those pages turning, I can’t help but feel that this sort of thriller has been done to death now. The one with the wronged wife, the flawed heroine, the domestic bliss (or is it?) plot-line. There have been so many of this ilk in the last few years (and while I have read some really great ones, I have read more really bad ones by now) and this genre is starting to grate on me. And what I really dislike is the “confessions” at the end of the book: the perpetrator suddenly starts telling all in a Scooby-Doo “if it hadn’t been for those meddaling kids” way. There must be a better way than this to show the reader what really happened and why.

 

  Verdict:

Not a bad book. In fact I quite enjoyed it and it’s certainly getting some great reviews. It’s just that I am feeling somewhat jaded by this particular formula at the moment and I am hankering after some hard-boiled crime again. Give me a good old police procedural any day. 

 

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