The Girl on the Train is an intense psychological thriller in which reality and perception seamlessly change positions and you can never be totally certain which is which. Rachel is an unemployed divorcee who drinks to get through her day. She still commutes into the city every day to maintain the appearance that she’s working. The train goes past the house she shared with her husband, who still lives there with his new wife and child, and she passes the time by making up stories about the neighbors there now, until one of them disappears and is found dead. This is a terrific read that is most difficult to put down. Recommended By Tom L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A debut psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally entangled in a murder investigation because of something she witnesses on her daily commute.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every night. Every day she rattles over the same track junctions, flashes past the same stretch of cozy suburban homes. And every day she stops at the same signal and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof deck, living the perfect life that Rachel craves for herself a lifestyle she recently lost. She looks forward to observing this household every morning, even makes up names and narratives for its residents. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden, and soon after, the woman who lived there disappears.
Unable to keep this information to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and in the process is drawn into the lives of the couple she thought of as Jason and Jess but whose names she has learned from the news are really Megan and Scott Hipwell.
But the police accuse Rachel of being unreliable, and it's true that her memories can't always be trusted. Plus there are the stories that her ex-husbands new wife has been spreading about her. By the time Megan's body is found, Rachel is in over her head, intricately entangled in the details of the investigation, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she put others in danger? Has she done more harm than good?
A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.
"The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl....[It] is liable to draw a large, bedazzled readership.” The New York Times
“Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages....The welcome echoes of Rear Window throughout the story and its propulsive narrative make The Girl on the Train an absorbing read.” The Boston Globe
“Given the number of titles that are declared to be 'the next' of a bestseller...book fans have every right to be wary. But Paula Hawkins' novel The Girl on the Train just might have earned the title of 'the next Gone Girl.'” Christian Science Monitor
"Psychologically astute debut....The surprise-packed narratives hurtle toward a stunning climax, horrifying as a train wreck and just as riveting." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] chilling, assured debut....Even the most astute readers will be in for a shock as Hawkins slowly unspools the facts, exposing the harsh realities of love and obsession's inescapable links to violence.” Kirkus (starred review)
“Hawkins, a former journalist, is a witty, sharp writer with a gift for creating complex female characters.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
“It's difficult to say too much more about the plot of The Girl on the Train; like all thrillers, it's best for readers to dive in spoiler-free. This is a debut novel — Hawkins is a journalist by training — but it doesn't read like the work of someone new to suspense. The novel is perfectly paced, from its arresting beginning to its twist ending; it's not an easy book to put down....What really makes The Girl on the Train such a gripping novel is Hawkins' remarkable understanding of the limits of human knowledge, and the degree to which memory and imagination can become confused.” NPR.org
“Paula Hawkins deftly imbues her debut psychological thriller with inventive twists and a shocking denouement.…Hawkins delivers an original debut that keeps the exciting momentum of The Girl on the Train going until the last page.” Denver Post
“The Girl on the Train is the kind of slippery, thrilling read that only comes around every few years (see Gone Girl).” BookPage
About the Author
Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. She lives in London. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller. It is being published all over the world and has been optioned by Dreamworks.