September 4, 2017

Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

I'll admit that I wasn't too keen with the beginning chapters of this book. Too many points of view. Too many characters. It was difficult for me to see how they would all tie together and why the author chose this disorienting style of unfolding the narrative. However, around the 100-page mark, I began to be truly invested in the characters and the sinister mystery of women, girls ending up drowned in the river. Is there a serial killer or killers over the course of many years? Is the river itself a supernatural, evil entity? With every twist my guess as to who was responsible changed -floundering in the dark eddies of the plot. I'm glad I persevered through to the confusing start to get to the powerful later chapters. 

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