Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Publishing Date: 2nd May 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 368
Genre: Mystery, General Fiction (Adult)
The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense.
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.
So guys. Confession time. I haven’t read “The Girl on the Train”. So there. Must be probably the last person in the world, right? However, I of course have heard tones about this book. I even have it on my never ending TBR pile and one day I am absolutely certain that I’m going to get to read it. Nevertheless, as soon as I spotted that Paula Hawkin’s dreaded second novel is to be released soon, I just knew that I have to read it. I didn’t need to read the synopsis, I just knew I. Want. To. Read. It. And maybe it’s better that it is my first book by this author as I’m not going to make any comparisons to the hugely talked about debut novel.
There are relatively many characters in this book. Each chapter is devoted to a different character. Some of them are more significant, some not so much and actually it always took me some time to think twice who the person is and what’s their story, especially when it was one of the more background characters. It was a little difficult, especially at the beginning, to focus with so many distinct points of view. But then I also started to enjoy this way of telling the story, as it really gave us a chance to get to know each of the characters, to see what makes them tick. The characters were not easy to like, but I’m starting to learn that with this kind of a book you don’t have to like them – all they need to be is to be believable, and it was absolutely the case here. With the great number of them it quickly turned out that there are many suspects and they all are going to bring many twists and turns, which only kept me glued to the pages. Each of them may play a part in the mysterious deaths of the women of the town.
The author has very vividly described the little town Beckford, I personally had a feeling that it is a gloom, grim place where the river played first fiddle. It was such a claustrophobic place, to be honest, and I was in awe how well the author has captured this atmosphere. This dark, forbidding water, named “The Drowning Pool”, was a place full of history, secrets, mysteries and a place where the witches were supposed to be sent swimming in the seventeenth century. It was not my most favourite place, however I could see its spell and could understand why Nel was so obsessed with it and the stories surrounding it, and why she wanted to unravel the mysteries.
The pace of the story was rather on the slow side but I think we can’t expect from this kind of a book to be quick. It often hinted at witchcraft and witches but it really did work here and it had me hooked, and it was also heart – breaking, guys. The author has built a tense atmosphere in this story, with characters hearing voices and creaking floorboards in the night. There are many threads in this novel, it is truly multi – layered, and the author does a great job mind – boggling and messing with you. Thousand times I was sure that I know who was the assassin and thousand times I was wrong. At the end, all of the layers are unpeeled to present us with a very satisfying, no – questions – opened finale. Well, almost no questions, because I’d have one or two about one or two of the characters. The sleepy town witnesses many scandalous turns of events and the author in a very skilled way builds the tensions and through the multiply points of view makes the things even more complicated and complex. The characters are connected, their paths cross and their relationships are strained, strong and weird. In my opinion it requires a lot of skill to achieve a satisfying conclusion with such complicated narrative with so many perspectives, and even though knowing who is who took me some time, I didn’t feel confused and with every new revelation you could see the proverbial light – bulb going on over my head, and all the elements of the puzzle were slowly falling into the right places.
I can only guess how hard it was for the author to sit and write the next book, keeping in mind the success of her debut novel. as I have already mentioned, I haven’t read this book, but “Into the Water” has put Ms Hawkins on my list of the authors not to be missed. In my opinion, this novel was a very clever, complex read. I wouldn’t say it’s a thriller, it is more a psychological mystery. The way the story was built, with the author throwing so many things at the reader, more and more and more of them, and complicate them to the point where you don’t know what to expect next, really did work here. I desperately wanted to know what’s going to happen, and which secrets are still to be revealed. There are some things that you can see coming but there are also many other that just hit you on the head and knocking your socks off. I really liked it, I was hooked and I will be recommending “Into the Water” to all of my friends.