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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Grace O’Reilly

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This is a read for fans of phycological thrillers.  Written by Paula Hawkins, it was first published in 2015, by Transworld, in Doubleday, UK.  It has sold more than 23 million copies, and has been translated in 46 languages, and sold in over 50 countries around the world.  It was such a popular read, that The Girl on the Train has been made into both films and play adaptions.  So far there are two versions of the film, one in English released in 2016 and the other a Hindi adaption made just this year, (2021).

The book is written through the eyes of three separate woman Rachel, Anna and Megan, although it does mainly focus on Rachel, (the girl on the train).  After delving into alcohol as a coping mechanism for her inability to conceive, her marriage breaks up and now an alcoholic with no job and no real home, she throws herself into her old work travelling routine, by taking the same morning and evening trains, which by pass her old home with her now ex-husband.  She doesn’t remember what she does when she is so drunk and out of control, but she knows that some things are more than meets the eye.

Anna is now Tom’s ‘new’ wife, and was able to bear him a daughter.  She is young and beautiful and whilst she flaunted her happy life off to Rachel, she is now becoming increasingly annoyed and then scared by Rachel’s stalking and harassment.  When their neighbour Megan is reported missing, she points the blame at Rachel, but is she right?

As Rachel tries to find out where Megan is and what happened to her, she puts herself in firing line.  She feels that she doesn’t have anything to lose now, so she may as well be of some use to the missing investigation of Megan.  As she learns new things along the way, she is horrified to learn that much of the craziness about herself and others that she believed to be true when she was intoxicated, may actually be the truth.  Trying to piece together the mysterious jigsaw that is her, Anna and Megan’s lives all intertwined, she is determined to find the missing pieces, by any means at all, and clear her name in the process.

But how will it all pan out, and is everyone in this twisted and adrenaline pumping story all who they seem to be?

An absolutely fantastic read, and the film is great too, although different from the book with certain details.  I read the book before I watched the film, but each to their own.  Both the book and the film will keep you hanging at the edge of your seat.

(c) Grace O’Reilly

Order your copy online here.

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