Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

61OLegHQzvL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017

Page Count: 400 (Hardcover)

From the Jacket:

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.

Like every other literate human on the planet Earth, I had my first taste of Paula Hawkins reading The Girl on the Train. I told myself I wouldn’t compare the two, but I found myself unable to help it. Where the former takes the reader on a psychological thrill ride, the latter finds the reader watching the characters take one. After experiencing both, I think I have more fun being taken on the ride, however, Hawkins is truly masterful from both perspectives.

Into the Water, starts slow, building up the history of the river from the multiple points of view of the women who make up its story. I saw several critiques before I began reading, lamenting this fact. The other readers were confused and frustrated, and had a hard time keeping track of all of the characters being introduced. I did not find this to be a problem, but perhaps that can be attributed to the fact that I went in expecting to be, and thus paid extra attention to detail. Also helpful, was the fact that the version I read had the name of the narrating character printed at the top of every other page.

The first half was slow but engaging, making it a more relaxing reading experience than most of the thrillers I have read. This changed rather abruptly for me about halfway through, and I found myself unable to put it down. I brought it with me everywhere I went in the hopes that I could squeeze a few pages in. Library due dates are also a very powerful motivator when even a great plot cannot combat the sleep deprivation that only having a tiny newborn at home can bring.

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Final Thoughts: I went into this one with high expectations, and I think it lived up to the hype. This was a different kind of thriller; one full of unique and memorable personalities, deep history, an atmospheric setting, and a slow burn leading up to a fast paced ending that was (at least for me) truly a surprise.

Rating: Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 12.24.27 AM

Favorite Characters: Lena

Memorable Quotes:

No one liked to think about the fact that the water in that river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women; they drank it every day

Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.


7 thoughts on “Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

    • TheBookQueen says:

      She felt more complicated than the rest to me. So authenticity a teenager. She was angry, sullen, and confused but also fiercely loyal. She brought a lot of energy to the book that otherwise had some pretty mellow characters. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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