Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review - The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

From the cover blurb – There she sits, the girl on the train. What she sees, gazing out the window, will change everything.  Indeed, Rachel rides the slow commuter train, often drinking gin and tonic from a can (yes, she has a problem). The train stops and she can see a young couple on their terrace. She names them Jess and Jason and assumes their lives are lovely. One day though, she sees another man kiss Jess. Later in the week, the news announces a woman is missing, and Rachel realizes that’s “her Jess”. Does Rachel have valuable information for the police? Is she reliable enough? 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a page turner with a mystery, messy characters, and it’s a compulsive read.  The night the woman went missing, Rachel awoke from a blackout with blood on her head. She remembered something about the underpass on her walk from the train. She is a walking disaster – divorced but still calling her ex-husband Tom. She’s practically received a restraining order from him and his new wife, Anna, to stay away from them and their baby. Rachel’s lost her job and her roommate has issued an ultimatum and a date to kick her out.  

As Rachel tries to remember what happened to her that night, she realizes that the incident is entangled with the missing woman. She even reaches out to the husband (real name is Scott) who is a prime suspect. Everyone is fair game in this mystery. No one is a nice person and everyone has a complicated back story.  

p. 318  You can feel it: it’s like the hum of electric lights, the change in atmosphere, as the train pulls up to the red signal. I’m not the only one who looks now. I suppose that everyone does it – looks at the houses they pass – only we all see them differently.  

The ever present train gives the author, Paula Hawkins, a way of viewing the world from a different angle. It’s a neat perspective. Join Rachel, The Girl on the Train, and help her find herself and solve the mystery of one night. Don’t be lulled by the clickety-clack of the old train. Punch a roundtrip ticket – it could take a while.



  1. I've heard mixed reviews of this book. Regardless, it's a good setting for a story and reminds me of the many strange characters I saw every day when riding the train to work in London.

  2. Sure sounds intriguing. What an amazing premise.

  3. Oh, I don't know...messy characters, compulsive read, canned gin. Bless her heart...she's a mess. I'll have to wait on this one...I'd get clickety clacked with a one way ticket and probably never get to the solving part on the return trip.

    Glad you signed up for the Challenge...Yay!
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  4. I've read this one. You described it well in your review. I thought it was one of the better books I've read recently.

  5. This sounds exceptionally good - like Alfred Hitchcock in book form. Thanks for the review, Joanne. I don't tend to read fiction, but this one tempts me.

  6. Train rides have inspired so many great stories. This sounds like another good one.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  7. I like the idea of a "page turner," and a "compulsive read!" That's how I felt about Gone Girl, and I've been looking for something to take its place. Thanks for the wonderful review, Joanne!


  8. Good news book worms, The Girl On The Train Audio Book is officially available on AudioBooksNow.