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.