I had high expectations for Paula Hawkins’ next book after her excellent The Girl on the Train.
Into the Water proved worthwhile but did not blow me away. From the cover blurb the book is an addictive new novel of psychological suspense about the slipperiness of truth – and one family drowning in secrets.
Nell Abbott had been researching the various deaths by drowning in the local river. All young females, all mostly declared suicides. Now Nell is dead. Was she influenced by her research? Was she suicidal? Or was this murder? Nell’s daughter – a vulnerable angry teen is being taken care of by Nell’s sister, Jules. Jules and Nell had been estranged, so the family dynamics are messy and Jules is not comfortable with dealing with her niece. Various detectives offer their narrative too. Plus we have the strange local flavor of the town psychic, etc. Also, Hawkins reverts to the past to give viewpoints from previous drowning victims.
I like first person chapters, but this book had too many people telling their story and it was hard to keep a continuing thread for forward progress. Into the Water is well written. It ultimately zooms along rapidly at the end to tie everything up. The book was good, not fabulous. There was a lot of deception and hidden secrets in a small town.
From the cover blurb – Beware a calm surface – you never know what lies beneath.