Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Review - Into the Water

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.


  1. Wonder how it would be as a movie. I did like the movie "Girl on a Train."


    1. Not sure if it would translate easily to the screen

  2. Sometimes it can get annoying when you jump around from person to person so much.

  3. Persomally I think it would make a great movie. Wonderful review Joanne.


  4. Alternating points of view can be tricky, but if it's done well, it can work.

  5. I've read a number of other reviews on this book, saying pretty much what you've said. It's good... but not as good as the first one. With all those POVs, it sounds like she may have gotten a little over-ambitious.