Author: Paula Hawkins
No. of pages: 368
Genre: thriller, contemporary, suspense, mystery
Year of publication: 2017
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.
I have to admit that I bought this book without having read a blurb or anything, but since I loved The Girl on the Train, I thought I’d love this one as well. And so I did!
The story started off a little bit confusing: there are many different POV’s, all people who live in the small town where the story takes place. They don’t seem to have anything to do with one another. And that’s one of the things I really liked about it: Hawkins did a really good job on bringing all the separate lives together in the end. Everyone (thinks that they) had something to do with the death of Nel, but all in their own way. It’s ‘funny’ to see how the actions of someone can affect someone else’s life, without them even directly talking to each other.
One of the things that has stayed with me is that some POV’s are written in the I-form and others in the he/she-form. The I-form POV’s were written like you are reading a diary or personal letter, especially Jules’s: she speaks to her (dead) sister in the you-form, so it seems like she’s talking to you, the reader, which makes it really personal.
Another thing I loved about this story is the atomsphere. I love (mystery) books that take place in the UK, because I love the feeling that they give me. The small mysterious villages, the innocent looking nature that’s actually dangerous when you come too close and its people with all their secrets. And man, all the people in the book have their secrets and all of them are important to the plot. You don’t get to know the secrets right away, but slowly, one by one. Even the very last line of the book tells a secret, you didn’t know before. And it’s not only the secrets that build up suspense, but also the human memory: one ‘chooses’ what s/he wants to remember and how. A+ on supsense!
I just have to make a small comparison with The Girl on the Train, which I liked slightly better. I think it has to do with all the different POV’s in Into the Water. It just confused me from time to time, and I kind of lost the people’s building of character because of that.