Confession time: I first picked The Girl On The Train up a few months ago and did not finish it then, because I felt it was moving too slow for my taste. Plus, I assumed it was yet another one of those over-hyped runaway hits. I remember it was being touted as the next Gone Girl or something (for the record, I haven’t read Gone Girl).
Big, big mistake, I gotta say! This book is spine-chillingly, goosebumps-rendering-ly brilliant! (apologies for the weird adverbs). I should not have abandoned it the first time.
The Girl On The Train is the story of Rachel Watson, who, after going through a bitter divorce, sinks into deep depression and alcoholism. She is fired from her job, but she cannot bring herself to admit this to Cathy, her roommate. So she takes a train to London every morning, pretending to go to work and returns every evening. From the train, she can see her old house, the one she shared with her husband Tom Watson, where he now lives with his new wife, Anna, and their daughter Evie. A few doors down is another house – of a young couple, who look very much in love to Rachel. She observes them every day, names them Jess and Jason. Their real names are Megan and Scott Hipwell. One day, Megan goes missing, and Rachel gets embroiled in the mystery, because she is convinced she knows something about the disappearance, but she cannot piece it together because of memory loss caused by her drinking habit.
This is a story filled with darkness. Brilliantly written, through multiple POVs, following a non-linear sequence. It’s frightening that despite the flaws of all the characters, in an odd way, I could relate to them all! Creepy, right?
Very few authors surprise me any more. I am not boasting, but I’ve read several well-received thrillers where I could figure out the ending from a mile away. Honestly, I expected the same from this book, what with my mind all clouded with, “Oh this is just one of those…” but I got engrossed, and the ending just came at me like a… well, like a train (sorry, couldn’t resist!) I did not expect that! Shocking and superb.
Buy it on Amazon.