The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train

by Paula Hawkins

Overview: The Girl on the Train has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since Gone Girl…Paula Hawkins…[is] no slouch when it comes to trickery or malice…Ms. Hawkins scrambles the timing of scenes, with Megan gone in one chapter and then present in the next. She also shifts well among her narrators' points of view to keep the reader on edge, and only as the book progresses do these different perspectives begin to dovetail. Scrambling a story is easy, but it's done here to tight, suspenseful effect.

Rona Simmons (02/03/16): Admittedly in the mold of Gone Girl. An interesting premise, and one that I think about often as well, that is, people watching and imagining. How often have you wondered what the real lives are behind the faces and public interactions viewed (in the case of this book by a girl on a train). Of course Rachel, one of the narrators has more than a glimpse of the people she focuses on and obsesses over.

I should have realized that the ending would echo that of Gone Girl -- no spoiler here, but be prepared for a fast paced but drawn out (how is that possible) hectic close to what I though worked far better in the early pages.
Rating: ***

Judy Stanton (05/14/15): Sometimes I forget how much I used to like reading mysteries; The Girl on the Train brought me back to the days when my preferred novels were whodunits. Now I remember why! Wow! Paula Hawkins did a great job of pulling the reader in and adding enough twists and turns so that one was never really sure how the story would turn out. I have to admit, I lost track of the dates on the individual story points-of-view, but I found I still got it without having to go back and figure out the timeline. I could definitely see this as a movie, fast-paced, lots of action, romance and betrayal, and a surprise ending! A great read.
Rating: *****

Debbie Weiss (03/29/15): I really enjoyed this book! Like Gail indicated in her review, this book is very similar to "Gone Girl", but I actually liked this one better. The perfect couple --- now the wife is missing --- where is she? Was she abducted, did she run away, is she still alive? If abducted, who took her and why? The story is told mostly from the viewpoint of Rachel, the girl on the train, but also from the viewpoint of the missing girl and from the viewpoint of another neighbor of the missing girl, who happens to be the new wife of the ex-husband of Rachel. Rachel has some information that might be helpful in the investigation, but due to a drinking problem, she is considered an unreliable witness.
Rating: ****

Gail Reid (03/10/15): More than 6,000 Amazon readers reviewed "The Girl on the Train" so who am I to pass up a bestseller and a thriller? When a young British woman disappears outside of London, the main character Rachel observes a very important clue while gazing out the window on her daily train ride. The problem is that Rachel, an unreliable witness, drinks all the time to escape the sorrow of her husband leaving her for another woman. Told from the alternating voices of the woman who goes missing, the "other woman" and Rachel, the book is somewhat suspenseful and stylistically similar to "Gone Girl." But the comparison ends here because these characters lack any real depth and the plot is somewhat straightforward. The book would be fun to read on vacation or to escape but I personally think there are better choices out there.
Rating: ***

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