Train of thought: An entertaining mystery


Train image courtesy of Jadrodc, Pixabay.

In the reception room at my church, we have a book exchange. You pick one or more books off a cart, read them and bring them back at your leisure. I’ve found some real treasures there: a Janet Evanovich, some Nora Roberts, a David Baldacci and the occasional how-to book, all of which are marvelously entertaining.

And speaking of entertaining: I saw The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins and snagged it off the cart. (I’m a sucker for trains — one of my relatives was an engineer.) The movie’s coming out in October 2016, so I decided to read the book first and get familiar with the plot.

The book’s protagonist is Rachel Watson, an ex-wife and recovering alcoholic. She takes a commuter train and notices a couple as her train stops for a signal. Later, the wife goes missing. And that starts the mystery. (Hitchcock would have loved filming this book.)

I’ll stop there so I don’t ruin the plot for everybody. I’ll only say that the plot has more twists and turns than a Shenandoah Valley back road. (Trust me, I’ve driven on those roads.)

Paula Hawkins uses an intriguing approach in the book. She tells the story through the first-person perspectives of three different women: Rachel, Anna and Megan. You might think that approach would be confusing, but the skillful way the author tells the story makes it easy to follow.

I can’t help speculating what would have happened if Paula Hawkins had added a male viewpoint to the book as well. That would have added even more interesting twists to the plot. Imagine the creative possibilities.

I started rooting for Rachel as the book progresses. She’s a flawed character and knows it, but she’s trying to get better. Rachel demonstrates some goodness in the book, even though she’s having trouble dealing with the end of her marriage.

I look forward to seeing what the movie people do with the book. It should be fun to watch.

Blog readers, have you read the book? What did you think?



Filed under Writing

26 responses to “Train of thought: An entertaining mystery

  1. I haven’t read it but now I desperately want to before the film!

  2. Servetus

    I think part of the point of the book is that it doesn’t have a male viewpoint. The critique of gender roles would fall apart completely.

  3. have not read it yet….but you have convinced me to give it a whirl….

  4. travelrat

    Hmm! Quite often, the film bears no relation to the book except for the names of the characters and the title,,, the Bond films are the best example.

  5. I’ve heard the book buzzed around quite a bit. I’m stuck in a project reading bios of authors. I did read Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time. Who would have Richard III could be a mystery?

  6. I will keep an eye out for this one, preferably on Audible. I’ve been doing a lot more listening than reading these days. My eyes thank me.

    I’ve driven those roads too. Always wanted to drive them in a real sports car.

  7. I read it! It was troubling in many ways, but sure is a page turner. I didn’t know they are making a movie from it. Any idea who stars in it?

  8. I haven’t read the book, but now I will! As for the movie, I seem to find movies based on books woefully lacking in that they deviate from beautifully written books in inexplicable ways. Why don’t they ever stick to the original plot?😐

  9. This is the second review of this book I’ve read in the last week, so that must be some kind of omen to read the thing! I’ve been interested in its premise for a couple of years now, but have always found something else instead, meaning to “get to it” eventually. Your fine post has piqued my interest and I’ll get the book and get started without further ado! 🙂


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