Tag Archives: mystery

Train of thought: An entertaining mystery

train

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?

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