Review│The Girl on the Train

the girl on the trainAuthor: Paula Hawkins // First published in: 2015 // Genre: Mystery // Get it @TheBookDepository
This edition: 10 h 59 min (unabridged), published in 2015 by Random House Audiobooks
Read by: Clare Corbett, India Fisher, Louise Brealey // Get it @Audible

Read in February 2015

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

A debut psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally entangled in a murder investigation because of something she witnesses on her daily commute.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every night. Every day she rattles over the same track junctions, flashes past the same stretch of cozy suburban homes. And every day she stops at the same signal and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof deck, living the perfect life that Rachel craves for herself – a lifestyle she recently lost. She looks forward to observing this household every morning, even makes up names and narratives for its residents. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden, and soon after, the woman who lived there disappears.

My thoughts

I haven’t read that much mystery novels, but I’m still starting to think that maybe they aren’t for me… Or is it just that The Girl on the Train feels a lot like Gone Girl? (Yeah, I’m one of 3 people in the world who weren’t blown away by Gone Girl)

I really don’t know what to say about this book… It was good, and then I got bored.

At the beginning, I thought the story was rather engaging and the mystery aspect was interesting, and it made me want to come back to it to know more. However, it started to slow down. In the middle of the book we hear a lot about the therapist, his relationship with other characters of the story, and it got a little bit boring for me. That character isn’t really interesting, he has no endgame, he is just there to provide a reason for the main characters to reveal personal details about themselves that we could have easily learned since they are the narrators. Oh yeah, because this is a multiple POV book; which I think is the main reason why people tend to compare it to Gone Girl. I am a little on the fence with multiple POV narratives because they can go either way: it’s distracting and not really well done (hello Allegiant), or it can definitely serve the story. In the case of The Girl on the Train I’d say that it serves the story, but I wasn’t too crazy about it either.

The main focus of the book is on the female characters; we hear the story from their POV. I wish the characters of the detectives could have been a bit more developed though; I think the point of view of the female detective could have been interesting.

Listening to a book instead of reading it was definitely something new for me, and it makes it more difficult to pinpoint specific things about the writing. I can’t even remember what it was now, but I wasn’t bothered by the writing for the majority of the book, and in the end (roughly the third tier of it), I started noticing little things that I didn’t really like. But like I said, I was listening to it, don’t have a hard copy of the book, and can’t really go back to check what exactly it was that bothered me (I listened to it at night, before bed, so I wasn’t exactly taking notes).

The voice-actors were quite good, especially the one who played Megan (Meghan? See, not being able to read the names can create awkward situations like this where I don’t even know how to write the characters’ names), Louise Brealey, who I later discovered is also on the TV show Sherlock. I had some concerns about India Fisher though, who plays Anna; I felt like her voice didn’t match at all the description of the character.

My rating:

I am giving this book 3.5/5 stars, because the mystery was solid, but I didn’t enjoy that much the journey to get to the end of it.

Do you have any recommendations for me for what my next Audible book should be?

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