When the body of a single mother turns up at the local river, infamously named ‘The Drowning Pool’, it sparks an investigation with the local community; this is not the first girl to be found dead in this situation. Jules may not be mourning her late sister, but she is dragged back to a place she had once escaped before to care for the orphaned child and uncover some old memories.
It’s undeniable that I loved ‘The Girl on the Train’. But it is also pretty clear that ‘Into the Water‘ is nothing like previous writing from Hawkins. So many people have brought up comparisons, which I think is just inevitable when it is following in the footsteps of such a successful thriller. Here, I found too many problems or disappointments to rate this more than a 3/3.5.
Firstly, there were way too many characters for my liking; I felt like a couple of narratives could’ve been left out altogether and we still would have conveyed the same storyline that we see with the amalgamation of POVs that were provided. It left me over thinking just to remember who each character was and what part they played in the years of storytelling that took place.
Due to the over-saturation of characters, I didn’t feel any connection to any of them. That may or may not have been the intention all along, but I just didn’t care enough for any of those that died and those that were involved. Which leads onto another unfortunate negative; the unexciting and pretty anti-climatic conclusion, which barely felt like a conclusion to me. For me, the ‘surprise’ seemed to just appear out of nowhere and not give any real impact to the three-hundred pages i had already read.
Despite all this, I’m not at all saying I didn’t enjoy this book. When I mull over what I’ve read, I just think about the what could have been a brilliant novel with more twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes. I was eager to find out more and Hawkin’s writing did manage to keep my interest, alas, it wasn’t quite what I may have hoped for. I still keep getting excited at the thought of ‘The Girl on the Train’, but there is nothing like that here unfortunately.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published: 2017 by Transworld Publishers Ltd