Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

IMG_4707“Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.”

In her follow up to The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins is back with a story about two mysterious deaths in a town that is itself shrouded in mystery. A woman is found dead in the town’s infamous river, leaving behind her fifteen-year-old daughter. The fact that a young girl met the same fate not too long prior to this, raises many questions. But these are not the first such deaths, as there are stories of a number of women meeting their end in that river. Through the perspective of a handful of characters that are either connected to the deceased or part of the investigation, the story slowly unravels, revealing many long buried truths.

“No one liked to think about the fact that the water in that river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women; they drank it every day.”

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As someone who was a big fan of The Girl on the Train (could not put it down), I was excited to see what Paula Hawkins would release next. I didn’t go into this new book with any particular expectations, just the hope of a good book and an interesting read. I was definitly not disappointed. There are certain aspects of this novel that are similar in  nature to The Girl on the Train, such as multiple character perspectives, unlikable characters, and the unreliability of memory. However, Into the Water has a very different feel and stands on its own. Each chapter provides the perspective of a different character, and as the novel progresses you really begin to get a feel for this small, unsettling town and its tragic history. Even though there are a number of characters introduced, I never felt lost or struggled to keep track of everyone, and piecing together all the ways everyone is connected was part of the initial intrigue.

I wouldn’t say this book is gripping or suspenseful, but rather more laid back and methodical in the way it slowly assembles the pieces and unravels the mystery. Into the Water provides an intriguing mystery, memorable characters, and a chilling and eerie tone that sets the stage for an enjoyable read.

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