Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. – Goodreads
A debut bestseller is like the first born male child in an Indian family – nothing and no one can beat it. This expectation of brilliance following a stunning debut often plagues many writers. Paula Hawkins isn’t exactly an exception, but she didn’t totally succumb either. She can keep you hooked that’s for sure, but can she excite?
With Into The Water, Paula Hawkins has tried to show the darkest sides of human misery. She has tried to show us characters who are dynamic and complicated but has instead just shown us extremely selfish and confused characters. None of the characters have any kind of personal development nor do they exhibit any humanity. The characters focus solely on themselves and have a tendency to behave like five-year-old kids, stomping in the cookie aisle. They want what they want when they want it.
The story itself is simple – a woman drowns in a stream. The investigation into whether it’s suicide or murder forms the rest of the story. Unlike Girl on The Train, one glimpse on the last page tells you exactly who did what. While the ending should have been surprising, the fact that there was minimal character development, made the ending almost anti-climactic.
Had we known how the characters thought, what their inner most fears and desires were, we would have an absolutely shocking ending. But, that didn’t happen. Mid way in the book, the readers are pushed in the direction of certain characters and so that makes it obvious that whoever we are being pushed towards, isn’t the real deal.
There’s almost a generation gap that one can see in the writing itself. The way teenagers are portrayed seems stereotypical and unimaginative. The portrayal of mothers and father is also very typical.
The writing as a whole is decent. If you’re looking for something as fun and imaginative as Girl On The Train, don’t pick up this book. This book seems like a step back, rather than a step forward. If you’re looking for an easy, decently written read, then definitely pick up this book from a local bookstore. Seriously, get out of your house and see which bookstores are nearby.
Stars – 2.3/5