Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
The verdict is in: Paula Hawkins was able to successfully deliver a solid second novel. Yes, I would call this one a psychological thriller much like Girl On the Train, but it’s a completely different kind of “psychological”; this book literally has a psychic element to it that adds a very interesting twist.
Another difference that worked really well for me: the number of narrators. Into the Water has 15 separate narrators that appear throughout the book. Some of them only have one or two chapters, while others are present through the entirety of the story. You might be wondering how 15 narrators (15!) could possibly be a good thing, so I’ll explain. Having this many narrators keeps the point of view in constant flux, as well as the time frame of the story.
Yes, the story is constantly moving forward toward the climax, that who-dunnit moment, but the shift in narration prevents it from begin a straight, boring, predictable ride.
If I had to diagram my explanation, it would look like the scatter point graph to the right.
Ultimately, I think fans of the genre and fans of Hawkins will enjoy this book. It’s a change from her first book, so it doesn’t feel like an attempt to simply duplicate her first round of success. Instead it’s a unique story that showcases her ability to create complex, often unreliable, characters through whom she can tell a story.
About the author (from her Website):
PAULA HAWKINS worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. She is the author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water. An international #1 bestseller, The Girl on the Train was published in 50 countries and over 40 languages. It has sold over 18 million copies worldwide and has been adapted into a major motion picture. Hawkins was born in Zimbabwe and now lives in London.
Thank you to Booksparks for sending me an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.