When a book gets a lot of buzz around it and there’s talk of movie rights, etc. then it’s truly time to check out the title and see what all the fuss is about.
The Girl on the Train is a first novel for former journalist Paula Hawkins. The premise is simple: a daily train commute staring at the same buildings day in and day out. There are predictable stops that become part of the background. Some people are always on this train and others are occasional users. What’s different about Rachel, the girl on the train, is that she recognizes some of the houses at a stop. She used to live in one, with her ex-husband, and now he’s living there with his new wife and baby daughter. A few doors down are one of those perfect couples: Jason and Jess (her names for them) have a great marriage, great looks, and great sex. Rachel is envious. But she is about to learn that things are never quite as they seem.
One day the perfect woman whose real name is Megan goes missing and the tabloids are frantic with pictures, suspects, and plenty of dirt. Rachel is questioned by the police when her ex’s new wife Anna tells them she was drunk and out of control when Megan disappeared. From then on Rachel inserts herself into the investigation and into the lives of those she knows and those she fantasizes about knowing.
The ending is suspenseful and unpredictable. I was suspicious about who the bad guy was and I was right but for all the wrong reasons. Even the keenest detectives are occasionally stumped!