Paula Hawkins takes readers on a train ride (pun intended, you ride the train a lot in this book) of mystery and emotions, when you cannot quite remember what happened:
She rides the train in to London every day, just to cover up that she has lost her job and is no longer working. While on the train each day she starts it with a few drinks and watching the people who live along the train line. She passes her old residence where she had love and a future. Now there is a new happy couple living there and one of them is her ex-husband Tom. This is why she drinks, she cannot face the life that she now has when she once had the best life with Tom. the other house she notices is the one at the end of the street, where a new couple lives and she imagines them having a perfect life as they both look perfect. But when Megan goes missing, Rachel feels like she has seen something, knows something about her life that can find her. She wants to help the police but her own turmoil of a life put everything she knows and saw as well as her life at risk.
I tend to stay away from books that have a lot of hype around them (like fifty shades of grey) at least until the hype dies down a bit but I'll admit that I picked up this book because that it was being turned in to a movie and I always like to compare the book and movie. Based upon how amazing and awesome this book is being hailed, it took me way too long to finish it and I do not think that I should be able to figure out the "big" twist ect, fairly early in the book too, so this hindered my overall enjoyment of the book. I think that Hawkins does a good job of trying to lead the reader to different opinions on what not only happened to Megan but ultimately who is responsible, I just think her attempts were lacking in imagination.
I liked Rachel as a main character with all her flaws around alcoholism, blackouts and her bipolar disorder. This adds real dimension to her character as she tries to muddle through what happened to her that night. All these flaws make her character not only damaged but also interesting. As her mind is pretty jumbled chapters about her and from her point of view can be frustrating as a reader as you really just want her to remember. Her decision making process is also not the greatest too and she end up getting herself in trouble more than once with the decisions she makes, but it is her overall eagerness to help that makes her endearing and the character you cheer for.
I think that I must have a different idea of what a thriller is supposed to be but for me other than the last quarter of the book I did not have this feeling. For me a thriller needs to leave me on the edge of my seat, have me staying up late to read just one more chapter and this did not achieve this for me. It was an interesting who-done-it type of book, but thriller it is not.
For me this book was a disappointment due to all the hype associated with it and the fact that it was being turned in to a movie. I would read another book by Hawkins as I think that she explored some interesting aspects in the book especially around Rachel's alcoholism.