Your Next Must-Read Thriller, Into the Water
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"I didn't have to be fixed, I could be fluid. Like the river. Perhaps it wouldn't be so difficult, after all."
Although many readers were obsessed with The Girl on the Train and Paula Hawkins had high expectations to live up to, I think she did the unthinkable with this book: She surpassed even her own writing.
For me, I thought The Girl on the Train was just an okay read. I loved the narrative pattern and the whole concept. I just thought the middle of the book lost its edge. Into the Water, however, was completely different in the fact that it never lost my attention for a second. Hawkins weaves together an intricate tale of family secrets, love, power, and revenge. Her expert writing kept the plot moving the entire time. I was stunned by the book and the secrets revealed up through the last paragraph.
The book focuses on a small town rocked by tragedy after tragedy, all centered around a cliff by a particular river. The book opens with a second death that has just happened. Lena's mother and Jules' sister has just died in what seems to be a suicide. However, questions surface as to what really happened on the cliff and if her death could be linked to the death of Lena's best friend, Katie, who died in a similar way.
The characters were lovable in this book and really easy to connect with. I liked that both Jules and Lena, although family, are very distant from each other and very flawed. I liked that they were not perfect characters in any way and both suffered great loss in life. Their relationship and the changes in it was a nice backdrop to the horror of the book.
There are a lot of narrative perspectives in this book, which was hard to keep track of at times. However, I think that is the lure of Hawkins' books; they are complicated to the point that when you finish, you are in awe that she pulled it all together. I liked that I never had everything figured out. I loved the dynamic characters and relationships.
I also loved how everything, even flashbacks, came back to the water. It became not just a setting and plot element, but almost a character in itself.
This book is definitely a must read for 2017. Hawkins shows us again why she is one of the greatest writers of our time with this novel.
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