Book Review: Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

 “The things I want to remember I can't, and the things I try so hard to forget just keep coming.”

― Paula Hawkins, Into the Water

British novelist Paula Hawkins' 2017 thriller Into the Water is a page-turner. It is Hawkins' second thriller of a full length after The Girl on the Train's success. Despite the book's popularity, which included being a Sunday Times best seller and appearing in The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2017, the reviews weren't as enthusiastic as they had been for her first thriller. The large cast of characters (the tale is told from the perspectives of 11 individuals) and vocal resemblance caused several commentators to become perplexed.

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.

My reaction to the novel...

As a book reviewer, I wasn't thrilled with Paula Hawkins' first book, The Girl On The Train, which went on to become a No. 1 bestseller and a huge smash at the movie office. So when I went to a bookshop to buy some books to read and one of the sales ladies suggested this one, I hesitated because I didn't want to be let down, but in the end, I chose to buy this book.

I may tell that this story made me feel so uneasy that I got shivers all over. I like to read mystery/thriller books, so this one caught my attention. It undoubtedly captured my attention, and I occasionally feel anxious about reading it. Despite the fact that I've read several horror novels in the past, this one is unique. Since her first book, The Girl On The Train, read like a Gone Girl narrative, Into the Water differed from her earlier work in that it had a good conclusion.

The abundance of characters in this novel was its lone flaw. The huge cast of characters—while not as numerous as those in Charles Dickens' Bleak House—might be bewildering to readers. Since each character's voice is written in a similar story-telling or sounding manner, even I grew bewildered. Leaving that aside, the book's narrative will have you on the edge of your seat since it is unexpected. It did a great job with the mystery, and even though I figured out whodunit, it was still an exciting book to read. Everyone who appreciates reading mystery/thriller books should definitely consider reading it.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨(3.5/5)

“Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.”

This adage is accurate. Still waters are frequently deep, they claimed. It also means that, on occasion, we should exercise caution around those who are solitary and reserved since we can't possibly know what goes through their minds. It can be too deep for us to comprehend or access. That is something I have heard from my elders.

“Grief, shock, it affects people in strange ways. I’ve seen people react to bad news with laughter, with seeming indifference, with anger, with fear.”

When faced with unpleasant news, each of us responds differently. Some people might believe that we must retaliate negatively when we get unpleasant news. But we can't know how other people think. Some people may have coping methods, which explains why they exhibit different emotions from us. Some people may already be accepting the news that may shock them or may still be in denial. Depending on what the individual has gone through, reactions may also vary. That is how the mind functions. It is intricate and bizarre, but also exceptional in many ways. 


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.