Tuesday, January 27, 2015

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins Audio Edition

Hailed as a stellar debut this psychological thriller has such a seemingly everyday plot that one is comfortably drawn in - after all how many of us board a train for our daily commute to the office?  And, how many simply pass the time by looking out the window?

Such is the persuasive power of British journalist Paula Hawkins that she allows us to contentedly settle in and then abruptly discomfits us with unexpected twists.  The principal narrator of this can’t-stop-listening-to tale is Rachel Watson who is unable to forget the past - she is obsessive about her ex-husband, Tom.  She is reminded of their life together on a daily basis when her train passes the Victorian home they once shared.  Rachel’s imagination runs away with her when a few houses down from her former home she sees an attractive couple apparently enjoying life together, happily having breakfast on their roof deck.  She so longs for the life they are having that she makes up names and conversations for the couple.

In actuality the couple’s names are Megan and Scott Hipwell.  Then one day Megan is not there, and Rachel sees on the front page of a newspaper that she is missing.  She is not able to help going to the police with what little she knows, and finds herself in the midst of a mystery.  The police determine that she is unreliable after Anna, Tom’s new wife, tells them that Rachel was drunk and in the area about the time that Megan disappeared.

Author Hawkins carefully and concisely alternates between accounts given by Rachel, Megan and Anna.  Suspense to the nth degree!  And heightened by superlative narrations by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey and India Fisher.  Each is an accomplished actress and together they bring this story to intriguing, shocking life.


- Gail Cooke

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