Into the Water
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .

Into the Water Details

TitleInto the Water
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 2nd, 2017
PublisherRiverhead Books
ISBN-139780735211209
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Suspense

Into the Water Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going straight down the middle with a 3-star rating but, in truth, my thoughts are all over with this book. I think the only way I can make sense of it is to break it down into points.1) This book is very different from The Girl on the Train.That ad that keeps flashing up saying "If you liked The Girl on the Train, you'll love Into the Water" is bullshit. Into the Water doesn't focus in-depth on any character, but rather moves between the perspectives of many members of a British town. While I'm going straight down the middle with a 3-star rating but, in truth, my thoughts are all over with this book. I think the only way I can make sense of it is to break it down into points.1) This book is very different from The Girl on the Train.That ad that keeps flashing up saying "If you liked The Girl on the Train, you'll love Into the Water" is bullshit. Into the Water doesn't focus in-depth on any character, but rather moves between the perspectives of many members of a British town. While both books contain themes of memory and the limitations on its reliability, the mysteries feel very different.2) The cast of characters is big. Arguably, too big.I'm torn as to whether I think this is a negative or not. I know many readers will be turned off by the many, many points of view circulating in this book. There is Lena, daughter of the deceased Nel, and Nel's sister Jules; there's both of the detectives - Sean Townsend and Erin Morgan - as well as Sean's wife, Helen, and his father, Patrick. There's the teacher from Lena's school - Mark Henderson - and the local "psychic", Nickie Sage. There's Louise Whittaker, whose daughter died, and also her son, Josh. I may have even forgotten some.On the one hand, this allows for a distant style of narration that never makes it easy to warm to any of the characters. Seeing as - on top of this - most of the characters were pretty despicable, I didn't spend much of my reading time liking anyone. However, in a weird way I didn't hate it. The moving between so many characters, each with their own stories and secrets, reminded me of the TV show Broadchurch, which I actually really enjoyed. I like all the interlocking stories and histories going on within this town and how every character has some reason to seem guilty.3) It's not as suspenseful as The Girl on the Train.Or, at least, it wasn't for me. It's more on the domestic side of "domestic thriller". I felt less tension and excitement pulling me through. It was more of an examination of various ties between people in a small town, and how everyone was in some way linked to the woman found dead.4) Let me emphasize once more-- everyone is unlikable.Some people commented on my review of The Girl on the Train saying how they just hated everyone in the book. If you felt that way, I highly recommend skipping this one because the characters are even worse. I personally quite like to read about shitty people, and I found Rachel from TGotT to be an interesting and sympathetic character despite everything, so it was not a huge issue for me. But, seriously, there are some truly fucked up, awful people in this book.5) The ending was a little anticlimactic.I think this whole book was quieter, on the whole, than it's predecessor. The people sucked, it's true, and yet the stories were less dramatic; the climax less punchy. I never felt like I was hit with a reveal; there was no "oh my god" moment, or even much of an emotional change. The book drew gently to a close.All this being said, I can't deny that I enjoyed it. I wouldn't rush to call this a "pageturner" and yet my interest in this town's many overlapping secrets kept me turning the pages anyway. I know that Hawkins's future books will be on my list.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    congratulations, 2017 goodreads choice winner in best mystery & thriller!! oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best mystery! what will happen? review posted at los angeles review of books!! here:https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/a...reviewing this for L.A. review of books - and they sent me a finished book instead of an ARC! these britches! i have become too big for them!
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  • Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars* (rounded down after more consideration)It’s almost inevitable that this book will be compared to The Girl on the Train, which is a pretty flattering testament to the magnitude of a book’s success. Into the Water, however, stands on its own and easily separates itself from its notable predecessor. This story is unique and its large cast of characters are bold and distinguishable. The only commonalities I found are ones I went into this book anticipating: phenomenal writing and a wide *3.5 stars* (rounded down after more consideration)It’s almost inevitable that this book will be compared to The Girl on the Train, which is a pretty flattering testament to the magnitude of a book’s success. Into the Water, however, stands on its own and easily separates itself from its notable predecessor. This story is unique and its large cast of characters are bold and distinguishable. The only commonalities I found are ones I went into this book anticipating: phenomenal writing and a wide spread of mystery. The tone was a chilling blend of eery, dark, and haunting—held steadily to the end, creating a world that was easy to get lost in. However, even with these treasured factors at play, I didn't end up loving this one as much as I’d imagined. As compelling as the foundation was, after a while, the plot began feeling like it consisted only of build-up and explanations without much else unfolding. The story is told through the alternating perspectives of over ten different characters. It was certainly a lot to take in and keep track of, but it also upped the intrigue and gave the structure a quick, choppy sort of flow. In keeping up with the “girls gone missing/crazy/dead” theme that seems to be all-the-rage-and-staying-that-way-dammit, this plot surrounds the mystery of a series of girls (past and present) whose lifeless bodies have turned up in the infamous “Drowning Pool”. Every character is questionable, which is typical and fun, but there are instances when *blame* can seem to spread too evenly between suspects, as was the case here for me. It makes the focus on each character too equal and sort of dulls the opportunity for surprise. I wasn't shocked by the turn out, or maybe I wasn't all that impressed. Despite being granted the less-pronounced, swift conclusion I prefer, I didn't feel that gut-punch of a twist-well-done. It felt more matter-of-fact and slid past me without sparking much of a rise in my emotions. (Although it did raise a couple questions, one in particular I’m still trying to figure out...)All of that said, I had a hard time putting this one down and soared through it in roughly a day or so. It was a decent, worthwhile read, and I can’t say I wouldn't recommend, as long as you're not expecting another TGoTT!
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    When I first started reading this "much-awaited" second novel by Paula Hawkins, I was so impressed by her ability to create such an eerie, chilling description of what I had hoped was a taste of what was to come--reminiscent of old, black-and-white, British movies. I remember wondering at the time she was writing, if she might have been imagining this book becoming another movie. That's how it began to feel--too much attention was given to the details of the surroundings.The author gives a quick When I first started reading this "much-awaited" second novel by Paula Hawkins, I was so impressed by her ability to create such an eerie, chilling description of what I had hoped was a taste of what was to come--reminiscent of old, black-and-white, British movies. I remember wondering at the time she was writing, if she might have been imagining this book becoming another movie. That's how it began to feel--too much attention was given to the details of the surroundings.The author gives a quick introduction to each of the 10 characters. This is about five more than I can comfortably keep track of. In between these characters, chapters of a book being written by one of them is added in throughout the storyline on previous drowning victims, which also adds to the confusion."Into The Water" is about who drowned, when they drowned, and why they drowned. After bouncing me around from one character to the next through the first half of the book, my interest quickly started to wane. At no time did I feel any suspense building nor could I form a connection with any of the unlikable characters. The ending was lackluster, leaving me with several unanswered questions.2.5 stars.
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This is not an easy book to get into. Lots of diverse characters and you are left trying to suss out who’s who and what is happening and why so many people don't seem to like Nel and are glad she's dead. But the book does grab you. You only see glimpses, back and forth, but they are fascinating, shimmering glimpses, like trying to determine what's underneath the water. Hawkins excels at keeping the reader off balance. There are twists throughout. I liked the premise. Nel is the latest death in t This is not an easy book to get into. Lots of diverse characters and you are left trying to suss out who’s who and what is happening and why so many people don't seem to like Nel and are glad she's dead. But the book does grab you. You only see glimpses, back and forth, but they are fascinating, shimmering glimpses, like trying to determine what's underneath the water. Hawkins excels at keeping the reader off balance. There are twists throughout. I liked the premise. Nel is the latest death in the drowning pool. Girls and women have either been put to death or killed themselves here for centuries. Her death appears a suicide, as did the girl’s before her; her daughter’s best friend. So the police are trying to ascertain what actually happened. They keep catching everyone in lies, so they keep investigating. Everyone blames someone else, everyone is pointing fingers. And there's plenty of blame to go around. The book really picks up steam in the second half and the ending is perfect. I did not see that coming! Not as good as Girl on the Train, which was phenomenal, but enticing in its own right.
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    * Thank you to www.shotsmag.co.uk for my ARC for which I have given an honest review*Nel Abbot was found dead in the river, just a few short months after the death of her daughter's best friend Katie in similar circumstances. Nel had lived in Mill House by the river her entire life, and most of her memories pretty much revolved around this dark and forbidding body of water, particularly 'The Drowning Pool'. It's a place of secrets, mysteries and witchcraft. Nel was completely obsessed with stori * Thank you to www.shotsmag.co.uk for my ARC for which I have given an honest review*Nel Abbot was found dead in the river, just a few short months after the death of her daughter's best friend Katie in similar circumstances. Nel had lived in Mill House by the river her entire life, and most of her memories pretty much revolved around this dark and forbidding body of water, particularly 'The Drowning Pool'. It's a place of secrets, mysteries and witchcraft. Nel was completely obsessed with stories of 'troublesome' women who had lost their lives in the 'Drowning Pool' including a 14 year old girl pronounced as a witch during the Witchfinder Trials in the seventeenth century.Nel leaves behind a daughter, (15 year old Lena) who appears to harbour secrets of her own, and she's just one of many in this small town of Beckford. It's a small town with big secrets.The tragedy brings Nel's sister Jules back to the place she swore she'd never return to. She's Lena's only family now, but they've never met and relations between the two are somewhat strained to say the least.The narrative is told from many viewpoints, with each chapter being devoted to a different character. I particularly enjoyed the way this worked, as it gave each character plenty of depth. The fact that they were bite sized chapters too, was an added bonus.There was something of a slow start, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of it, as the hints at witchcraft and mysteries, and where this story was actually going, really kept me gripped. There's a sinister air throughout, with unknown voices and footsteps on creaking floorboards in the dead of night. There are lots of threads to the storyline, lots of frayed edges, but Paula Hawkins pulls them all together to create a fascinating read.
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Ummmmmm........I wouldn't recommend listening to a book for the first time on audio with 6,695 POV's! I may read the physical book and see if I like it. I just can't like this book at this time. It switched so many times between dates and people that I wanted to throw the book! Well, audio on the tablet across the room! I would never have gotten the audio if the summary would have said there are 1500 people in the book! Sigh! The group of narrators were good though. Now that I think about it, I Ummmmmm........I wouldn't recommend listening to a book for the first time on audio with 6,695 POV's! I may read the physical book and see if I like it. I just can't like this book at this time. It switched so many times between dates and people that I wanted to throw the book! Well, audio on the tablet across the room! I would never have gotten the audio if the summary would have said there are 1500 people in the book! Sigh! The group of narrators were good though. Now that I think about it, I might not re/read it. I don't feel like reading about rapists and a bastard that drowns a cat. Seems everyone and things get drowned or something. I guess The Drowning Pool is a good name for the river, lake, water. Whatever! My friends seem to all be half n half. There are 2 stars, 3 stars and 4 stars. So, I guess it's whatever you like it don't like 😊Happy Reading! Mel ❤️
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  • Mohammed Arabey
    January 1, 1970
    لصوت جريان مياة النهر سحرمريح..أو مثير للقلققد يجذبك لأعماقه للراحة من ماض قاس، أو يدفعك أحدهم للتخلص من اضطرابه الخاصومؤلفة 'فتاة القطار' تعود بقصة اكثر نضجا، بعشر شخصيات مختلفةفي قصة عن النهر، الماضي، الذكريات..واضطهاد المرأةA Small Town by the River, 10 Characters' Perspectives; of One recent 'Into The Water' Death; that rippled a River of other Past tragic Memories.** The Story ** القصة **"النهر يمكنه أن يرجع للماضي ويجلبه كله ويبصقه علي حوافه ليراه الجميع..ولكن البشر لا يمكنهم""The River ca لصوت جريان مياة النهر سحرمريح..أو مثير للقلققد يجذبك لأعماقه للراحة من ماض قاس، أو يدفعك أحدهم للتخلص من اضطرابه الخاصومؤلفة 'فتاة القطار' تعود بقصة اكثر نضجا، بعشر شخصيات مختلفةفي قصة عن النهر، الماضي، الذكريات..واضطهاد المرأةA Small Town by the River, 10 Characters' Perspectives; of One recent 'Into The Water' Death; that rippled a River of other Past tragic Memories.** The Story ** القصة **"النهر يمكنه أن يرجع للماضي ويجلبه كله ويبصقه علي حوافه ليراه الجميع..ولكن البشر لا يمكنهم""The River can go back over the past and bring it all up and and spit it out on the banks in full view of everyone, but people can't." It's simple, they found her in the water... she jumped...But a hell of past history of persecution against women comes upon this small town... as if the river decided to bring this past and spit it with Nel's body..From Witch ordeal trials, to blame girls & women of men's infidelity.With a depressing tangled story about Women, Sisters and friends, Mothers and Daughters, Love and affairs, Memories and Tales..And .. Forgiveness.القصة هذه المرة قد تظهر بسيطة ، جثة أمرأة وجدت علي جانب النهر ، الأمر واضح، أنها قفزت..أنتحرتلقد كانت مهووسة بتاريخ الغارقات في "بركة الغرق" تلك ، سواء كجريمة أضطهاد ضد المرأة كما هو الحال منذ قديم الازل ، منذ محاكمة الساحرات، او أنتحارا كما يحدث لليائسات في كل زمانولكن النهر كما لفظ جثة نيل ، لفظ ايضا الماضي...المثير للمشاكل ...الذي دفن باعماق النهر كالغارقات فيهوجولز، أخت نيل ، وجدت نفسها تعود لتلك البلدة الصغيرة بيكفورد لتعتني بأبنة أختها المراهقة "لينا" برغم من الماضي المعقد بين الاختين...بل بين جولز نفسها والنهرلتكتشف سر عداء اغلب اهل البلدة لاختها...لانها كانت تنبش في نهر الذكريات، تبحث عن قصص الغارقات فيه اليائساتومن خلال وجهة نظر 10 شخصيات مختلفة ، رجال ونساء، نكتشف أسرار حوادث الغرق المؤخرة ، وماضي البلدة واهلهافي قصة عن المرأة والاضطهاد ... في قصة عن الماضي والذكرياتقصة عن الاخت وعن الام وعن الابنةقصة عن الماضي وخيانة الذاكرةوالاهمقصة عن التسامحلتقدم المؤلفة هذه المرة قصة اكثر نضجا وتشابك من فتاة القطار بكثير ، تعدد الشخصيات بها وتعدد القصص منحها اثارة أكثر وقلل من مساحة الرتابة او الملل الذي شعرت به في بعض اجزاء رواياتها الاوليPaula Hawkins did a great work this time, much better I guess from The Girl on the Train.. here's there's more going on, tangled characters' history.. many possible suspects , even if I predict it by the second half, It kept surprising me with twists, till the very end..The writing style was still -as I loved in TGOTT- sad and depressing, and the story has heart breaking scenes and strong characters confrontations..Speaking of characters;** The Characters Craze ** الشخصيات ** The 10 Characters perspectives -add to that chapters by the dead character's own written book- was a crazy idea , I was like; that's 3 more characters than A Game of Thrones, in even half the pages count.. But it turned out perfect... more than perfect, they may seems all different, even some of them unnecessary at the beginning.. but deeper you get 'Into The Water', the more you realise they're not-that-different characters.. and everyone have an important role in the whole mystery.Yet, I loved Jules character so much since the beginning, her hard complicated past with her sister, the river..and men. - I cast her as Bree from Desperate Housewives, I don't know why she reminded me strongly with her... - Just as Rachel in TGOTT, I felt sad and care much for this character despite her sad depressing feelings and even her faults..Jules chapters also written very uniquely and smart...all the time her perspective is she's telling what's happening as if she's talking to her dead sister..That was really heartbreaking...with all the twists happening.And why I said it's not-so-different-characters? , cause every perspective has its own haunting dead loved/or hated one..Lena, the teenage daughter's who lost her very best friend and mother in the same month.. her scene with Louise -her best friend's Mother- was a great well written one.Sean Townsend, the police and his father Patrick,and wife Helen, and their complicated past, since Sean lost his mother when he was so young...and his 'affair' recently.And Erin, his partner in the case of Nel's death, she also suffer a troubled past.-thoughI feel she's a bit the weakest character here-Nikie, the old town's hag, she also speaks to the deads... but not metaphorically, she's a witch descendent, her grand grandmother the first to be drowned in the river in Witches Ordeal Trials..I really loved the mystery, this puzzle game where every character seems to hide something... and chapter by chapter the picture get clearer...some mysteries reveals. ...as if the river really brings everything from the past.. from deep into te water..to spit it by the end..(view spoiler)[ Yet Mark, the teacher, we never knew his fate by the end... it's left to the reader.Also the Nel's hand bracelet is a bit unclear. YET I really loved the last revelations, the twist by the last chapter. (hide spoiler)]أجمل ما في الشخصيات انه برغم كثرتهم ، 10 شخصيات، ألا ان هناك خيوط تربطهم كلهم معا ، هناك بعض التشابهة بينهمكلهم لهم من فقدوه في النهر، لهم حادث ما يجمعهم حرصت المؤلفة ان تزيد من جرعة الغموض في بدايات كل منهم لدرجة انك في البداية ستشعر انه لا لزوم لكثرة الفصول من وجهات النظر المختلفةلكن بعد الربع الاول وعندما تبدا المواجهات ستجد ان كل شخصية لها دور مهمكل غموض مرتبط بالاخر ومرتبط ايضا بالصورة الكبريشخصية جولز ، اخت نيل، هي المحببة الي قلبي، مرة اخري تنجح المؤلفة في كتابة شخصية البطلة بشكل يجعلك تتعاطف معها وتتوحد معها رغم عيوبها وضعف شخصيتها ... بالظبط كما فعلت مع ريتشل في القطاركما ان المواجهات بين الشخصيات مكتوبة بشكل ممتاز ، لينا -ابنه نيل- سواء مع ام اعز صديقاتها -التي غرقت ايضا- او مع المدرس الذي كان يحبها ، وبالطبع مع جولز ، خالتها التي مجبرة الان ان تعيش معها...كل هذا جاء ممتازا~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~التشابك بين الشخصيات وجو البلدة الصغيرة علي النهر، بل وتيمة المسئولية ولو كانت هنا موجودة بشمل بسيط ذكرتني كثيرا برواية جي كي رولينج المنصب الشاغر مع فارق الحكاية طبعاAll this tangled characters, also with the small town by the river 'Beckford's setting ,reminded me heavily with J.K. Rowling's 'Pagford'.. in The Casual VacancySmall Town, One Death, Many tangled Characters, River, Responsibilities... but of course much different kind of story.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~** The Verdict ** النهاية ** عندما شككنا ان فتاة القطار ضربة حظ من المؤلفة ، حاولت اثبات نفسها بكتابة قصة اكثر تعقيدا وتشابكا واثارةقد تتنبا مرة اخري بالنهاية بمنتصف الاحداث لكنك ستظل تفاجا حتي النهايةاذا اعجبتك فتاة القطار او شعرت بشئ من التعاطف تجاه شخصيتها فبالتأكيد ستعجبك جولز هنا وبعض الشخصياتواعتقد انك ستحظي بنهاية مرضية هنا ايضا(view spoiler)[فإذا كنت مثلي تحب النهايات الهادئة او السعيدة لشخصياتك المفضلة ، كما حدث في فتاة القطار ، هنا ايضا النهاية سترضيك تماما (hide spoiler)]Since we thought The Girl on the Train is just a fluke, a one time big hit... Here is a certain deal that the author really can make a good story. And she got it in making characters you can feel them and care for them.Adding a very little bit of magic into the mystery was good, just to serve the theme of the persecution against women... The Troublemakers...So, It's a hot, and hot summer needs a cool reads.. so get; Into The Water. ,It's really worth it. Mohammed Arabey"During the Mystery & Thriller week here @Goodreads"From 1st May 2017To 7 May 2017
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  • Elyse
    January 1, 1970
    Twisted, suspenseful, spooky & eerie--mysterious to the very end--( wasn't even expecting I like this book much- so nice surprise) I found the book free in "The Little Library"...box-give-a-way-exchange in front of a neighbors house.........gorgeous descriptions and visuals created of scenery --an enthralling textured large cast of characters, ( lots of thinking about these people), and an ending that stopped me cold. Taunting exquisite prose. I might have liked this more than "The Girl On T Twisted, suspenseful, spooky & eerie--mysterious to the very end--( wasn't even expecting I like this book much- so nice surprise) I found the book free in "The Little Library"...box-give-a-way-exchange in front of a neighbors house.........gorgeous descriptions and visuals created of scenery --an enthralling textured large cast of characters, ( lots of thinking about these people), and an ending that stopped me cold. Taunting exquisite prose. I might have liked this more than "The Girl On The Train"....It was more multi-layered. 4.5 rating!
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  • Abby (Crime by the Book)
    January 1, 1970
    Find my full review here: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2017/4...This book was, unfortunately, a disappointment to me. Convoluted plotting, WAY too many characters to keep track of, and an overall lack of suspense made for a less than engaging read. I'm sure many readers will enjoy this one, but if you're looking for a psychological thriller with the addictive pacing & shocking plot twists of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, I wouldn't recommend this one.
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  • Wendy Darling
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThe good news: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was not a fluke. The not-so-great news: this book's plot and characters are less compelling, and its flaws much more obvious. Review to come of the audio edition.
  • Book of Secrets ღ
    January 1, 1970
    I lost patience with INTO THE WATER early on. By page 32, I counted seven different POVs. Confusing! A few more POVs were added after that. Basically the story was about a place called "The Drowning Pool" where several women died, beginning in the 1600s. The latest death is a woman who was writing a book about this seemingly cursed place. Sounded promising, but turned out to be dull. Needed more suspense! I was looking forward to this book, but in the end it was just meh.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is a 2017 Riverhead Books publication. ‘No one wanted to think about the fact that the water in that river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women; they drank in every day.’The river has a history of claiming women, but no one would have thought they'd fish Nel Abbott out of its depths. When Nel's body is recovered, her estranged sister, Jules, returns home to identify her sister's remains, and to take care of her niece, Lena. As Ju Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is a 2017 Riverhead Books publication. ‘No one wanted to think about the fact that the water in that river was infected with the blood and bile of persecuted women, unhappy women; they drank in every day.’The river has a history of claiming women, but no one would have thought they'd fish Nel Abbott out of its depths. When Nel's body is recovered, her estranged sister, Jules, returns home to identify her sister's remains, and to take care of her niece, Lena. As Jules struggles with her emotions, and tries to reach out to a very angry and troubled, Lena, she searches for clues about her sister’s death. Was it an accident, a suicide or murder? Irrevocably connected to Nel’s death, is the death of Lena’s best friend, a suicide victim, also claimed by the river, which has left the community on edge. Are the two deaths connected? If so, how?I was warned, repeatedly, this book was not, I repeat, NOT at all like TGOTT. Okay. That is very, very good to know, and if you are planning on reading this book, you will be glad you were forewarned. I was prepared before I read the first paragraph, but, despite all those dire predictions, I really did want to keep an open mind. If anyone was capable of maintaining a reasonable perspective, I figured it might be me, because while the world went gaga over ‘The Girl on the Train’, I was cooling my heels waiting for a copy of the book at the library. When I finally got my hands on a copy, I was perplexed. The book was good, really good. But, I’ve read many books that were at the very least on par with ‘TGOTT’. I couldn’t figure out what it was about THAT book that had bowled everyone over. The best part of its success, for me, was that it seemed to spawn a renewed interest in the psychological thriller category, and gave the genre a fresh perspective and long overdue makeover. This past year, alone, there were a slew of wildly entertaining debut thrillers, but I had to be careful not to overindulge for fear of burning myself out. Too much of good thing and all that. But, I regress. My point is, TGOTT was above average, and was a catalyst for many other wonderful books brought to press, but it was not THAT great, in my opinion, so my expectations were not unreasonably high to start off with, but I was still curious to see how the author responded to all that hype with the publication of her second novel. At first, it did seem as though all those dire predictions were coming true. The first part of the book was pretty messy, and almost mind numbingly boring. There are entirely too many characters, all with their own first person perspective, which was a very bad idea. The setting, with old legends, and superstitions, passed down about the river, did help to create a gloomy and edgy atmosphere, but it wasn't enough to promote any sense of urgency or impending doom. If fact, most seasoned mystery/thriller readers will probably have no trouble piecing together the string of events without even breaking a sweat. By the time I finally nailed down all the characters and what role they played, the book did begin to gel and the plot finally started to thicken and I finally started to sink my teeth into it a little. The second half of the book finally begins to bring everything together and the story does have some merits. It’s not a pretty delivery by any means, but it is worth sticking around for, just to see how it all comes together, or to see if justice is served at long last, or if the river will win out in the end. Sometimes when a book achieves a pinnacle of success, it’s almost impossible for an author to replicate it. The insurmountable pressure to match that success must be unnerving, to say the least. Also, we all know publishers can add pressure too, by pushing for more too quickly, in hopes of cashing in on that momentum. Sometimes the desire to milk the cash cow, takes precedence over the artistic license of the author, who is pressured to turn something over before they are comfortable with it. I can’t say that is what happened here, but the book did feel like it had been rushed into publication without the full spit and polish. Whoever allowed it to be published with all those POV's should be ashamed. I really do not enjoy, or like. to judge too hashly, but, as much as I had hoped the naysayers were wrong, I must agree this book has some serious flaws. But, I do wonder if we would have been so unforgiving if this were an unknown author, who had not just risen to superstar status practically overnight? 2.5 stars
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    Into the Water by Paula Hawkins was the book selected by my blog followers as my Book Bucket read for January 2018. Each month, I hold a poll where you can pick from 12 books I want to read, rotating a new one in and out each month. I was excited to read this one, but hadn’t read Girl on the Train before, so Hawkins is a new author for me. I enjoyed the book a great deal, despite a few areas that didn’t quite work for me, but I’d still recommend it to others as a strong thriller and suspense nov Into the Water by Paula Hawkins was the book selected by my blog followers as my Book Bucket read for January 2018. Each month, I hold a poll where you can pick from 12 books I want to read, rotating a new one in and out each month. I was excited to read this one, but hadn’t read Girl on the Train before, so Hawkins is a new author for me. I enjoyed the book a great deal, despite a few areas that didn’t quite work for me, but I’d still recommend it to others as a strong thriller and suspense novel.The novel focuses on a small town in England, following a core set of about 10 characters. Chapters alternate to provide the history and perspective of multiple deaths by drowning in a local river. It all begins with the death of a suspected witch from several hundred years earlier, culminating with a few deaths in modern times that could be suicide, accidental or murder. As each character shares parts of the story, readers learn what truly happened to each victim.Ignoring the historical murders, the current day plot is intricate. Several teenagers fight to be popular or earn respect while in high school. Sisters struggle to accept their differences with one another. Parents and children argue about parenting styles. Families are broken by affairs. Police detectives walk a fine line of doing the right versus the wrong thing. Each of the stories are weaved together in a way you can’t help but want to know all the connections. And there is, of course a ‘surprise’ twist in the end… which for many readers, probably won’t be a surprise.I’m primarily a plot reader, followed closely by character. The plot is definitely strong; however, at least 50% of the characters have some flaws or issues in how they were written. Keeping characters in the grey zone is important within a suspense novel; readers need to know that they might be missing part of the picture, but in the end, it should be clearer than it was in this book. For 3 characters, I felt like the actions didn’t quite match what we’d come to expect from the personalities we’d gotten to know – and it wasn’t due to the grey area. It felt like a totally new character had replaced the ones we’d spent attaching ourselves to. If there are connections we just failed to see because of how good the writing is, then I am OK with it. But if it feels disconnected, then I think the book fails a bit. That’s what I felt happened here… what started out as a 4.5 rating began going south as parts of the plot unraveled. It was clear the entire way that something wasn’t right with a certain character, yet the twist in the end doesn’t do any justice to ‘why’ certain things happened.All that said… as I kept turning the page, my interest was held and I liked many aspects of the book. I lowered my rating by 1 star because of how it seemed to fall apart in the end… ending somewhere between a 3.5 and a 3.75, rounded up to a 4 in the rating. I’ll keep reading Hawkins’ novels, but if another has a similar downturn, I might not stick with it.
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  • Rachel Reads Ravenously
    January 1, 1970
    First things first, I want to point out how very rare it is for me to rate a book 1 star. In fact, in the last 5 years, I have read a total of 1,257 books, and only rated 20 of them with a 1 star. That's 0.015%. So before all of you jump on me, or the trolls come running, know that I just hated this book that much.I will give this book 1 thing, and 1 thing only: Paula Hawkins is an amazing writer. Her words flow across the page, and it's why I continued to read this book. The writing basically d First things first, I want to point out how very rare it is for me to rate a book 1 star. In fact, in the last 5 years, I have read a total of 1,257 books, and only rated 20 of them with a 1 star. That's 0.015%. So before all of you jump on me, or the trolls come running, know that I just hated this book that much.I will give this book 1 thing, and 1 thing only: Paula Hawkins is an amazing writer. Her words flow across the page, and it's why I continued to read this book. The writing basically deceived me into thinking this was better than it was.I'm going to break down what didn't work for me:-the beginning is extremely confusing, multiple POVs and no context of the character. Made it hard to keep track of things.-This book could have been MUCH shorter, needs a heavy dose of cuts/editing.-about 170 pages in and there still WAS NO PLOT. I mean, how can you write 170 pages of a book, and not have a coherent plot in place? -It was about 250 pages in that I began to get irrationally angry that I was reading this book. It wasn't going anywhere, all the "twists" were obvious. It followed so many cliches. Basically, to me other than the writing there were no redeeming qualities. I never read Girl on the Train, I only saw the movie, but I can guarantee I won't be reading anything by this author in the future. She sent me into a rage (it's rare, but it does happen).Follow me on ♥ Facebook ♥ Blog ♥ Instagram ♥ Twitter ♥
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  • Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this one more than The Girl on the Train, but I still think it had its faults. The writing was definitely above that in TGotT, and I appreciated the variety of characters and voices in this one. Even 80% of the way through the novel I wasn't totally sure where it was going—part of me liked that and part of me didn't. I didn't mind not having clear answers up until the end, but I also didn't feel like there was much drive or mystery to propel the story along. It's definitely not as thr I enjoyed this one more than The Girl on the Train, but I still think it had its faults. The writing was definitely above that in TGotT, and I appreciated the variety of characters and voices in this one. Even 80% of the way through the novel I wasn't totally sure where it was going—part of me liked that and part of me didn't. I didn't mind not having clear answers up until the end, but I also didn't feel like there was much drive or mystery to propel the story along. It's definitely not as thrilling or intense as her first novel. It focuses more on the characters, their motivations and relationships, and how that all unfolds throughout the story. I thought it was more of a developed story and had complexities that TGotT lacked; but it almost sacrificed that excitement I expected from Hawkins for a bit of a dragging plot to focus on the characters. If it had balanced these two elements—plot and character development—just a bit more, I think it could've been a 4 star book for me. 3.5 stars
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Clickety clack.....The conductor is taking tickets on an already crowded train with an over-abundance of character passenger cars. This train is headed into a very dark tunnel.The Drowning Pool is known to its surrounding inhabitants as a draw for women who seem to end their lives quite badly. It has a tainted history that reaches far back into the 17th century with the drowning deaths of young females accused of being witches. Even as of late, there have been three questionable deaths involving Clickety clack.....The conductor is taking tickets on an already crowded train with an over-abundance of character passenger cars. This train is headed into a very dark tunnel.The Drowning Pool is known to its surrounding inhabitants as a draw for women who seem to end their lives quite badly. It has a tainted history that reaches far back into the 17th century with the drowning deaths of young females accused of being witches. Even as of late, there have been three questionable deaths involving women living in this area. Not quite the real estate draw. Don't think you should get off at this stop.Nel Abbott takes to writing a history of these events. When she, herself, ends up dead, her teenage daughter, Lena, searches for answers. Jules, Nel's sister, returns to this town for the very first time in years for the funeral. She and Lena are on opposite sides of the spectrum here. They interact with each other like oil and water. Lena has not only lost her mother but her best friend, Katie, as well.Was this suicide or something more?Well now. It's never about the writing when it comes to Paula Hawkins. She certainly has a way with words: "Louise's grief was like a river: constant and ever-changing. It rippled, flooded, ebbed and flowed, some days cold and dark and deep, some days swift and blinding. Her guilt was liquid, too; it seeped through cracks when she tried to dam it out. She had good days and bad."But there should have been a whistle stop along the way. Hawkins goes for breadth instead of depth in this one. The number of essential characters is mind-boggling to say the least with such heavy backstories on each one. Each character submits a point of view as well. The reader wades through quite a bit of zigzag in order to reach the final destination. Too much of a good thing.No one can even admit to knowing what it must be like to write a follow-up book after the blockbuster, The Girl On A Train. But Hawkins stuck with her three main characters in that one who kept her storyline riveted to the tracks and delivering at the final station. Into the Water proves that more is often times just more.I would encourage you to read Into the Water for your own take on whether it delivers or not. The talent oozes out of Paula Hawkins like delicious ice cream on a hot day. I'm stickin' with her and will look forward to future offerings. She proves that she has many a tale to tell.
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  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    This novel was one of my highly anticipated reads for 2017. I had it preordered since January on my kindle (hence how ecstatic I was). Going into this I knew I loved her first best selling debut and tried my absolute hardest not to compare to her first. But, we tend to all do that a little bit unfortunately.This one was a little difficult for me to get into and I was pretty confused at the start of the novel. So many characters and my head was spinning trying to connect with the storyline. It fi This novel was one of my highly anticipated reads for 2017. I had it preordered since January on my kindle (hence how ecstatic I was). Going into this I knew I loved her first best selling debut and tried my absolute hardest not to compare to her first. But, we tend to all do that a little bit unfortunately.This one was a little difficult for me to get into and I was pretty confused at the start of the novel. So many characters and my head was spinning trying to connect with the storyline. It finally started to pick up around 50 percent for me. Hawkins has a beautiful writing style and is quite symbolic and metaphoric. What I really really enjoyed was the supernatural aspect of this one! Very very cool! I do have to say towards the end I was a little confused again with trying to connect the dots. I found my attention span swaying in and out of the story due to confusion. If I could give some advice, I would go in blindly to this story and an open mind. It definitely helps not to read reviews before you begin! :). I am definitely interested in others thoughts on this one! So come back and share when you have read it!! 😊Overall, 3 stars.
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  • Annabel Dunstone Gray
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked Girl on the Train, so maybe I was expecting too much. SO MANY characters (and way too many POVs) and kind of a tangled plot. By the end I didn't care much about who had done what.
  • Megan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    I really just wasn't into this book. I was lost most of the time and not able to keep up! There were too many characters in the book to keep track of. Just not a book for me :(
  • Margitte
    January 1, 1970
    Paula Hawkins, a freelance journalist from London, firmly proved herself as a versatile writer by publishing romantic comedies under her pen name Amy Silver, as well as huge successful thrillers under her own name. Girl On The Train was a phenomenal bestseller, which she followed up with this second thriller Into The Water.This book reminds me a lot about The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling(a magnificent read in itself). Both books have the community of a small town in common, who address the impa Paula Hawkins, a freelance journalist from London, firmly proved herself as a versatile writer by publishing romantic comedies under her pen name Amy Silver, as well as huge successful thrillers under her own name. Girl On The Train was a phenomenal bestseller, which she followed up with this second thriller Into The Water.This book reminds me a lot about The Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling(a magnificent read in itself). Both books have the community of a small town in common, who address the impact and involvement of all the inhabitants in solving a mysterious death, with various narrators relating the events to authorities and readers. From the book's epigraph: "We now know that memories are not fixed or frozen, like Proust’s jars of preserves in a larder, but are transformed, disassembled, reassembled, and recategorized with every act of recollection. Hallucinations ~ Oliver Sacks"Breckford, a small town in the British Isles must come to terms with the death of a single mother. A multi-character tale is told in which the truth and the memories populating it, become a conundrum of regrets, secrets, lost opportunities and redemption. Everyone feels guilty, nobody is willing to take the blame. Erin: "It's a fucking weird place, Beckford. It's beautiful, quite breathtaking in parts, but it's strange. It feels like a place apart, disconnected from everything that surrounds it. Of course, it is miles from anywhere - you have to drive hours to get anywhere civilized. That's if you consider Newcastle civilized, which I'm not sure I do.Beckford is a strange place, full of odd people, with a downright bizarre history. And all through the middle of it there's this river, and that's the weirdest thing of all - it seems like whichever way you turn, in whatever direction you go, somehow you always end up back at the river. Those who stayed behind after the latest death of Nel Abbott had to deal with the mysterious attraction to the Drowning Pool in the river for women committing suicide. It was the legends surrounding these mysterious deaths that attracted Danielle(Nel) Abbott to the pool for the book she was writing about these women and their demises. After her own death, she leaves the unfinished manuscript, as well as a fifteen-year-old daughter behind, who has no father listed on her birth certificate. Nickie: "Some of them went into the river willingly and some didn't, and if you asked Nickie - not that anyone would, because no one ever did - Nel Abbott went in fighting. But no one was going to ask her and no one was going to listen to her, so there really wasn't any point in her saying anything. Especially not to the police..."From Nel's manuscript:The Drowning Pool', Danielle Abbott (unpublished):I decided, while in the process of trying to understand myself and my family and the stories we tell each other, that I would try to make sense of all the Beckford stories, that I would write down all the last moments, as I imagined them, in the lives of the women who went to the Beckford Drowning Pool. Its name carries weight; and yet, what is it? A bend in the river, that’s all. A meander. You’ll find it if you follow the river in all its twists and turns, swelling and flooding, giving life and taking it, too. The river is by turns cold and clean, stagnant and polluted; it snakes through forest and cuts like steel through the soft Cheviot Hills, and then, just north of Beckford, it slows. It rests, just for a while, at the Drowning Pool."As atmospheric as you can wish for; picturesque as you can get, and intriguing as you cannot imagine. Although the numerous narrators created constant confusion, the storyline was never broken, and the suspense kept flowing strongly along the river of words pulling this gripping saga together. This is an excellent crime thriller. One of those sleep-snatchers. Another book in the same genre, worth reading is Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg. RECOMMENDED!!!
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  • Miriam Smith
    January 1, 1970
    "Into The Water" is the second book written by global bestselling author Paula Hawkins. Considering I didn't connect with "The Girl On a Train" at all, I therefore didn't know what to expect from "Into The Water". However, I was very pleasantly surprised at just how much I truly enjoyed this entertaining book - its completely different in every aspect and although slow burning it still races along and keeps you constantly entertained.Blurb - 'In the last days before her death, Nel Abbott called "Into The Water" is the second book written by global bestselling author Paula Hawkins. Considering I didn't connect with "The Girl On a Train" at all, I therefore didn't know what to expect from "Into The Water". However, I was very pleasantly surprised at just how much I truly enjoyed this entertaining book - its completely different in every aspect and although slow burning it still races along and keeps you constantly entertained.Blurb - 'In the last days before her death, Nel Abbott called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call The Drowning Pool.....'There are quite a few characters to get your head around initially but there's a very helpful cast at the front of the book that really helped and it all soon fell into place and I was immersed in them all. Once I understood how they related to each other, I enjoyed uncovering their story and point of view and unraveling the dark and twisty mystery. Written in quite a unique format, the story is told through the multiple viewpoint of all the main characters whose narrative is rather unreliable, showing just how easily memories can be washed away and truths hidden. I was mostly ambivalent about the characters but I did like Nickie Sage and loved how she brought some light hearted fun to the story. Most of the characters were grieving in some capacity and this did make for quite a sombre ambiance at times but with a underlying theme of strong women and their power over others and a background history of witches being persecuted in a drowning pool, I thoroughly enjoyed the lovely story. It was deeply satisfying and even now, days later I'm still thinking about it. I loved the description of the fictional riverside town of Beckford and enjoyed that the locale was set in a neighbouring area of mine and liked that I could relate to the areas mentioned.I do think this will be another 'love it or hate it' book but I loved it and look forward to more by Paula Hawkins in the future, I do recommend it and would happily read again.5 stars
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I was one of the fans of Girl on a Train but this is something else. Beautiful writing, totally immersive narrative, multiple viewpoints and clever little twists, its like Paula Hawkins had a bit of a practice with that girl on that train and then went YEP I can do this better so gives us Into The Water. Full review nearer publication.
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars. This novel was averagely enjoyable for me – not especially good, but not bad either.I should start by saying that I was one of the readers who liked “The Girl On The Train” but didn’t think it was overly impressive. Perhaps I am simply not the target audience for Paula Hawkins writing.The first half of this novel had me intrigued but then my interest slowly fizzled out. I stopped caring for any of the characters or where the storyline was headed. The suspense that Hawkins was building s 3 stars. This novel was averagely enjoyable for me – not especially good, but not bad either.I should start by saying that I was one of the readers who liked “The Girl On The Train” but didn’t think it was overly impressive. Perhaps I am simply not the target audience for Paula Hawkins writing.The first half of this novel had me intrigued but then my interest slowly fizzled out. I stopped caring for any of the characters or where the storyline was headed. The suspense that Hawkins was building seemed to be lacking something – the holding back of information which is supposed to keep the reader hungry for more began to get irritating for me. Hawkins developed a secretive side for almost every character which seemed a bit overkill and highly unlikely. Yes, there were a lot of narrators which was confusing at times, but I was able to piece them all together so that wasn’t a big issue for me. With that being said, I think that some of the narrators could have easily been omitted and it wouldn’t have taken anything away from the story.I liked the short chapters that kept the story fresh. I enjoyed the excerpts from “The Drowning Pool” manuscript - it was interesting to read each woman’s history and it was a good change of pace for the flow of the book.Overall, the story was entertaining but not addictive. The ending was satisfying but not all that surprising for me. I’m very curious to see how this books’ success will compare to TGOTT.
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  • Carmen
    January 1, 1970
    DNF.I won't say much, but I have a few thoughts. Paula Hawkins isn't a bad writer. Look at this part:I lay on my bed in silence. I can't even listen to music because I feel everything has this other meaning that I didn't see before and it hurts too fucking much to face it now. I don't want to cry all the time, it makes my chest hurt and my throat hurt, and the worst thing is that no one comes to help me. There's no one left to help me.She flares towards the wildly dramatic, I mean that her writi DNF.I won't say much, but I have a few thoughts. Paula Hawkins isn't a bad writer. Look at this part:I lay on my bed in silence. I can't even listen to music because I feel everything has this other meaning that I didn't see before and it hurts too fucking much to face it now. I don't want to cry all the time, it makes my chest hurt and my throat hurt, and the worst thing is that no one comes to help me. There's no one left to help me.She flares towards the wildly dramatic, I mean that her writing style is overwrought and sometimes laughably full of drama.However, for some unknown reason she puts a dozen or so perspectives in here. She tells this story from so many people's points of view. Why? Who knows. More isn't always better, Hawkins. It's hard to remember who is speaking and how they are related to everyone else. Moreover, who cares?!I also have a real problem with (view spoiler)[child rape. Well, rape in general but when a child is raped... o.O It's very hard for me to read about and that was really the point where I abandoned ship. (hide spoiler)]Your tastes may vary....UPDATE: I have removed this from my DNF shelf as I have finished the book. Mainly to stop whiners from showing up on my review and whining, *Carmen adopts a high-pitched whine* "Oh, you have no right to rate this! You didn't even finish it!" I finished it and it is pretty disgusting on many levels.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    This was a tangled mess. The story is told by numerous characters from their own perspectives. It bounces back and forth in time. It also includes some pages written by one of the deceased. Sometimes this writing method overly confuses things, and this time is one of them. I had lots of trouble keeping the characters straight. I had to stop at one point, go back to the beginning and make notes of character names and relationships. There were also a few times I had to go back to review certain de This was a tangled mess. The story is told by numerous characters from their own perspectives. It bounces back and forth in time. It also includes some pages written by one of the deceased. Sometimes this writing method overly confuses things, and this time is one of them. I had lots of trouble keeping the characters straight. I had to stop at one point, go back to the beginning and make notes of character names and relationships. There were also a few times I had to go back to review certain details of the plot.Overall I enjoyed the storyline. If you’re looking for something suspenseful or twisty or thrilling, this book isn’t it.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 35%The writing style and mass amount of POV's is annoying me to no end.
  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    My first GR giveaway win! And a winner it was. I was highly anticipating this novel, as were a lot of us, I suspect, after Girl on the Train . I went into this with no expectations and was warned about the lengthy cast of characters. I was careful at the beginning to keep them in order and that helped with my enjoyment of this novel.I won't recap because there are fantastic reviews out there from one to five stars. The folklore about the river at the beginning set the stage to its power and myst My first GR giveaway win! And a winner it was. I was highly anticipating this novel, as were a lot of us, I suspect, after Girl on the Train . I went into this with no expectations and was warned about the lengthy cast of characters. I was careful at the beginning to keep them in order and that helped with my enjoyment of this novel.I won't recap because there are fantastic reviews out there from one to five stars. The folklore about the river at the beginning set the stage to its power and mystery. The telling of the story about its two latest victims had me turning the pages to know their intent and draw to the river. Plenty of twists to keep me intrigued. Part IV wrapped the novel up nicely and left me with a feeling of satisfaction.
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  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestPaula Hawkins's work falls rather easily into a category that I - yes, patronizingly - call a "best-seller book." These types of books are too "high brow" to be considered a pulpy potboiler (which I love) but too "low brow" to be considered true literary fiction (which I also love). Book clubs love them, which is pretty much the only reason I ever end up reading these types of books. As far as I can tell, "best-seller books" are basically t Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestPaula Hawkins's work falls rather easily into a category that I - yes, patronizingly - call a "best-seller book." These types of books are too "high brow" to be considered a pulpy potboiler (which I love) but too "low brow" to be considered true literary fiction (which I also love). Book clubs love them, which is pretty much the only reason I ever end up reading these types of books. As far as I can tell, "best-seller books" are basically the Kim Kardashians of the book world: famous for being famous and making headlines and, well, not a whole lot else.I was not super psyched when my IRL book club chose this as our book of the month because I had read THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and found it disappointing, over-hyped, and dull. It was clearly written with Gillian Flynn in mind but someone needs to tell this author that she's no Gillian Flynn, as she - and her readers - clearly haven't gotten the memo, because I am constantly seeing these two touted in the same breath. NOPE. Not even close.Gillian Flynn writes tightly woven narratives featuring morally gray female protagonists who are compelling because even though they do awful things, they are sympathetic and relatable. As far as I can tell from INTO THE WATER and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, Paula Hawkins writes about irritating, whiny little stereotypes who are all equally unlikable, and it's less about finding the murderer than who shares the greatest percentage of the blame. INTO THE WATER manages to one up its predecessor, though, by featuring an even greater cast of unlikable stereotypes than before. LITERALLY EVERYONE GETS A NARRATIVE POV IN THIS BOOK. The investigator? Check. The aunt? Check. The daughter? Check. The teacher? Check. A random psychic? Check.Someone please, please get Mariah Carey in here to tell all these people she doesn't know them.The plot is equally weak. A woman dies in a pond, called, appropriately enough, The Drowning Pool (which would have made a much better title for a thriller, in my opinion, than INTO THE WATER, which sounds like the name of a 1950s musical set at the beach). She is survived by her daughter and her sister, who sort of want to find out why she killed herself, but also not really, because the woman who died was a really awful person. Her daughter and sister are also really awful people, and so, as it turns out, are the rest of the people in this town. Pretty quickly, it turns out that a number of them had good reasons to want the Pond Woman dead, and it might just be murder and not suicide. #SurpriseI feel like this book was going for a Midsomer Murders vibe, but it didn't capture that same compelling atmosphere of a small town in everyone else's business or the complex relationships that form between flawed individuals who are desperately trying to keep up appearances while at the same time making sure all skeletons stay firmly ensconced within their closets. I spent most of the book being incredibly bored as I waded through POV after POV, and when the grand reveal(s) came, it felt totally anticlimactic and poorly handled. If you're going to deal with a serious issue, don't do it for sport, all right? Handle it as it deserves to be handled, and not for sensationalism. That's what tabloids are for.This book is probably going to turn into another stupid movie that I'm not going to see, because for some reason beyond me people actually think this author's books are suspenseful and good. I'm fine with that: you do you, like what you like, etc. etc. But if you were like me, and found yourself compelled by a book club (or morbid curiosity) to pick this up after reading and being burned by THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and its false comparisons to GONE GIRL, let me save you the trouble - DON'T. Just put this book down and reread GONE GIRL or SHARP OBJECTS instead.1.5 stars
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  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    When Jules sister is found dead in their home town in the place known locally as The Drowning Pool, she is both horrified and yet unsurprised as Nel was always obsessed with it and the tales of witches and suicides around it. However when things start to look like Nel was pushed not only are their families secrets and fractured relationships but those of the whole town. Brilliant. If it looks like it took ages to read I had an operation in the middle. Ha.
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