Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

When I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I wasn’t blown away. However, I chalked up my feelings to the fact that I had just recently read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and was comparing every thriller to that one. So when I heard that Hawkins had released another thriller, I thought that this one would give me a better idea of whether I liked her or not, especially since my last read wasn’t a thriller. Here is my review:

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now, Nell is dead, having jumped off a cliff. And Jules has to go back home to care for Nell’s teenage daughter. But Jules is 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…

I’ll be straight with you: I didn’t like this novel. There were a lot of things that didn’t work for me, and it was really hard for me to push through and get to the end. One of the things that I really didn’t like about this novel is that there were too many characters involved. Every chapter was told from some character’s perspective, which is a literary structure I usually like. But when there are more than 5 characters who all have a voice? Well, it can be really hard to keep it all together. And while it became clear why the author did this when I got to the end of the novel, I still thought it wasn’t the right way to go about telling this story. It was also misleading because the premise, as advertised, seemed to only talk about Jules and so there is this assumption that the story will mostly feature her – but that wasn’t true. I also thought that the story took a long time to get to the point. The first half just dragged on and on, and it really wasn’t relevant for setting the stage because I promptly forgot about the minuscule details that connected different individuals together. This was definitely a quiet thriller, without a lot of the drama and high intensity scenes that are popular in other books in this genre. It reminded me a bit of Midsomer Murders, which is a show I really enjoy watching because of its detailed but slower pacing. However, this novel was missing some spark to really make it interesting and the overwhelming amount of character perspectives definitely bogged the story down. And by the time I finished the novel, I really didn’t think that it was worth all that effort. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 1/5 stars.


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