16. A Thriller
This seems to be the it book of the season thus far: featured at B & N and a long wait at the library. A young woman, Rachel, rides the train every day. Rachel observes the same couple in the same house and concocts an idyllic story of their life together as her train rumbles by. Watching them consumes her. It is probably no coincidence that her former house is just 4 houses away, and she also watches it with longing and jealousy. Her former husband and his new wife and baby live there.
Slowly we realize that he left her because she was a sloppy angry drunk. She has lost her job and has no money and lives with a flat mate and gets drunk day after day. It is through this drunken haze of self pity and loathing that she sees something unusual at the flat she has been watching. She goes to check it out, and of course she is embroiled in a mystery. The wife is missing. Her ex and his new wife down the block hate her being around and create the perfect love triangle to keep the plot twisting.
It is a fascinating study of memory and loss and point of view. Ms Hawkins debut novel is not only a compelling read, a thoughtful page turner, but it is a great twist on the genre. The hero is likable and very fallible and it is great to see a female character in the role of drunken hero. We hate her; we love her; we root for her. Put yourself in the library queue, I guarantee your book group is going to read The Girl on the Train.