Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She can’t help but stare into the gardens and windows of the houses that back onto the line. She knows the train will wait at the same signal every time. Same signal. Same train. Until she’s sees something shocking. But I shouldn’t be telling you too much about the plot. The author has perfectly structure the book to keep you guessing, keep you on your toes. It is unpredictable, which is what makes it one of the stand out thrillers of this year.
It’s not just about the girl on the train. There’s also the girl in the house and the new girl. Each chapter is told by one of these three women and at different periods of time. When you think you know what’s happening, you’re left in doubt as each narrator has their own version of events. No one can be trusted. Rachel is an alcoholic. Megan has tainted views of Rachel after being told stories from her husband. Anna is hiding something from everyone.
What was refreshing about this novel was how ‘normal’ it all was. It’s not the story of psychopath killing as many people as possible while being chased by a rouge cop with his own problems. Its flawed human beings making mistakes and bad choices. It’s all behaviours we are also guilty of. Peeping in houses through the train windows. Painting your ex as a mad, bad, sad woman. We are capable of terrible crimes and we can also be victims just like the characters in this book. It’s all too real.
The way in which I read The Girl on Train speaks volumes about how good it is. I was up until 4am. I had to know what was happening. I had to know the truth. As I said, there are many twists and turns and red herrings. All the clues are in front of you but everyone is coming to different conclusions. Everyone I’ve spoken to has had their own theory. None were right. It’s a testament to the brilliance of the book. It demands to be read and talked about.