I have to give credit when it is due and Paul Hawkins definitely knows how to pen a good thriller. Although I didn't quite enjoy Into The Water as much as I enjoyed The Girl On The Train (mostly because the former was written from the perspective of way too many characters), I still think that it's a novel worth reading. Paula Hawkins is a really good storyteller and she has definitely made a fan out of me. I'm looking forward to reading future books by her.
Too many characters. Difficult to follow the story-line as a character may disappear and reappear again much later and you have forgotten who they are!
This was a decent 'who done it'. It has an interesting writing style, where the narrative moves from the perspectives of each of the characters. I found it difficult to get into as I needed to go back to identify the previous story for each character. I should have made a list of the main characters with a short bio.
0 stars - awful - couldn't get past page 81, had to give up. The story kept going back and forth to different characters, and I had to keep going to the beginning to try and figure out who was who. By that time I forgot the story.....
By the time I had finished this dark, depressing read I was ready to jump into the Drowning Pool myself. I agree with other reviewers that the ending was REALLY unsatisfactory. This book was a major disappointment after The Girl on the Train (which resulted in a good movie as well). Sometimes authors only have one bestseller in them!
I really wanted to like this book as I found The Girl on the Train a very riveting read. It was really hard to follow. I actually had to keep notes on who each character was and their relation to each other. I couldn't finish it. If you're expecting the same gripping storytelling as her first novel, you will be disappointed.
From start to finish, this book led its readers through a confusing labyrinth of mystery and suspense. In the beginning, I found it a bit hard to keep up because of the complex number of characters, and how they related. I was able to start grasping at them halfway through, and it helped that the text was in different fonts for a certain few. Maybe it's just me, but I found the ending to be a bit predictable. Based on the theme of selflessness, I knew there would be more to it than what was given before the final mystery was solved. Sometimes, the truth may be for the best, but somehow still hurt more than lies.
- @Siri of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board
Too many characters that weren't needed. It ruined the story. I couldn't finish it.
My major complaint is the number of characters and no real hooks to picture them. I was confused for a long time as to the relationships of them all, until I realized I was reading two, or three stories in one. I think Hawkins tried to do too much and chose a literary form - switching from one point of view to another - without much of a sense of logical flow. All are headed with the character's name, thankfully, but with some having a date attached and others none I got confused again about the timeline. Also there is a lot of repetition of the same conversations/thoughts that I found too redundant and not expressive enough to really keep me interested and sympathetic. The ending might be intended as a surprise twist but I found it a little contrived from the hints given earlier in the book. I did give it a medium rating only because I liked Jules. If you have a long to-read list, I would suggest skipping this one.
previous reviewers have not gotten the point of this novel. This is not a murder mystery but a timely look at misogyny in our time.
Overall I found this pretty disappointing. I had found The Girl on the Train to be a decent page-turner. This one was pretty tepid. The central mystery itself was mildly OK. The biggest problem for was I didn't really like or care about any of the characters. They were all a pretty dismal lot. I found this one dreary overall.
I first tried to listen to this title as an audio book and gave up on it because it was too difficult to follow. At the recommendation of a friend, I tried it again in book format, which worked much better for me. It got very interesting half way through, but I found the last part of the book very unsatisfactory.
The author has taken what should have been a solid mystery story and turned it into a diatribe saturated with misandry (pun intended). There isn't one decent male character in this book, only caricatures to despise. Patrick, the arrogant, abusive and judgmental patriarch. Shaun, the weak and self-deceiving son. Mark, self-indulgent and self-pitying and undeserving of mercy. Robbie, the popular and athletic high school jock who simply took what he wanted, now gone to seed. The only male character who was spared was Josh who was too young even for this author to denigrate. There were other male characters in the background, but they too were either deeply flawed or entirely voiceless.
On the other side were the more numerous female characters who were unfailingly portrayed as either heroic or properly deserving of sympathy. This "caricaturization" of her characters coupled with her dabbling with psychic phenomena make this a poor follow-up to the author's first novel, The Girl on the Train.
Creepy reading about a small English village in which “troublesome women” drown. I had trouble switching between characters in this psychological mystery and I found the ending a little disappointing.
Hawkins' first novel, The Girl on the Train, was suspenseful and moved right along. This title is more than a bit unwieldy with the many characters, which caused me to go back to figure out who each of them was. When Jules' sister, Nel, dies in a river near where the girls grew up, Jules returns to be with Lena, Nel's daughter. Why did Nel die? As local police, Jules and Lena try to unravel the mystery, many old and new details come to light. More mystical and detailed that her first novel, but it still kept my interest.
This book was a wonderfully fast read. Had I not been in school or work full time, I would have read it a lot sooner than 3 weeks. I got very invested in the characters and I love her writing technique of switching between characters. I wasn't used to it in GOtT but now I love it. I wish I could read all book like that.
I agree. Too many people confuses the storyline.
The book is choppy & doesn't flow.
A few too many characters to follow in the new mystery by Paula Hawkins. I can only give it 3 stars.
Too many complex characters, too many drownings. I found it hard to follow the inter-weaving story line this book.
I found the book hard to follow, and didn't like how women were perpetual victims.
I also liked this book better than the first.
This is despite one very significant loose end as well as a twist at the VERY end that didn't work that well. A hint had been dropped earlier, but it wasn't subtle enough.
Anyway, if you are in the mood for a page-turner, this one does the job. If they dramatize it, maybe they should go for a short series to ensure that there is time for historical context and character development.
I really enjoyed this 2nd book by Paula Hawkins, more so than her first book.
I had read mixed reviews about it, most of them stating not to bother reading it but I only had trouble placing 2 characters as to where they fitted in and I thoroughly enjoyed the way it was written. The ending was a surprise to me.
I would recommend it - but that is my opinion.
Agree with the previous comment. The style of writing involves perspectives from several characters at a time. Each person puts their own view forward which is a partial truth and it is up to the reader to piece together these half truths. It keeps the reader engaged.
This book is difficult to follow, but well worth the effort. The best fiction that I've read this year.