Summary (from Goodreads):
“A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.”
I’ve heard a lot of complaints around this book, mainly centered around the fact that none of the women in it are particularly likable (especially Rachel, the main narrator). That’s true (and thus a valid complaint) but since when is it important that a story be full of good and wonderful people to be a story worth reading?
At any rate, if you are thinking of reading this book, do it. And, if it’s not already too late for you, try and go in as cold as possible, knowing as little as you can. It’s the best way to go in.
Also important: try and start it when you have a lot of free time. It’s absolutely impossible to stop reading once you start. (Fun fact: the letter from the publisher at the beginning of my e-galley said that one of the Penguin staffers was actually reading this under the desk at a meeting because she was close to the end and couldn’t stop. I completely sympathize—I was five minutes late to work because I was close to the end and couldn’t stop.)
I enjoyed this book a great deal and Paula Hawkins is a new must-buy author for me. Highly recommended.