Into the Water, Paula Hawkins

Paula Hawkins, the author of bestseller The Girl on the Train brought Into the Water into our lives with high expectations that this stand alone novel was going to have everything a thriller needs.

If I were you, I wouldn’t go into this book with the prejudice that it’s going to be as good as The Girl on the Train, because it’s not.

I put this book down for weeks before deciding to bite the bullet and see it through – the things I do for you guys.

The plot:

With at least 11 different narrators in Into the Water, this book confused me too much to summarise the plot for you. Here’s what the blurb says:

In the last days before her death, Nel Abbott called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.

But Jules is afraid. So 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…

Now, this sounds like everything Nicole has ever wanted, but to my dismay, it wasn’t.

Here’s my takeaway: I believe Hawkins had received a lot of backlash with The Girl on the Train being too simple and slightly predictable, so had created Into the Water with the intention to confuse the damn hell out of all of us.

It is a big step up from The Girl on the Train (in the writing dynamic and complexity), but the story just wasn’t all there. Many questions ran through my mind and Hawkins has left it in a way that no second book will answer. I appreciate Hawkins can’t spell everything out for us, but there was no cliff-hanger, no “what next?”, but a simple, “what on earth is going on here?”

“I fear this may make a better movie than a novel (and this is something I never thought I’d say).”

The parts which were answered clearly, I really enjoyed. However, there isn’t a clear-cut answer and many things mentioned in the book were ignored as it all concluded. I fear this may make a better movie than a novel (and this is something I never thought I’d say).

Despite it being confusing, I don’t hate it. It’s a good concept and written well, but I wish someone questioned Hawkins on a few things whilst writing it.

When I finished reading this book, I’d started writing some notes, one being: “This feels like one of those books that I’ll forget about what happened as soon as I’ve become engrossed in another book”. Lo and behold, I had to read spoilers on the internet to remember.

There are far better thrillers out there, so I probably wouldn’t Bookmark That again.

Am I missing something? I’d love to hear what you think of this book, so email me: contact@bookmarkthat.co.uk

Into the Water, Paula Hawkins, RRP £7.99/£20.00 (paperback/ hardback); Waterstones         

The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, RRP £7.99/ £12.99 (paperback/ hardback); Waterstones

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