Books

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The latest suspense thriller from the writer of Girl on the Train

The latest thriller from the writer of Girl on The TrainRiverhead books, $28, available May 2nd

If you couldn’t put down Paula Hawkins’ uber-blockbuster, Girl on the Train, you’re in luck: The author has just released her latest novel, Into the Water and it’s another page turner. Sticking to the genre she navigates so deftly, Hawkins sets this psychological thriller in Beckford, a small, gloomy, English town. Over the past 300 years, a horrifying number of women have mysteriously died in a local river spot called the “Drowning Pool.” When the bodies of the most recent victims–a forty-something single mother and a well-liked teenage girl, turn up, just weeks apart, the ensuing investigation raises disturbing questions. For starters, did these victims, and the many before them, accidentally slip off a cliff into the “Drowning Pool?” Alternatively, did they choose to take their own lives? Or, perhaps, is something even more sinister at play?

Hawkins employs the same rotating-narration style from Girl on the Train, this time giving a voice to more than a dozen narrators. Included in this vast cast of characters is a woman whose estranged sister is found dead in the “Drowning Pool,” a 15-year-old girl in agony, a detective who lost his own mom years ago and even a town psychic. If all of this seems a bit confusing, it is true that Into the Water can, occasionally, be difficult to follow. After all, in addition to numerous narrators, Hawkins delivers plot twists at every turn, exploring themes as disparate as friendship, injustice against women and even witchcraft.

Without question, following up an international sensation that spawned a Hollywood movie is no easy task. And though Into The Water runs dense, Girl on the Train fans will undoubtedly find plenty here that feels familiar yet fresh. Yes, Into the Water is a gripping murder mystery but it is also so much more than that.

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Allison Fabian Derfner
Allison Fabian Derfner is a freelance writer and editor who served most recently as Features Director at Harper’s Bazaar. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. Allison lives with her family in New York City