My review: Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins

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About the book:

In the last days before her death, Nel 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 . . .

My review:

I seriously tried to start this book at least three times. Every failed attempt I couldn’t quite get into the book. But finally I pushed through. Probably in the middle of the book I started feeling into it and followed the story.

This book feels like it’s written not by the same author as ‘The Girl on the Train’. Completely different style, different level of suspense. I consider this book to be more a mystery than a thriller or suspense. Mystery was there and kept my attention until the end. The ending wasn’t predictable for me, but maybe because of the author’s attempts to draw attention to different ‘suspects’ which was good. The ending did feel a bit anticlimatic, but the last line raised a big question.

What I liked about ‘Into the Water’ is quality storytelling. To me, it felt like a big step up from ‘The Girl on the Train’. Stories of the past, memories, stories told by different characters. It’s hard to feel connection to any of the characters but it gives a feeling you have when you are listening to someone’s story or tale.

What I didn’t like about ‘Into the Water’ is a structure. Each chapter is narrated by a different character. Every time I started a new chapter I found myself trying to remember who it was talking now, especially at the start when I didn’t quite remember the names of all characters. The other annoying aspect of this narration style is inconsistency. Chapters are narrated by different people but not all of them use first-person language. I guess it was the way the author wanted to highlight the main characters but I found it quite distracting.

In general, I enjoyed the book. Quite original story, especially when you get through the middle of the book. It also raises a lot of different topics about life in a small town, local legends haunting people and family relationships.

My score is 4* out of 5*.

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