Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

About the Book:

The Girl on the Train

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. 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.

UNTIL TODAY
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 goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

My Thoughts:

Wow. This is a mind blowing, brilliantly written psychological thriller that is literally a train ride! Written in the POV’s of three of the characters, with interchanging and different dates, the author weaves a tale that slowly brings all of them together.

At first, I kept losing track of the dates mentioned at the beginning of each chapter and hence ended up rather confused about the happenings. Rachel, the main protagonist, takes the train everyday and as she passes a particular station, she sees a house and it’s occupants everyday, to the extent that she had even given them imaginary names. Her husband, Tom left her to marry Anna and this did not sit well with her. The fact that they had a little daughter only made things worse. Rachel could not stop her growing dependency on alcohol nor the many times she called or emailed her ex-husband. She also lost her job and ends up constantly lying to the lady whose apartment she shares. Little does she know that she would see something rather shocking and then their lives would eventually meet and their paths would become extremely tangled.

The thoughts run deep, the psych playing a major role. Alcoholism coupled with anger makes Rachel behave rather unconventionally. The author slowly brings out the story behind each of the three women in the story and shows us exactly how deep the hurt goes. They are broken and seeking solace and trying to find themselves in any way that they can. When Megan goes missing, Rachel tries to figure out what happened, going back in her mind to the night when all the three women were supposed to have been in the same area. The police contact her when Anna, her ex-husbands wife sees a chance to throw her name out there and thus follows the rest of the plot.

The author emphasizes a lot on the train journey too and develops the story based on this spanning a number of days. She also describes, with intricate details, the events from the past that affected the psyche of her characters. With Megan, it is always dates in the past when compared to Rachel’s timeline. Though a little confusing, the author consistently maintains this trend and this lends some more intrigue to the plot. We are also treated to a dose of domesticity and how relationships are tested when things don’t go the way we expect them to. Can you trust your eyes and the things you saw? Is it possible to imagine a whole existence and life? These are just a few of the questions that reading this book will raise in the readers mind.

An overall thrilling and compelling read, this is another book in the style of Gone Girl that will have the reader hooked until the very end with an ending to shock. The starting may seem strange, the finish line stranger and in the middle, the reader is sure to get lost on the never ending journey of life much like that of the train.

Click the link below to get the book on Amazon.

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Book Review: Rule Number One by Rory Goodwin

About the Book:

Rule Number One (An Oswald Metzger Novella Series Book 1)

Set in Brisbane Australia, a disgraced Australian Football League Star is found dead on the day of his sentencing at the Brisbane District Courts in an apparent suicide.
Detective Baxter knows things aren’t always as they seem and decides to follow a hunch one last time before he retires. But before he can do that he also has one more score to settle.
Family man, Oswald ‘Ozzy’ Metzger is a regular bloke, loving father and committed husband driven by duty, love and honour. Following his heart and driven by what he believes in, being vegan, he doesn’t believe in violence but does believe in justice for the innocent.
Monica runs a crisis centre for women and children, when Detective Baxter comes asking questions she is faced with the confronting reality that all may not be as it seems.

My Thoughts:

This story is a novella, short and fast paced. When a Football player is found dead in the bathrooms of the courthouse, the day of his sentencing, an investigation is opened into the same. Speculation on whether it is a suicide or a murder are rife and in the midst of it all is Detective Baxter, whose aim is to wrap up this one last case before he retires.

In the course of the same, we meet Monica, who runs a crisis centre to help women and who knew the football player’s ex-girlfriend. What happens when you set out to investigate one thing, but while asking questions, you discover something more? The same happens as Detective Baxter follows up on a hunch. In parallel, we are introduced to Oswald, Monica’s husband. As a series of events unfold, the reader is taken on a journey with our very own serial killer with a conscience.

The story ends in quite a different way and this is one of the things that I enjoyed immensely about the book. The author went ahead with an unusual end. Of course some parts of the climax are cliche and expected, but for the most of it, the end was a good turn of events, making it worth the read.

As all the ends come together, the author gives us enough bait to keep us hooked on and waiting in the hopes that there may be another novella or novel to tell us what happens to Ozzy and Monica. The novella is good for a quick read and for those who enjoy the genre!

Book Review: Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

About the Book:

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When forensic anthropologist Dr Tempe Brennan is approached by amateur detective Hazel ‘Lucky’ Strike, at first she is inclined to dismiss the woman’s claims that she’s matched a previously unidentified set of remains with a name.

But as the words of a terrified young woman echo round her office from an audio recorder found near where the bones were discovered, something about the story won’t let Tempe go.

As Tempe investigates further she finds herself involved in a case more complicated and horrifying than she could ever have imagined.

My Thoughts:

This is yet another novel revolving around Dr. Temperance Brennan, a character we have come to admire and love. Kathy Reichs manages to keep the suspense once more and ensures that the reader will remain hooked. I have always enjoyed reading the books by Kathy Reichs and this one was yet another addition to my ever growing collection. It is as delightful as the rest and the author doesn’t disappoint with the plot.

With Tempe’s ever growing curiosity, her daughter’s occasional calls, encounters with her ex-husband Peter and her love, Ryan, the story is packed with all the elements of a wonderful Temperence Brennan adventure. A sKeptic until shown proof, Tempe at first dismisses the information provided by ‘Lucky’, an amateur detective who comes to her about some unidentified remains. However, when an audio recorder left by ‘Lucky’ is found, Tempe can no longer stay out investigating and finds herself in many a sticky situation. When this is followed by death and then more mysterious events, we know that things have definitely taken a turn for the worse. With a spine chilling climax, this story will keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

The story is fast paced and uses just the right amount of forensic terminology used so as to keep the reader hooked and entertained. This is a page turner and the reader is sure in for a huge treat! A huge shout out to author Kathy Reichs and I am sure all her fans, like me, cannot wait for more!

Review: Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs

About the Book:

Bones of the Lost (UK)

When Charlotte police discover the body of a teenage girl along a desolate stretch of two-lane highway, Temperance Brennan fears the worst. The girl’s body shows signs of foul play. Inside her purse, police find an airline club card bearing the name of prominent local businessman John-Henry Story, who died in a horrific fire months earlier. How did Story and the girl know each other? Was she an illegal immigrant turning tricks? Was she murdered? Was he?

Tempe must also examine a bundle of Peruvian dog mummies confiscated by U.S. Customs. A Desert Storm veteran named Dominick Rockett stands accused of smuggling the objects into the country. Could there be some connection between the trafficking of antiquities and the trafficking of humans?

As the complications pile on, Tempe must also grapple with personal turmoil. Her daughter, Katy, grieving the death of her boyfriend in Afghanistan, impulsively enlists in the army. Meanwhile, Katy’s father, Pete, is growing frustrated by Tempe’s reluctance to finalize their divorce. As pressure mounts from all corners, Tempe soon finds herself at the center of a conspiracy that extends all the way from South America to Afghanistan and right to the center of Charlotte.

My Thoughts:

I started reading Kathy Reichs’ novels from a very young age and have always been a fan of the series and genre. Hence, I believe that not many words are needed to describe a Kathy Reichs novel.

The author effortlessly binds together the plot with murders and mystery as well as medical details brought in which are explained in a way that even the layman would understand. A well written novel, the author has continued to do justice to the character she created and to the entire series. The back story remains strong and the characters continue to develop. We are shown different shades of some of the characters which show how they have evolved over time and with each story.

The story is set in different places taking us and Temperence to as far as Afghanistan. As usual while doing her usual job, she gets drawn into an investigation and makes it her personal responsibility to get to the bottom of things. Temperence is a strong women and if we should draw inspiration from anyone it is her. She is compassionate as well as vigilant, striving to work towards setting things right. She is also portrayed as a normal human facing the same personal problems that all of us can relate to.

Even though this is the first time I am writing a review of a book by Kathy Reichs, I will not talk about the plot in detail like I usually do. Instead, I will just assume that all of you have at some point read at least one of her books and know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t read the books, you may have  heard of the English Television series Bones. That is based on her books and the characters she created.

This story is wonderful and will keep the reader hooked until the very end. For all Temperence Brennan fans this is yet another treat.