What the blurb says: “Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train.”
This is such an unsettling read. It’s dark, complex and really unnerving – in a good way!
But reviewing the book is rather tough, because spoilers are almost impossible to avoid! What I can say is that it masterfully uses a non-linear timeline and alternating points of view, to create maximum suspense. This is a story that once you’ve started reading defies you to put it down. It lurks in your mind when you’re doing your daily chores, whispering at you to read on (or so I found!).
There’s a closeness to the narrative that plugs you right into the heads of the point of view characters – Rachel, Megan and Anna – and lets you see the situation as they do and experience their emotions blow-by-blow. It doesn’t mean that you like them, though. In fact, I don’t think I ‘liked’ any of the characters in this book, although at times I could certainly empathise with them. But, the fact that I didn’t like them didn’t make them any less compelling to read about.
Grounded in the realities of a crumbling marriage, the inability to move past betrayal, and the secrets they’re hiding – from those close to them, and from themselves – this is an up close and personal view into the three women’s worlds as they fracture apart in the aftermath of a violent and brutal incident.
An absolute must for fans of psychological thrillers.
[with thanks to Transworld for my copy of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN]