Review of The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins


Published: 15th January 2015
Publisher: DoubleDay
Pages: 320


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.


Thank you to Transworld/DoubleDay for kindly sending me a review copy.

The plot begins with Rachel who is on a train, making her way  to and from London Euston. During her journeys, she drinks in the evenings and stares at the houses as they fly by. There is one home in particular which she always watches out for and that belongs to Jess and Jason. But how exactly does she know them? A lot is revealed in the opening chapter which immediately drew me into the exciting plot.

“I don’t know whether they see me, though, for what I really am.”

From Rachel’s opening chapter, she sounds rather lonely and more importantly, I felt her need to be with someone. Her life isn’t great at all and I felt particularly sorry for her. The phone call at the end of her first chapter tells readers that she really isn’t okay and my immediate thought was – SHIT, she’s going to kill herself!

In 2012, we hear from Megan who watches the train go by from her terrace. Could Megan possibly be “Jess”? Megan is just like Rachel – she’s not having the best of times and that is shown through her panic attacks. Anna’s point of view in the plot surprised me. What does Rachel’s ex-husband’s new wife have to offer? She was an interesting addition to the narrative and her role really came into play at the very end.

“And the next day, we got into a fight. One of the bruising ones.”

The text was simple yet very, very, very effective. It was an addictive read to say the least. I’ve never been a big fan of thrillers which include dates but for The Girl On The Train, that seemed to be a rather important factor. As you draw closer to the end, the action is kicked up a notch. I had begun to draw up my own suspicions regarding the whodunnit, but I wasn’t prepared for THAT ending.

“You don’t have to be afraid of being alone. It’s not the worst thing, is it?”

Overall, this is one of my favourite books of 2015 already. It’ll definitely make my Top 10! It’s captivating, twisted and very gripping. If you do happen to read the last 50% of the book on a train journey like I do, don’t gasp out loud when the truth is revealed like I did. People will stare and think you’re crazy…

Twitter: @PaulaHWrites
Website: www.paulahawkinsbooks.com