Into the water is the second novel by Paula Hawkins who bought us the Girl on the Train. I absolutely loved that book when it came out (even though I still haven’t seen the film). I only just got around to reading Into The Water because I think there’s always a reservation there to reading a follow up to a book that’s been so huge. When you’ve loved a writers work you feel it can only disappoint. But there is something about winter that draws me to thrillers. I have no idea why. Winter is depressing enough without reading about people being murdered, but nevertheless this is where I go when the nights draw in.
What’s it about?
The first thing in the book is a list of characters which I found a bit daunting as I read through the first chapters. But you’ll only have to flip back and forth to this list the first couple of times you meet the characters as the story will then take hold of you.
The book is set in a village which has a river running through it, and at one point it curves with a bank on one side and a cliff edging the other- this is known as “The Drowning Pool”. Throughout history many women have died here, from witchcraft trials to suicides. A teenage girl -Katie- was the last, who committed suicide there a few months ago. The book is based around the time of the second woman to be found in the pool that year- Nel.
Nel was writing a book about The Drowning Pool at the time of her death as she’d always held a fascination with the place and the women who’s lives had ended there. Nel’s sister comes back to the village they grew up in to take charge of Nel’s teenage daughter, and neither of them believe that Nel would have jumped.
The book goes back and forth in time between the deaths of Katie and Nel and we also see chapters from Nel’s book about the women who have died in the pool before (including Katie) and it soon transpires that all is not what it seems. This is a feeling quickly picked up on by new detective to the area Erin who looks into the case alongside village copper Sean.
As with all thrillers there are twists and turns, a cabin in the woods, scenes of running in the rain and tales of love turned bad. This story also has a local psychic that no one ever listens to. Isn’t that always the way in thrillers? A slightly off the wall character you know has all the answers but that no one else ever listens to.
Recommend Into The Water?
This book just ran away with me. I finished it in a couple of days as I couldn’t put it down. Honestly, it’s a good job I read it in-between Christmas and New Year as I wouldn’t have been able to do any work.
It becomes a bit predictable as it goes along, but to be honest all thrillers do. There are some good side stories here though that may turn up a few surprises to keep things interesting. It’s a couple of years since I read Girl on the Train but honestly I think this story is better. And it’s so well written. I just flew through the pages, and it really places you there in this small, creepy, little village with it’s strange residents so you can almost smell the river.
I would definitely recommend Into the Water. If you enjoyed The Stranger on Netflix last year then give this a go. And if you enjoy this then read Before I go to sleep (if there is anyone left that hasn’t read that book already).
Buy the book here: