Book Reviews

Into The Water – Paula Hawkins

“Just days before her sister plunged to her death, Jules ignored her call.

Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules must return to her sister’s house to care for her daughter, and to face the mystery of Nel’s death.

But Jules is afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of this small town that is drowning in secrecy . . .

And of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.”

Secrets can pull you under… this book just about pushed me under.

This was an impulse purchase from the brand new Waterstones in Aberdeen’s Bon Accord Centre. I’m a sucker for a book display, especially when it’s a half price book display. The reviews on the back of the book and the fact it’s by Paula Hawkins who wrote The Girl on the Train meant I was sold before I even got to the till. Big mistake.

I devoured this book in one day. It’s one of those. A proper page turner. However, the book starts with a list of 16 (16!!!) characters and who they are and this should have set the alarm bells ringing. If it wasn’t for this list of characters to refer back to I don’t think I would have managed to keep track – a list of my own would have been needed! I was constantly referring back to see who was who and what their connection was to everyone else. For a stand alone book there are just too many characters to really build any characterisation and this is one of the ways I feel the book fails.

The other is a massive plot hole towards the end. A hole that the more I’ve thought about it the more it enrages me! It centres around someone who, I think, is a major character and potential culprit. But their disappearance is never quite explained, they just disappear from the dialogue. Very odd!

I did enjoy the book but at the same time I didn’t. To me it felt like the author just got bored towards the end and just rattled through the rest of the story to get it over and done with. I’ve not experienced that with a book before and it wasn’t a very satisfactory end for me.

Initially I gave this one a 3 star review but the more I think about it the more I’m annoyed by the story so I downgraded it to 2 stars. As a follow up to The Girl on the Train, this is disappointing however I will read Paula Hawkins next book when it comes along… just to see if The Girl on the Train was a fluke or not.

Have you read Into the Water? What did you think?

9 Comments

  • nsfordwriter

    I thought the Girl on the Train was OK (not brilliant) – Into the Water is pretty bad in comparison. Started off all right but then I just didn’t get the plot. I could also sense some animal cruelty coming up (I flicked through and I was right), which I can’t stand in fiction so I gave it up. It was an e-book from the library so I returned it instantly so some other library user could start it and then be disappointed too!

  • Sophia Ismaa

    Good review and yep, way too many characters but I think I understand the reasoning behind this. I think Paula Hawkin’s main point was that our memories are faulty and cannot be trusted, our subjective interpretations are not the objective truth therefore the numerous characters to confuse us, the reader. But I guess, the main point wasn’t executed well if we have to really, really, really, really think about it lol.
    Also, what is the major plot hole? I don’t think I know!

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