It is a thriller that has caught everyone’s imagination. It was released on 13 January 2015 but has rapidly climbed all charts for print and ebooks. It is a debut novel by Paula Hawkins about a girl on the train, Rachel. During her hourlong journey to London and back for work, she stares out of the window, watching the world go by. She even crosses her former home. But what always catches her attention is the young couple living four houses away from the home where Rachel and her ex-husband, Tom, stayed. (Now it is occupied by Tom and his new wife, Anna.) Rachel is fascinated by the neighbours, nicknaming them Jason and Jess. It is when the wife, Megan, disappears and it is reported in the newspapers that Rachel becomes immersed in the story. Slowly the story develops with three women sharing their perspectives — Rachel, Megan and Anna. It is a story told well in words but it will probably be better adapted as a film. It won’t be too long since Dreamworks has optioned it.
The marketing strategy for this book in America was brilliant. There were flash mobs organised to board trains in New York and had women readers holding up copies of the book. Note, there were no ereaders. It is easier to show the cover of a printed book!
Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train Doubleday, Transworld Publishers, London, 2015. Pb. pp 320