The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

by Paula Hawkins
Mystery
Riverhead Books
Hardcover, 326 pages
$26.95

OK! So this is the smash hit of the season! Standing No. 1 on bestseller lists from New York to Los Angeles this is the Gone Girl of 2015. It leads the current pack of this emerging sub-genre of literary thrillers by and about women that includes Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm and Her by Harriet Lane. Rachel is the girl on the train plying her dreary commute each day between London and her dismal life on the fringe. She’s a forlorn, alcoholic divorcee whose route takes her past the house where she lived more or less happily with her former husband. But then she begins to see other things and other things lead to other things as she slides in and out of her binges and blackouts. Two other women share the narrative – Anna, her former husband’s new wife; and, Megan, who disappears from her usual presence a few doors down from Rachel’s former home. There’s plenty of suspense and some compelling exploration of the psychological and social pressures faced by women in today’s dysfunctional world.