Published May 2, 2017
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.When I read The Girl on the Train, I was mesmerized. I couldn't stop reading - the tension, the suspense - I had to know what would happen next, even if it meant being late for work or losing a couple hours of sleep. So when I heard Paula Hawkins was releasing her second novel, I was super excited.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath. - from Goodreads
Into The Water is about the aftermath of the death of Nel, a single mother. Nel's body is found in the same river where a girl, Katie, was found earlier in the year; Katie just happened to be best friends with Nel's daughter Lena.
At the beginning, the story is very quick-moving; I was anxious to get into the story and find out more about Nel. Although there was a feeling of suspense, it's not overwhelming and actually, I felt the story was more eerie and melancholy.
The standout in this book is the use of multiple narrators. I think there were 10 narrators and each one had their own distinct voice. Nel's daughter Lena is angry; Nel's sister Jules seemed a bit confused and unreliable, often confusing Lena for her deceased sister. Other characters include two local detectives and Katie's grief-stricken mother. I enjoyed this narration device; it showed that there are so many sides to any story. Each character had their own theory about Nel's death; Lena insists her mother committed suicide, but others believe Nel wouldn't have done that. And in this small town, everyone is connected in some way, and everyone is hiding something.
Another interesting part of the story is the local lore around a spot called the Drowning Pool. Nel was obsessed with this place and was compiling historical anecdotes about all the woman who were either killed or committed suicide there through the years. I like when a setting is a big part of a story, almost becoming its own character.
Although the book started out strong, by the end it was starting to drag a bit for me. I just wanted to know what happened to Nel, and all the misdirections and lies started to feel like overkill. But, I enjoyed the overall feel of the book and the mysteries within. Inevitably, this book will be compared to Hawkins' first monster hit, but this was a very different book and I wouldn't go into it with any preconceived notions, if you can!