Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is the second book I’ve read by this author. My first, of course, was Girl on the Train. It was the first book I read with so many twists, and I was super excited to read more by Paula Hawkins. The first time I tried to read it, I was mostly reading on my commute to work. There are a lot of characters and after reading a third of the book, I ended up putting it down, bored.
Over a year later, I decided to give it a second chance. Despite remembering parts of it, I started again from page one and I read it in a day. Overall, I enjoyed the book and there was one twist in particular that was moving. But it is nothing like Girl on the Train, not that Paula Hawkins ever claimed it to be similar. That being said, I couldn’t help give this book four of out of five stars because to me it lacked the oomph of a fantastic book.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins Synopsis
“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.
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.”Goodreads
What I Loved
I really loved the character development. The focus of the book really seemed to be on the characters themselves and not the twists that are normally expected in a book like this. There were so many different personalities, all learning and growing in their own ways. All of their questions, problems and mysteries revolve around the river that runs through their town. I do love how all the complex stories were tied together. I also loved the twists – even the one that is haunting, but that’s the whole point.
What I Didn’t Love
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I didn’t love about this book. It ended up being great, just slower than Girl on the Train and less shocking. There was a lot more subtly with Into the Water that required patience, which isn’t my strong suit. The harsh critics on Goodreads seem to agree with my rating and it seems that people who actually gave it a chance, did enjoy it to a certain extent. Most of the bad reviews compare it to one of the best psychological thrillers ever, so that’s not really fair.
I’d like to compare the pace of this book to Just Take My Heart by Marry Higgins Clark. I also had a similar issue of taking a while to remember who everyone was. Especially since I read it in just one day, I don’t think I’ll remember the names of the characters even next week. That being said, the story itself is definitely memorable and that one twist will stay in my mind forever.
Summary: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is a good book as long as you don’t compare it to Girl on the Train. It has a lot of depth, character twists that are painful rather than shocking. If you’re like me, you’ll need to be a certain kind of mood to enjoy a book like this. However, if you give it a chance, you will definitely enjoy it! Grab a copy on Amazon (#affiliate) and start reading!