Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Audio Book Review: Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins book cover and review
After enjoying The Girl on the Train, I was excited to try Hawkins' new book, Into the Water. I expected a slow burn, given that's how I felt about The Girl on the Train, but Into the Water was even slower.

There are a lot of character, and the best way to describe the book is to talk about the characters.  I hope I get all the names correct since I listened to this one and had to check it back in before I wrote this review. The fact that I can even remember any of their names is a testament to Hawkins' writing because I've been known to finish a book and not be able to remember even the main character's name!

Lena is devastated after losing her best friend, Katie, and her mother, Nel, in the same way -- they both jumped into the river and drowned, presumably both suicides.  But Lena can't believe this is true.  Neither can Jules, Nel's sister, who comes to take care of Lena and sort out what happened.

The town of Beckford is known for women dying in the river, starting with the drowning of a child who was supposedly a witch, and Nel was gathering information to publish a book about all of these women.  This did not make her very popular in the town.

Katie's mother (Phyllis?) and little brother, Josh, are devastated by her loss, and since everything seemed fine with Katie, don't understand why she would have jumped.  But there are secrets.

The deaths are being investigated by Shawn, a local policeman, and ?? a female officer from London or some bigger city. Shawn's wife is Helen.  His father is Patrick, a retired police officer.  Shawn's mother drowned in the river when Shawn was a young boy.  And there are secrets.

There's the old psychic, Natalie, who everyone thinks is nuts, but she thinks she knows some secrets, if only people would listen to her.

Hawkins masterfully switches points-of-view among these people and others, as the secrets are slowly (and I mean very slowly) revealed.  I never wanted to quit listening, but I really did wonder if we were ever going to make progress towards a resolution.  But, I'm always more patient with an audiobook.

You may suspect you have it all figured out, as you slowly progress towards the end.  But I wouldn't be too sure about that...

Hawkins' characterizations are distinct.  With as many POVs in Into the Water, I was surprised that I never got confused as to who was talking.  There are several audiobook narrators, so that helped too. They were all excellent and easy to listen to. I'll keep reading what Hawkins has to offer.  Her storytelling is unique and enjoyable.  I'd recommend this one, along with the countless other people who already have. Into the Water is suitable for patient teens who are fans of the genre.

Published by Riverhead, 2017 (Penguin Audio)
Audiobook obtained from the library
400 pages

Rating: 4/5





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