Hawkins was the biggest author on the psychological thriller scene when The Girl on the Train hit bookshelves around the world in 2015. It must have been incredibly daunting launching the equivalent of the difficult second album with Into the Water.
Jules is swamped by feelings of guilt. She ignored a crisis call from her sister and now Nel is dead. A leap to her death in the ill fated Drowning Pool. Returning to the house where she grew up and the small town that is very good at covering up secrets Jules finds herself responsible for newly orphaned Lena. Unable to accept the suicide verdict she starts to do a little investigating herself.
Into the Water is at times quite a challenging read. If you are the kind of person who can sit and devour a book in a single sitting you might find it a bit easier to immerse yourself in this story of suicide, deceit and murder. My biggest gripe with it is the seemingly unending cast of thousands who all have their own take on what is happening in the town. Schoolteachers, policemen and women, local odd bods and school children. All seem to have a voice and aren’t always telling the truth.
Picking this book up to read for an hour at a time (as I did in my lunch breaks!) is probably the worst way to try and get through this incredibly twisting and complicated tale. I kept having the page back through the previous chapters to try and re-acquaint myself with the interminable cast of this murderous town. I could quite understand why Nel might have wanted to end it all.
That said, if you have the patience to persevere through to the end most of the loose ends are tied up and you are left to draw your own conclusions on those that remain. A frustrating conclusion in many ways.
UK Publication Date: May 2 2017. 402 pages.