I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
I have been very attracted to suspense/thriller novels lately. Maybe it's the time of year. This particular book has been compared to Hitchcock and GONE GIRL so I was especially excited to read it.
Rachel is an alcoholic. She has never recovered from her divorce two years ago and the subsequent loss of her job due to her alcohol problem. Each day, she takes the train into London in order to appear to others as if nothing has changed. As she rides the train, she finds herself looking at the window at her old house where she had lived so happily with her husband. Now, he is making a new life there with a new wife. A few doors down, Rachel notices another happy couple. She names them Jess and Jason and creates a fantasy life around them. One day, Rachel notices "Jess" kissing another man and her fantasy life falls apart. She decides to get off the train in her old neighborhood and confront someone in her unhappiness. The next day, Rachel cannot remember anything that happened. But she sees in the newspaper that a woman named Megan ("Jess") has gone missing. Rachel finds herself drawn into the drama of Megan's disappearance as she tries desperately to remember what happened that night.
I absolutely loved the setup of this novel. It definitely has a "Rear Window" feel. The fact that Rachel is an alcoholic who blacks out definitely adds something to the drama. Overall, however, this book did not work for me. Every single character was completely unlikeable. I could never emotionally connect with the story. It also appeared fairly obvious to me early on as to what was going to happen. Hawkins is a bit heavy-handed with her clues. I feel like Rachel got too directly involved in drama to make the suspense really work. I also found the ending dissatisfying. I am baffled by the GONE GIRL comparisons. There was never an "AHA!" moment in GIRL ON THE TRAIN. I never really felt the dramatic twist worked since it was so obvious what was going to happen.
BOTTOM LINE: Not recommended. This book had a lot of potential but it just didn't work for me. I was hoping for so much more!