Into the Water – Book Review

Paula Hawkins made one of the most promising debuts with The Girl on the Train. I admired the book a lot due to its narrative structure, character build up and the shocking revelation. This is being the primary reason why I was so interested in the release of Into the Water. I found a Gillian Flynn in her style and couldn’t wait to know what she had in store for her fans with her new book.

Title: Into the Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Doubleday
Date Published: May 2nd 2017
Language: English
Number of Pages: 368
Genre: Mystery-Thriller
ISBN: 9780857524430
My Rating: 2

Hawkins’ sophomore novel has a decent plot.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river running through the town. But this is the second of its kind occurrence. Earlier in summer, a teenage girl had met the same fate. However, if we look into the past, these are not the first women to end up dead in the dark waters.

With the most current death, a fifteen-year-old girl is left behind with her mother’s sister who is adamant to find out the truth about her mother’s suicide.

Too Many POVs

By the time you read the first 50 pages of Into the Water, you would have already read 6-7 different POVs. Each chapter written from someone else’s point of view. The book is divided into 4 parts and though I really thought that after first part, the different POVs will merge into one; that never happened. The entire novel follows the same pattern and that is the primary problem with the book.

For about 70% of the book, the plot goes nowhere; Into the Water keeps circling around the relationships of different people and their present circumstances; how they are dealing with the death/s. And you get to read it in their own narratives.

It was confusing for me because after some time, it became difficult to keep a track of the characters. I would often go back to find out who was related to whom in which way. By the time I was finished half way, things were dragging for me and I was irritated.

None of the characters in the book were likeable.

So many POVs can be interesting if you start liking the characters as you dive deep into the chapters. However, there was not even a single character in Into the Water that was worth remembering. As I’m writing this review, I have already forgotten most of the names. It’s why I have been refraining myself to mention names here. In her previous book The Girl on the Train, the characters were trashy in nature, but I still remember Rachel and Megan.

The Climax of Into the Water

By the time the book reached its climax, I was utterly and painfully exhausted. All I cared about was how to finish the book as soon as possible. I did not care who killed who or about the truth behind the suicide in question. I just wanted it to end.

The cumbersome narration made it difficult in the beginning and impossible after I was half done to be involved into the story and with the characters. If it means something to you, the climax was not even an ounce of hard hitting or shocking. In fact, the actions or reactions of the characters were somewhat unfathomable.

The only good thing her is the way she has painted the picture of the town and etched out different characters with different temperaments; only it was too many to keep a track.

Should you invest your time and money in Into the Water?

It’s quite simple. If you hate to read a book with a dozen different POVs or if you are not a fan of slow paced fictions, you can skip the book. If you loved reading The Girl on the Train and you are expecting something like that, you can skip the book.

Buy Into the Water




Anmol Rawat

Anmol Rawat is a writer, which, considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense. His debut solo book ‘ABCs of Horror’ is a collection of 26 terrifying standalone tales. He thinks Game of Thrones and Supernatural are the best TV series ever made and devours on Nicholas Sparks, Dan Brown, Stephen King & John Green. He would kill for a good cup of Cappuccino, as should all right thinking people.

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  1. Thanks for the review. I have read The Girl on the Train and the story kept me engaged, despite some issues – I didn’t think the quality of writing was that great and the characters were unlikeable. I’ll probably give this one a swerve!

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