Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

June 8, 2017 Book review 33 ★★★½

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins is book that dividing my Goodreads friends into 2 camps.  Team-loving-it, and Team-abandoning-it-quickly.  And I relate to both!

Book Review: Into the Water by Paula HawkinsInto the Water by Paula Hawkins
Published by Penguin Books Limited (UK) on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 386
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library

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.

AUDIOBOOK CRIME Murder Mystery Refreshing suspense

Thoughts on Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Yes all the points of view confused and annoyed me, but it’s worth paddling on through the various perspectives. Eventually it all pulls together.  All the voices form a gruesome tale, with a shocking finale.  What does help is some pov’s will go back over previous scenes from the view of a different character, and this aided my struggling brain to make sense of the story.

The Drowning Pool is the pivot of the story arc.  Many women have drowned in the pool over the years, and the various voices tell their tragic stories.  Some are historical (including a witch drowning) and some are contemporary.  The latest drowning is the current mystery, and it’s not as straight forward as it first appears.

The biggest plus is the writing is so refreshing. It flows as naturally, and as beautifully as the water which is such a centre point of the plot. In a strange way I found it hypnotic.  I’d recommend the audiobook, as when you hear the words spoken, the rhythm is even more obvious.  Plus the audiobook is a full cast production, so again this helps distinguish the various voices.

A glance at my Goodreads progress status might giveaway more than my review is doing.

  • 10.0% “It’s dark, and different to what I expected. Not sure yet, if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!”
  • 12.0%  “But the words are fabulous.”
  • 15.0% “So. Many. Narrators.  I’m confused and puzzled. Confuzzled!”
  • 60.0% “Another narrator that I’ve have zero recollection of.   Sorry book. It’s not me, it’s you!”
  • 100% “Eeekkkk, that’s how you end a book with a bang!”

Overall I think it’s a book worth persevering with.  It’s not an easy read, but if you push through you are rewarded with a fascinating story in a strangely bleak and beautiful setting.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read Into the Water by Paula Hawkins?

I’d recommend this to you if you can cope with umpteen narrators (about 13, I think), and appreciate dark settings, and dark themes.  It is very VERY different to The Girl on the Train, so do be aware of that.  Fans of Tina Seskis, Tana French and Gillian Flynn might also enjoy.


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33 Responses to “Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins”

  1. Kristin T

    I listened to this one, too, and really enjoyed the audio version! I liked, but didn’t love her previous book but thought this one was so much better! I was able to listen to huge chunks of this book at a time, which I think helped – and I kept pausing to take notes – again I think that helped to keep things straight. I agree with you that the writing was beautiful and hypnotic at times. Great review!!!

    • trish

      I’m not really in a position to take notes when listening to audio as I’m walking or driving. But it would definitely have helped. Glad you loved the writing too Kristin.

    • trish

      I think a lot of fans of Girl on the Train are disappointed as it’s so different. But I love how unpredictable it felt.

  2. Angela

    I absolutely loved The Girl on the Train, so I’ve been anxiously waiting for this one for awhile. I’ve purposely tried not to read too much about it so I can go in without any preconceived notions. Great review!
    Angela recently posted…Rocky Ridge Park

  3. Rita @ Paging Through Books

    Well… I don’t know. I think I’ll eventually read this, but it doesn’t appeal to me right now. I understand about the two camps on GR about it and the POVs seem to sink it, pun intended. But audio might make it more interesting, and I don’t “do audio”… so oh well.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. I really liked The Girl on the Train, and many were divided on that one too. Maybe it’s good news that we have an author whose titles gets bloggers talking, and stirs things up!
    Rita @ Paging Through Books recently posted…Review: The Weight of Lies

    • trish

      I love that it felt so different to Girl on the Train, and it makes me feel her books are going to be very unexpected. Which I love.

  4. Tanya Patrice

    I’m waiting on the audio from the library – but I don’t love listening to books with multiple POV because I tend to get confused. I might have to go with the print version of this one.

  5. Greg

    Nice to see a review of this, I haven’t seen many yet. I don’t necessarily mind multiple narrators if done well (I just finished a book with a TON of POV) and sounds like the end is shocking, which I always like in a thriller. 🙂

    I might give this one a go.
    Greg recently posted…One Of Us Is Lying

  6. Ann Lorz

    Not my usual type of read but I enjoyed your review. Visiting from Romancing the Readers Blog for #GetSocial17

  7. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    Uh that’s a lot of POVs in a book. I think the only book with that many POVs I read was All The Ugly and Wonderful Things and the multiple narrators just added to the story so I’m torn but great review!

  8. Jess@Fairday's Blog

    Wow! 13 narrators sounds like a lot. I think the audio book might be a good one for me to try. So happy I read your review because I just saw this book at the bookstore last week and was wondering about it. 🙂

  9. Katie

    I absolutely loved the audiobook of The Girl on the Train, but I may have to pass on the audiobook of this one. 13 narrators?! I would prefer to just read it. I had been on the fence about Into the Water, but if the writing is good and the story seems a little refreshing I will try it. Thanks for the review! It helped make my decision.
    Katie recently posted…Read O Rama Round 7 TBR

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