Currently this mystery novel is often compared to an equally successful mystery novel; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. However aside from being great, mystery novels with big female characters, these books are quite different in writing style and plotline, which makes them both equally good reads.
The Girl on the Train stems from a simple idea, staring out of a train window as it goes past people and their homes, wondering what their lives are like, and what the people are like. Main character Rachel does this every time she gets on the same train, going past the same house with a couple that she begins to make up a story in her mind about. The novel is a little slow to start, but eventually the mystery kicks in, drawing you into the story.
Although it is hard to actually like any of the characters and genuinely feel sympathetic towards them, you will however feel empathy towards the situations some of the characters find themselves in. I believe the author wrote the characters in this way, in order to keep more mystery and suspense surrounding the perpetrator because the reader finds it hard to completely trust any of the characters.
The mystery builds up throughout the novel as it skips back and fourth throughout time, giving us background information, whilst simultaneously showing the unfolding of events in real time, chronological order.
The novel is filled with shocking revelations and mystery. Suspense is built throughout in many clever ways, including miniature cliff-hangers resulting from a change in character narrative each chapter or a change in time frames. A gripping and thrilling read is also built with fast passages of writing that build up into a climax and ultimately a new revelation. This suspense is finalised in the last few chapters in which so many secrets are revealed you can’t help but keep reading till the end.
I highly recommend this book if you like to read thrillers and mystery.