Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When this book popped up as an add-on for my Book of the Month subscription, I was pretty excited. Paula Hawkins was back with a new novel! And for such a discounted price? I’m totally in. The premise seemed promising, a small town with multiple deaths in the same river. Some by murder, some by suicide, some by accident. It touted a twisted family and small town drama.
It delivered. Ish. The book was good, don’t get me wrong. I just had a lot of trouble with it. The main thing that you need to know is that there are a ton of narrators. I’d have to go back and actually count to be accurate but off the top of my head I think there’s ten or eleven different perspectives with at least two interludes about previous deaths surrounding other characters. I don’t generally mind multiple narrators in a book, but with this one considering how interwoven everything became? I felt like having so many narrators was a detriment. There were simply too many. On the bright side the author manages to give each character a unique enough voice to be able to discern who was speaking. There were also time jumps amongst these narrators which made things a little extra confusing.
The main death being investigated during this book is the death of Nel, who was actually named Danielle (keep that as a note). She either jumped off the cliff into the river or was pushed. Her estranged sister comes back to town to assist with the organizing of the affairs and to try and connect with Nel’s daughter Lena. Throughout the story you discover old and buried family secrets and affairs of the heart. What this story boils down to is a tale of revenge on multiple levels. I can tell you that the killer isn’t who you think it is. And if it was? Well then you probably didn’t get bogged down by the tone shift.
Overall it was a decent story, but I felt as though any one single thread of the book could have made an even better story. By the end, you’ve solved multiple mysteries that were all somehow interconnected but you’re left with a feeling of exhaustion. At least I was. Maybe I just read it too fast.
I gave it three stars. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.
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