Title: Into The Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Rating: ⭐️⭐️ / 5
Quote: “Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.”
Like The Girl On The Train, Paula Hawkins brilliantly casts a dark and depressive shadow over her newest novel Into The Water. Another go-around with an unlikable character flanked by equally unlikable and creepy supporting characters.
Two women have recently drowned at the hands of the local river in Beckford, the Drowning Pool. Nel Abbott, a single mother, writer and photographer dredging up the past of former drowning victims, and Katie Whittaker the teenaged friend of Nel’s daughter Lena who committed suicide. Uncertainty swirls around whether Nel was pushed from the cliff above or jumped to her death. Was she getting too close to solving the mysterious deaths of the Drowning Pool?
Nel’s estranged sister Jules has shown up to identify the body and take up residence in her house to watch over Lena. Digging deeper into Nel’s past unravels horrible memories of their childhood. Jules is looking for insight to why Nel so desperately tried to reach her before her death.
Meanwhile, Louise Whittaker is trying to come to grips with her daughter’s suicide. Like all mother’s she was sure she knew her daughter well. Lena lets Katie’s big secret out of the bag, a secret affair with her school teacher, causing Louise to cast blame on Lena.
There were a few things that didn’t work for me with this story. Hawkins presents a large cast of characters and a lot of back and forth perspectives. I found this quite confusing and detracting. I also never felt a connection to any of the characters, I found them thinly developed. Finally, the storyline is weak – I was never left in suspense wanting to turn the page. Towards the end I just wanted to be done.