Title: Into the Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary

This is the second book from the author I have read, first one was Girl on The Train. The famous book gained vast acceptance and sold over 2 million copies. I thoroughly enjoyed that one. That, coupled with this being a Reader’s Choice in Mystery from 2017 on goodreads.com. made Into the Water my first book of this year.

This book however was equally fast paced. The setting for the book is rural England in the town of Beckford. The water inlet from the nearby river is a source of entertainment and an integral part of the town. But the water has an ugly history of women falling to their deaths from the cliff above into the “Drowning Pool“- the more accepted name . The latest death is that of Nel Abbot, a mother to a teenager who was documenting the strange deaths of women that had occurred at the Drowning Pools. Hawkins gradually unfolds that mysteries behind the deaths of all these women that which turn out to be profound and unexpected.

Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women

Paula Hawkins has the ability to make her readers empathize with some very odd characters. In this book she has managed to tell stories of some powerful characters which fall into place very smoothly towards the end of the plot. However in this book there were just too many characters, they were all over the place and she honestly could have avoided giving them that much importance because some ended no where. I for one, got pretty confused because every three pages Hawkins would switch the story-telling from one character’s perspective to the next. So just between reading the book and learning to hop between characters took me half the book. I was honestly tempted to make a cheat sheet of characters just so I remembered who does what in the book.

That said, the vast array of characters do make the story unpredictable. There are elements of domestic violence, inappropriate relationships, jealousy and violent behavior that just keep the reader guessing who the culprit is.

Anything was possible. When you hear hooves you look for horses, but you can’t discount zebras.

However as the reader learns more about the characters the shame, the small town mentality, the fragile sibling relationships and the broken childhood all make sense to the reader. In spite of a bit hodge podge of characters, this book delivers an exceptional mystery as it keeps one guessing until the very last page. So pick it up as your next read if you’re in for something fast past and a bit Alfred Hitchcock-ey.