Friday, May 05, 2017

#SRC2017 Book Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (audio)

Title: Into the Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Narrator: Laura Aikman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, Imogen Church
Published: May 2017, Penguin Audio
Length: 11 hours 31 minutes
Source: Personal copy via Audible

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense.

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.

My thoughts: As soon as I heard Paula Hawkins had a new book coming out, I knew I was going to read it. But, I have a confession to make - I didn't love The Girl on the Train...I liked it, but it definitely wasn't my favorite book. That being said, I was still willing to give this author another try because I liked her writing style and wanted to see what she would do in her second outing. 

I will say, I was a little apprehensive picking this book up and as you will notice from above, I decided to go the audio route this time around - and am so glad I did! I really liked this book - much more so than TGOTT! It's dark and intricately plotted and told by a cast of characters - which can be overwhelming at times, especially in the beginning, but once you figure out who is who, it all makes sense! I actually took notes to keep everyone straight. 

This is a multi-layered, multi-faceted tale, that is tightly woven. Once you start to pull at the threads, it all starts coming apart. I was entranced by the many characters and the lore surrounding the river. Between the recent deaths and the deaths that had happened in the past, along with those investigating it and the interesting townspeople, you get quite a story. It's sinister, dark, full of secrets and lies, and I love that the river and drowning pool almost become a separate character.

One of the themes that this book tackles is memories. Do they happen the way we remember them or did some trauma, or even time, alter them? This is tied in to the central mystery, though there are other forces at play. There is definitely a tangled web that Paula Hawkins weaves, taking so many different parts to make this moving tale, and if you blink you just might miss something! 

This book is a slow mystery, full of surprises and twists and turns. With so many characters, I was a bit apprehensive that I would have a hard time following along, but with the short chapters (and my handy note page) I was able to keep everyone straight and once I really got into the story, I felt more and more wrapped up in it! 

Paula Hawkins is certainly a talented writer - there's no doubt about that! And she likes writing twisted, sinister, crazy books with characters that will stick with you long after you finish reading about them. I cannot wait to see what comes next from this author!!!

Audio thoughts:
I loved the audio production of this book! Each of the narrators were brand-new to me, and I thought they all did a great job. The amount of emotion they infused into their voices when needed, especially Laura Aikman, who portrayed Lena, was amazing. It can be tough when so many narrators are used in an audio book, but in this case it was definitely a good idea. I really enjoyed this audio production - it kept me engaged and captivated from start to finish - in fact, I listened to the whole thing in 2 stretches! 

Into the Water  by Paula Hawkins is one of  BookSparks "Summer Reads" reading selection picks.  
Follow the #SRC2017 hashtag on twitter to read reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other summer books! Also, be sure to check out the BookSparks Facebook page for the #SRC2017  and other fun links. You can participate in weekly secret missions for chances to win signed copies of selected books and more! There's a new secret mission each week :)


  1. I'm also listening to this one. I'm about 3 hours in (1/4 way) and finding all the characters pretty daunting to keep track of. Good story so far, and good writing, so I will persevere.

  2. I did like her earlier book so I think I'll like this one too.


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