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Publisher's Summary

From a writer proven to have a masterful touch when it comes to atmospheric dread, this is a suspenseful story of two sisters and the deceptiveness of human emotion and memory. Hawkins' prose manages to put a fresh spin on an age-old story of family secrets and their devastating effects.

The most hotly anticipated novel of the year, from the author of the best-selling novel The Girl on the Train.

©2017 Paula Hawkins (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Very depressing

Couldn't finish the book. This doesn't read like a 'whodunnit' or mystery...it's just about grief. 2 senseless deaths, and all the families grief...in the end I just couldn't take it anymore and gave up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very hard to follow for me.

There were so many different facial points I got totally lost with who was who. Gave up on it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • GB
  • 06-03-17

A Great Read

I bought this book because of The Girl on a Train, which had been a good pot boiler and I wanted to read more.
This book is very different. It is a better story and better written. It draws you with twists ans turns that that psychological rather than thriller like.
It is slower and weaves a tale of a more complex nature that shows how everybody is involved in a small town society
On the critical side: the tale has much more potential than the writer develops and there are a few flaws that one might nit-pick over if your were inclined,
On the whole it is a great yarn, well told and entertaining. It shows a developing style as an artist that is full of promise.
To sum up I loved the book, I was riveted to the tale and I look forward to the next one.
The production is solid. The readers are wonderful, they develop a feel for characters in their reading which gives a nice depth to the story.
All in all and excellent buy and an excellent investment of your time to read.

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Into the Water

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, but did not find the ending as suspenseful as Girl on the Train. The author has a good way of writing though and the narration was good. Now looking forward to the next book. Enjoyed the characters

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  • Simon
  • 05-03-17

Out of the Hype Comes Real Quality!

I come at this from the probably fairly rare perspective of someone who has never read The Girl on the Train. Simply too many books too little time. That said even I was never going to fail to miss the hype surrounding it and the film which I have also managed to let pass me by somehow. However, the hype around both meant that the pressure on Paula Hawkins to deliver with this book must have been immense.

What struck me very quickly about this one is that it is most definitely not a rushed out second book to ride the wave of popularity. Rather, it's a well-constructed and thought out thriller that came over very differently to the kind of story that I had imagined.

It's partly a one-way conversation from one estranged sister to another. It pokes very hard at the psychology of grief and childhood problems and at how misplaced loyalty and bias can have telling consequences. From a brutal but intriguing start this moves from one point of view to another gently hinting and probing at the multi-layered mystery underneath.

The cast are by and large very good, giving great individuality to the characters as you would expect from top quality narrators like Weyman and Church. That said, I did feel that one of the narrators was a bit weaker than the others. The one additional small weakness of having more narrators in this format was that of course it meant that some of the main characters were voiced differently by the different narrators which jarred just a little.

So, out of all the hype and from under the undoubted mountain of expectation Paul Hawkins has produced an excellent mystery. It has a large cast of well-conceived characters and you will need to concentrate more than some books to get the best out of it but it genuinely is worth it.

65 of 75 people found this review helpful

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  • N
  • 05-05-17

Don't bother.

Unlike most people I was never that impressed by the girl on the train. So when I saw this book I was slightly apprehensive about purchasing it. I thought I'd give the author a second chance and really wish I hadn't.

This book is infuriating, completely ridiculous, unbelievable characters. You know what this is about? Miscommunication, that's it. If the characters weren't so pathetic at communicating half of the events wouldn't have occurred. I had about three hours left and had to return it before I ripped my hair out.

Non of the characters are likeable and just infuriate you with their complete stupidity.

I will never read anything by this author again in the future.

38 of 46 people found this review helpful

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  • bookylady
  • 07-03-17

A great page turner. I loved it.

Paula Hawkins had a lot to live up to, following the huge success of The Girl On the Train. But in this story I felt she managed to achieve a story of considerable depth and complexity.

Told from various viewpoints and in several different voices, this is a story that gives an account of the mystery surrounding the death of a woman in a notorious Drowning Pool. But did she drown in an accident or was she killed?

Several people fall under suspicion, including the local policeman in charge of the investigation. The narrative twists and turns, exploring the motives and background of all those who fall under suspicion.

A great, satisfying end too. Excellent narrators gave the story a compulsive quality; I couldn't stop listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheila
  • 05-04-17

Disappointing

The narration is good, but the story is all over the place and the characters never came alive to me and none were very sympathetic. Too contrived. Wouldn't recommend – and I loved The Girl on the Train

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • carole
  • 05-08-17

Does not deserve all the hype, huge let down

Would you try another book written by Paula Hawkins or narrated by the narrators?

Perhaps.

What was most disappointing about Paula Hawkins’s story?

Rambling, pointless, confusing. Tried several attempts to get interested, to no avail.<br/>Hugely disappointing.<br/><br/><br/>

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Too many voices for pretty boring characters. Narrative doesn't warrant such excellent performers.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

All three emotions.

Any additional comments?

No.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 05-06-17

So disappointed 😔 awful

I am so disappointed with this . I had high expectations.,the characters jumped around so much and didn't make sense at times
Boring mismatch and sometimes the narration sounded the same and I had to stop and think who was what. It certainly for me was not a listen that you could get lost in .....
So so disappointed 😔

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Ann D
  • 05-06-17

Confusing and un-engaging!

I persevered for 7 hours, but I have to give-up with 4 1/2 to go. There are too many characters and too many narrators. I quite like the character Jules and could have really engaged with her if only she wasn't repeatedly lost amongst all of the others. Beyond that I couldn't care about any character, most were superficially drawn. Several chapters were devoted to various character's dream sequences, others devoted to stories of women drowned as Witches in times gone by. Listening felt like being slow walked to an epiphany. However, I fear there won't really be one. Finally, the repeated flicking between first and third character, together with the large number of supposingly significant characters contributing to making the story confusing.

The narration was mostly good, but the Geordie accents voiced by a female narrator (not Imogen Church) were a bit OTT and forced.

21 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • MR
  • 05-05-17

Woeful

I honestly cannot believe this book is from the same author as "The Girl On The Train".

There are simply too many characters in this book and I did not care about a single one. I could not understand their motivations or actions because without exception every single character lacked any real depth or personality. I found the switching between first and third person completely jarring and unnecessary which led to a quite frankly miserable listening experience.

This is such a disappointing book and I persevered with it for far longer than I normally would have done and made far more allowances with the book (especially early one where the book is downright ponderous) purely on the strength of the author's previous work. However in the end I simply could not justify spending any more time trudging through such an unenjoyable work of literature and returned this book with 3 hours to go.

Paula Hawkins next work will have to be a unequivocal return to the standard of writing displayed in her debut before I even consider reading a single word of hers again.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen M.
  • 05-07-17

A disappointment

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I quite enjoyed The girl on the Train. I didn't consider it a masterpiece but the characters were plausible and I didn't guess the outcome until nearly the end. Into the Water is completely the opposite: I couldn't believe in the characters and and I thought it fairly obvious who had done what from early on.

What could Paula Hawkins have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Started again with a different idea!

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

The narrators did their job well enough apart from the one reading the part of Jules who gave a truly awful wooden performance. If she had been tasked with reading the whole book I would have given up after 10 minutes.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

I wish Paula Hawkins luck with her next book.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • karen 2000
  • 05-06-17

Utter disappointment

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better book, I am afraid.

What could Paula Hawkins have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Thrown the first draft away and started again.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

Little Mix?

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was easy to return and get my credit back

16 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane Syd
  • 05-11-17

Couldn't wait to finish this dragging disjointed story

What a disappointment this book is. It felt like girl on a train and into the water were written by different authors. The story lacks mystery, purposelessly slow paced sucking you into false sense of grand mystery about to be revealed only to reach disappointing conclusion. The narrators are dull and monotonous. If it hadn't been for the fact that Paula's first book was great, I would have stopped listening 1/3 into her second.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacqueline
  • 06-01-17

Too many characters!

What disappointed you about Into the Water?

Way too many characters, every chapters i listened to i was scrabbling to remember if i had already been introduced to this character and what part they played in the story

What was most disappointing about Paula Hawkins’s story?

The jump from how riveting Girl on the train was compared to how confusing Into the water is

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

The narrators were not the issue

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Into the Water?

Honestly i would of just told the story from two point of views rather than giving everyone in the town a voice

Any additional comments?

I can see how the story would of been interesting but as mentioned i think it could of been conveyed just as well from less characters

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Rod
  • 05-14-17

Another fine mystery

Like her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins’ latest mystery weaves its story from multiple perspectives, fleshing out the curious deaths of two linked people within weeks of each other, both at a local suicide hot spot nicknamed The Drowning Pool.

The use of five narrators in the audiobook adaptation separates out the different viewpoints with clarity and drives home the unique traits of each individual in this thickly-populated story. The marvellous Imogen Church, Doctor Who’s Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, Rachel Bavidge and Laura Aikman keep our attention and curiosity burning despite the largely unlikeable characters.

It opens with the death of unpopular newcomer to Beckford, UK, Nell Abbott. She’s found in the water of a popular picnic cove that runs off the Beckford River; a spot with a history of murder and suicides dating back to the drowning of witches hundreds of years ago. A steep cliff face and shallow waters have combined to give the area a dark history.

Nell had been drafting a book, offering fictionalised accounts of the actual deaths at The Drowning Pool, both historical and more recent. It was a deeply despised idea that the townsfolk were against. Already an outsider, her persistence with researching and writing the book had been making Nell increasingly unpopular.

Nell’s death leaves behind her rebellious teenage daughter, Lena, who is still grieving for the loss of her best friend, Katie, only weeks earlier at the same spot. Placed under the care of her estranged aunt, Jules, it soon becomes evident that there was more going on under the surface of Nell and Katie’s lives. With resistance from the local police but some help from the new Detective Sergeant, Erin Morgan, the family duo begin to question if the two deaths were, in fact, murders.

From violent past boyfriends, to misogynistic old men, an interfering psychic busybody, and Katie’s wimpy brother Josh, there are only a few moments of likeability to be found amongst the people of Beckford. Their personal agendas drive the story forward however, and the stellar narrators make them real. Into the Water is not as tense as The Girl on the Train. This book is more a mystery than a thriller, and a character study of those within a defined community. The ending offers the expected twists that you won’t see coming, but it doesn’t tie up all the loose ends clearly and the tension is not as high nor as impactful as the previous novel.
What continues to surprise me the most about multi-cast audiobooks is the lack of direction given to the performers in how to present the characters. There is a lack of continuity, allowing each narrator to put their own slant on each character for the chapters they read, whether it be a character’s accent, tone or mood. The reading of Into the Water suffers from this lack of direction but no more than other multi-cast audiobooks – although it’s perhaps more noticeable here because of the large number of characters and readers. Multi-cast narrations are still quite effective however, and do make so many perspectives easier to follow.

Into the Water may not be as good as The Girl on the Train but it’s still a worthwhile mystery that unfolds in Paula Hawkins highly enjoyable and unique style. Read this and more audiobook reviews on our site at GlamAdelaide dot com dot au, including a review of The Girl on the Train.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachael Jones
  • 05-12-17

Gripping

I loved her previous book so was excited to read this one. Its premise sounded good, if not obviously a bit depressing but also intriguing.
I loved the way she wrote it, always changing people's point of view so you had to keep reading to get the whole story about an event or person.
I didn't love the ending, somehow I felt like there should have been more to it. It almost felt anti-climatic. But not necessarily bad.
It held me captive all the way through which is rare for me so I enjoyed it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Shayna
  • 05-08-17

Gripping, well crafted listen

This is a book that is particularly well suited to being listened to. With multiple characters speaking from their own viewpoint it can get confusing. Thankfully the vocal talent in this rendition is outstanding and makes each character instantly recognizable. Highly recommended.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • barbara
  • 06-15-17

boring

the narrator was ok but the storyline lacked the suspense that her previous novel had. All in all a pretty lack luster novel

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-09-17

Page Turner, Easy Read!

A captivating story full of interesting characters & many twists & turns. A recommended read!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • 11-23-17

Frustrating

Too complex for an audiobook. I needed visuals I could revise to understand the relationships between the numerous characters. Instead I found it frustratin trying to remember who was who and missed the finer points.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-20-17

first audio book

This was my first audio book. i found this a little difficult to follow as each chapter changes the perspective of the story and the timeline changes a little. A paper book would have allowed me to flick back easier. However, I got there in the end and enjoyed the story.

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  • Michelle
  • 10-18-17

Give it time

This book was really great once I got into it. Initially I found it difficult to keep up with all of the different narrators, but I’m glad I stuck it out because I really enjoyed it. Paula Hawkins always knows how to give a book a great twist!