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Publisher's Summary

The author of the number-one New York Times best seller 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 15-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 listen 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.

©2017 Paula Hawkins (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    3,210
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Don't Hold Your Breath


I got a bad feeling during my first few minutes into this book, about the time the umpteenth character was being introduced, realizing that I'd lost complete track of the *whos* and *whats.* You know the feeling; you're listening along and feel like you're suddenly in a crowd of unfamiliar faces, wondering how you got wherever you are. I started over, committing a little more attention. It didn't help and that sinking feeling came over me again. But, "this was the author of The Girl on the Train! Paula Hawkins! An author compared to Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott!" I trudged on until I felt like one of the characters in the book...I wanted to walk into that water until it flooded over my head and drowned out the words that were going into my ears. What a relief *blub blub blub* would be compared to this bloated, insufficiently complicated plotline that seemed to be choking under its own tangle of contrivance and banality.

Into the Water lacked a believable psychological premise, and crumbled under the weight of its own implausibility. The back and forth chronology was enough to give you motion sickness; the myriad of unlikeable characters either unnecessary and poorly drawn, or interjected; the plot buried under a congestion of side ramblings that carried you further away from resolution. A combination of too many innocuous storylines, too many ambiguous characters unraveled into a tangled knot that prevented a focused forward projection or mental connection. Hawkins showed none of the taut pacing that made TGOTT a psychological thriller. Everything about Into the Water feels awkward and sadly, absurd. I would love to give examples to back up my opinion, but won't spoil those elements.

I feel bad for Hawkins, an author so *in the spotlight* from her previous blockbuster; surprised that a savvy editor wouldn't point out the structural problems because this is truly one of the most poorly structured novels I've read. One review I came across stated the story dragged, but Hawkins threw in a surprise switch-up ending...that may be some reader's opinion, not mine. Novels should be polished versions of a first draft where every chapter is significant. I never want to spend hours and pages (that feel like a work in progress) for one chapter of good story telling. To me, this book had that lack of quality you look for and expect from a seasoned writer.


163 of 180 people found this review helpful

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Is it over yet??

I found myself constantly checking how long was left til the end of this book. Because the story was told from so many perspectives I never got to know the main characters, and it was difficult to empathize with any of them. Instead of feeling compassion for their grief, I got sick of listening to them whine and feel sorry for themselves!

56 of 64 people found this review helpful

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  • Mollie
  • United States
  • 05-08-17

Too much going on with too many characters

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I really don't know. On the one hand, there's a lot about the book that draws you in. There's the history of the drowning pool that stretches back to witch persecution days, then there are the modern-day deaths that are either suicides or murders that have been covered up, too.Yet, the book has too much going on with too many characters. It's hard to keep everything and everyone straight. The book was just too "busy" for me. Simplify!

Would you recommend Into the Water to your friends? Why or why not?

Didn't I just answer this question?

Which scene was your favorite?

I don't think I had one.

Do you think Into the Water needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, it doesn't need a sequel because the last 45 minutes tidies everything up. It might need a prequel that goes back to the time of the witches.

Any additional comments?

It's a mixed bag. There's good and bad. A lot of people loved the author's first book, Girl on the Train, but I didn't. I think this book may have been a little better, but not by much.

33 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Stick with it!

As many others have pointed out, the first hour or so of the book can be a little confusing: many characters, many story lines and not always easy to differentiate between voices. However, given that I had read that from other reviewers I made a point to really focus and pay close attention and it paid off. I became familiar with the voices, characters and their relationship to one another and enjoyed the story. I do agree that at times the story seemed to drag on more than needed, but the suspense and the action really made up for it. The narrators were excellent and I never had that feeling of awkwardness that comes with overacting some audio books have.
Overall, I enjoyed this experience and recommend it to others who enjoy suspense and using your brain to follow and sort out who did what.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Not a good listen.

Too many sub plots, too many characters. Quite frankly it seemed like the author was just putting fill material into the book to make it longer. She should have stopped with Girl on the Train or taken more time to develop an interesting plot. Waste of time and money.

47 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Not worth the read

I finished this book only because I loved Girl on a Train but this book had no characters that were worth rooting for and basically everyone just keeps dying in the water.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Ignore all of these reviews.

The reviews almost ruined this book for me. I never usually read reviews but I somehow made it onto the reviews page and ended up reading some. 'Too many characters' 'too hard to follow' etc. it was a great book. I did need to focus a little more than most books because there is a lot of characters and every part is important, but it was a very good story. Very well composed. I loved it!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Gail
  • Kirkland WA
  • 05-08-17

Who are these people??

What would have made Into the Water better?

The story could be improved by having fewer characters and a story that makes sense ...

Has Into the Water turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, not at all.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

There were too many voices/narrators and that can ruin a book. None of them were distinct enough to make a difference. The female voices just blended in to one ...

Any additional comments?

It was so convoluted ... too many uninteresting characters with different "stories" and views and background. It was tedious and not satisfactory.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Let Down

I'm glad I listened - I guess. Kept my interest and was hard to put down. I agree there were too many characters to keep track of, especially as an audio. I was so confused at the beginning, I started over three times. Very odd storyline and I really didn't care for anyone. I just finished it and I don't feel anything but let down.

28 of 35 people found this review helpful

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Deliciously complex.

Paula Hawkins set the bar high for herself with her debut novel, ”There Girl on the Train." With "Into the Water" she has cleared that bar with feet to spare.

"Into the Water" is not an audiobook to be listened to casually, while doing something else, but it hugely rewards the reader who pays attention and grows familiar with its myriad narrative voices, only some of which are reliable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful