Into the Water by Paula Hawkins [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: Into the Water

Author: Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Publish Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins


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.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins


A single mother is found dead at a local spot known as the Drowning Pool. It is unclear if she slipped or jumped to her death, either way, her death is investigated.

The deceased woman is Nel Abbott, and her death brings out more questions about a teenager who had recently died at the Drowning Pool. The teen, Katie Whittaker, had committed suicide a month earlier at the Drowning Pool. Her death shocked the community because it seemed so unexpected. Into the Water centers around the story of these two women, but told from the other characters viewpoints.

There are a lot of characters in Into the Water. Each chapter has a point of view for a character, mostly a main character but sometimes a minor character. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. This novel seemed a bit confusing with the hopping around of viewpoints.

The main characters are Jules Abbott (Nel’s sister) and Lena Abbott (Nel’s daughter). Minor characters are Louise Whittaker (Katie’s mother), Josh Whittaker (Katie’s brother), Nickie Sage (the town psychic), Mark Henderson (a teacher), Erin Morgan (a police officer), Sean Townsend (a detective), Helen Townsend (Sean’s wife), and Patrick Townsend (Sean’s father). Also, sometimes stories are told about other women who died in the Drowning Pool. Like I mentioned, a lot of characters, which means a lot is going on in the story.

I like Paula Hawkins writing, and I wanted to see where the story was going. I did think a bit too much was happening, and it was kind of predictable. I don’t mind predictable though, so I’m okay with that.

This story is pretty dark, which I liked. Truly, none of the characters are good people. It works for this book, but there is not a lot of character development on anyone in the story. The women were okay, some stronger and some weaker. I didn’t like that every male character was weak. I enjoy stories about strong women, but I also like to see strong men depicted in the story too. The only male character that was a decent person was Josh, and he’s a boy, not a grown man. I guess that was sort of the appeal of the book, nobody was perfect and they all had their secrets.

Books by Paula Hawkins:
  1. The Girl on the Train
  2. Into the Water
  3. A Slow Fire Burning

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