Paula Hawkins is a Zimbawe-born British author, best known for her best-selling psychological thriller novel The Girl on the Train, Which deals with themes of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse. Hawkins Sixth Novel Into the Water, was released in 2017. Around 2009, Hawkins began to write romantic comedy fiction under the name Amy Silver, writing four novels including Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista. She did not achieve any commercial breakthrough until she challenged herself to write a darker, more serious story. Her best-selling novel The Girl on the Train(2015), was a complex thriller, with themes of domestic violence, alcohol, and drug abuse.The novel took her six months, writing full-time, to complete, at a time when she was in a difficult financial situation and had to borrow from her father to be able to complete it. The novel was adapted into a film in 2016.
This book revolves around three women Rachel, Meghan and Anna and their narration from individual point of view. The story begins with Rachel a 32 year old women,divorced from her husband Tom. He is now happily married to another women Anna and also has a girl child Eve. Its been 5 years since the separation and She still haven’t recovered ,which has turned to an alcoholic. She has lost her job and in search of another job. She stays along with her friend Cathy who she knew from her college days. She takes her regular train which passes through her old place where stayed with her husband. Also she observes the activities of another couple who stay few blocks away from Tom. They were a perfect couple ,but have never met them in real life.
Megan Hipwell was living few houses away from Tom and Anna’s. She was working in small art gallery, but got gallery got shut down due to the lack of market for art. Then she worked as nanny for while at Anna’s place. But left after 2 or 3 months. She was in a relationship with someone else before marriage and was in a live-in relationship. She had a brother Ben who died in a accident. Megan has not been able to come in terms even though few years have passed. On suggestion from Scott, her husband consulted a psychiatrist, Kamal for whom she eventually developed an attachment and wanted to be in a relationship. She did talk about this to Kamal during one of her visits to him. But he didn’t have the same feelings and was scared that it would effect his practice. He wasn’t American nationalite, a refugee who lived in US for his career. One fine Saturday she goes missing unexpectedly.
Now to introduce another character Anna. She happens to be wife Tom and has girl child Evie. Megan was working there for a while as nanny. Anna lives few blocks away from Megan. She always had issues with ex-wife Rachel as she kept disturbing by trying to contact Tom at odd hours. This was sometimes effecting the family happiness. It is been 5 years since both Tom and Rachel split up. But trouble keeps popping up. On the night when Megan disappeared she saw Rachel in the area, exact reason for presence there was unknown to every one. In fact Rachel had sneaked into Anna’s house through backyard and took over Evie and tried to calm down the crying child. After that incident she was seen passing through Megan’s house.
Rachel had blackout on Saturday night and couldn’t remember anything that happened that day. But when she woke up her stuff were in the hall and house smelled of vomit. When Cathy came back to house, it was unclean and vomit through the entire house. She was frustrated as this had become a regular sight and had given Rachel 4 weeks notice to leave the place. Police also come next morning to enquire about Saturday night which even aggravated the situation. After few days she met with an accident and admitted in hospital and this helped her convince Cathy to let her stay at home . Her mother also was in a initial relationship with someone, but offered to help with some money. She went to the station and with the investigating officer and told them what she remembered that day and also gave them a key information. The other day when travelling on the train she had seen Megan with another person kissing each other in the most intimate way.
She mailed Scott, Megan Husband saying that she information regarding Megan’s case. Meanwhile she was called by the police authorities again and if she identify the person from few photos . Two days later she receives mail from Scott asking her to visit him. She reveal to whatever she witnessed and possibility of Megan in extra-marital relationship. The truth was a shocking revelation to Scott as he loved her the most and it was unexpected out Megan to fall in relationship with someone else. On Friday night both of Megan and Scott had a huge argument. Kamal was arrested as a suspect and investigated for 2 days and released him due lack of any evidence
On further investigation by the police it was found that Megan was in relationship with her Psychiatrist Kamal. On Saturday she visit Kamal house to talk with him and get things clarified. She reveals a secret about her past life that she has never revealed to Scott as well. In her previous relationship, she was majorly involved with drugs ,drinking and hanging around with friends. But eventually there was fallout with them. One fine day, she finds out about her pregnancy, but still carried on to live a carefree life. After the birth of her girl child , he left her out and never returned.
Megan body was found in nearby area buried and given that Kamal is more a suspect and Scott was considered to be a suspect. Rachel visited him again to beg for forgiveness and to assure him that whatever she said was truth. She had to reveal him that she was alcoholic, but at same she didn’t lie about what she had told him.
Now let us to the actual crux of the story. Megan and Kamal weren’t in a relationship. She had called him up to her house to ask her on a advice. She was pregnant and not with Scott, but with the person who she was actually having extra-marital affair. She was having in a relationship with Tom since the time she was working as Nanny to his child. But after she stopped working, there was pause in the relationship. When she tried telling the whole truth to Scott, there was huge argument, following which she went out of the house and never returned. She immediately called Tom to meet and even threatened he doesn’t show up. Eventually he did after attending to scene created by Rachel. Finally she revealed she carrying their baby and she wanted to ensure that he should take part in the growth of the child. But Tom didn’t accept it and requested for abortion as he wasn’t ready for another baby and also that she can never be a good mother. Denial from Megan to abort the baby lead to argument which eventually turned to a fight. Tom, unable to control his anger harassed by hurting her with huge stone on to Megan’s head, leading to death.
Meanwhile Anna found a spare phone in Tom’s Gym bag and found out he has been receiving messages from another women. As a result she had doubts that Tom was in a relationship with Rachel again. As she trying to sort it out and find the truth,Rachel came by her house. She revealed the truth about Megan and Tom’s relationship and revealed that Megan was pregnant when she was killed. Rachel tried to use the trick told to her by Kamal to help her find out the incidents that happened on the day of blackout.
Their whole conversation was overheard by Tom. When questioned he revealed the truth to both of them. When Rachel tried to leave, although after assuring that she will not tell the truth, he tried to assault her and kill her and made sure Anna and Evie were safe in their room. Eventually Tom was killed when she was trying to save herself. When the police came to the scene Anna saved her up by telling she had to do it in to defend herself