The Girl on the Train is a mystery set in present-day London. The story intertwines the lives of three women, and the mystery of one of their disappearance. The story’s main character, a heart-broken alcoholic named Rachel, rides the train past her old home every day – where she lived with her now ex-husband – as she pretends to commute to her non-existent job.
During her “commute”, the train always stops in front of a house where a happy couple breakfasts on the patio. During these stops Rachel watches this couple closely, and comes to view these strangers as her good friends. Which is, of course, fairly creepy. Except, Rachel is just not smart enough to seem creepy. She just seems weird and lost and sad and annoying. Which, makes this little stalking habit of hers seem annoying instead of creepy. I almost wish her behavior came across as creepy, that might have helped the story out a bit. Anyways, one day, she sees – from the train – something “shocking” happen while watching for her “friends”. She takes this as an invitation to get involved, which pulls her into their lives.
Can you tell this book annoyed me? It received rave reviews for it’s complex and gripping plot, so I was incredibly excited to read the story. Truthfully, I couldn’t put the book down because I was so intrigued to discover the complex twists that the story promised. Unfortunately, this book is nothing more than a simple summer mystery. And let me be clear, it is a great simple summer mystery. In a hammock swing, near a lake, with a nice wine? It would have been a nice, fun read.
However, since I was expecting complex, it’s ending turned out to be annoyingly obvious, and the plot seemed incredibly simple. If you’ve watched more than one episode of CSI, you’ll be disappointed. Not only is the story line simple, the pretty much all of the main characters are difficult to like, so I found myself indifferent towards each character. Did she do it? Probably, she’s an annoying. Did he do it? Probably, he’s an idiot. Did he deserve it? Probably, he’s annoying. Do I care? Nope, not at all. This is a fast read, however it’s not terribly deep or thought provoking. It is a good a good summer mystery read, but not the award winning best seller it claims to be. Truthfully, if I had lower expectations I probably would have liked the book a lot more. Lower your expectations, grab some wine and read away.