Publication Date: 13 January 2015
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
The novel is told in the perspectives of three women: Rachel, Anna, and Megan. However, it is predominantly Rachel that the readers hear the story from.
Every day on the train, Rachel watches the perfect couple of “Jess” and “Jason” at 22 Blenheim Road, where the names of the couple is what she came up with to give life to her fantasy. In fact, she has great knowledge of Blenheim Road, as she used to live there with her now ex-husband. More details about her ex-husband and his current wife Anna are quickly uncovered.
When someone goes missing, Rachel attempts to understand what happened on the same night of the disappearance. She quickly asks the question of whether she was somehow involved in the mystery, as she was in the same area when the disappearance occurred. Rachel is unable remember the events because she is an alcoholic and was blackout drunk that night, making her memories come back in waves as the story unfolds.
How Rachel, Megan, and Anna are connected is fascinating. Throughout the novel I was changing between what I thought the outcome would be. Would the missing person come back? Did the narrator commit the crime? The author attempts to have the readers wondering these things as the secrets come out.
What I found flawed about this book was the way that each chapter flowed, as the chapters changed between the characters of Rachel, Megan, and Anna. Megan only spoke of the past, and at times did not relate as much as to what was happening in the present with Anna and Rachel.
I also found the ending to be quite predictable and tame. At certain times the plot had flaws that I questioned. The genre of the novel seemed more of a mystery than thriller, too, in my opinion.
I still enjoyed the book, though, and found it quick and easy to read. I was still very invested in the mystery and for most of the novel wondered what the outcome would be. While the ending was not too overwhelming and shocking, it was realistic. Although I did not guess the ending in the beginning, I figured it was a possibility later on because of obvious clues laced throughout the narrative.
I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a mystery. You will not be let down by the writing, as it is quite good. There is also a film based on this novel that came out in 2016.