I’m going to say this right out of the box, this was not as good as Girl on the Train. It had its moments but if you expected this to be anything like Hawkins’ first book, you’re going to be sorely missed.
The premise of the book is a small British town having to come to terms with the death of a single mother. With everyone in the town feeling guilty but essentially no one willing to take the blame, the town’s hate and love of the local Drowning Poll draws in the focus of not only the single mother’s death but other women’s deaths there too.
While it was twisted and even suspenseful at parts, it was hard to get into. There are tons of diverse characters and you’re essentially trying to keep up with who’s who and what’s happening. The amount of characters, and how they unraveled with other plots, made it difficult to keep up. I essentially had to make a mental flow chart of who was with which family and what they had done. But, like I said, there are parts that get you sucked into the plot.
Hawkins’ style of writing is really what kept me wanting to go further and further into the book. Her descriptions and visuals of the scenery were enthralling. As someone who lived in England for sometime it was almost like taking a wee trip back down memory lane, but a rather dark one. Take for instance this line:
“They never saw what the water really was, greenish-black and filled with living things and dying things. Out”
While there are some shortfalls to this book, in terms of numerous narrators, and a shit ton of plots to follow, this is an excellent crime thriller that packs one hell of a plot twist ending. Like Hawkins wrote:
“Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.”