Popular Mysteries, The Girl on a Train

Every so often, books that I would not classify as a mystery, thriller, or suspense, are touted as one. The best example of this that I can think of is Gone Girl. The book was a lot of fun to read. I liked its quirky, modern style. Yet I was surprised to see it nominated for a mystery award. All good novels involve questions to be answered, turns that take us by surprise, but that doesn’t make them a mystery, at least not to me. I mistakenly thought The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins would be another non-mystery labeled purely for dastardly marketing reasons.

Ms. Hawkins book is a mystery, even to a finicky person like myself. (I’m still trying to get over the changing definition of a cozy.)

The beginning is a bit sluggish as we wade through the confused thoughts of our protagonist and switch points of view. The reader must be ready to concentrate which is not always my forte. Ms. Hawkins’ writing techniques are fun for a writer to evaluate, yet not transparent enough if I use John Gardener’s standards.

Do read on! I won’t tell you exactly why as that would give away too much. I’ll just say that everything fits neatly together as we would expect from a writer of her caliber. The Girl on a Train gets 4 stars from me. (Don’t confuse this book with the movie that came out in 2013.)

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