The cover captured my eyes the very first moment. And the fact, that the German edition uses the same as the English edition, was also a plus. And I was very curious if this book would turn out to be as bad as all the critiques were saying. When I placed my request for this book I never thought that I would get it. And with all those bad critiques in mind, I wasn´t even sure what to expect from the thriller. So I set my expectations on a very low level, ignored everything the others had written so far, and handled it like I always do: Reading the entire book before building my own opinion.

Into The Water*
by Paula Hawkins
Publisher Blanvalet on May 24, 2017
Genre Thriller
Pages 473
Format Softcover
Source Publisher

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn´t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she´s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool …
Jules is back home. Not because she wanted it, no, because her sister Nel has died and she needs to get some things cleared. The old town is as mysterious as ever and her childhood memories aren´t pleasant. But the fat girl of yore no longer exists. Slim and eager to find out the truth about her sister’s death, Jules asks uncomfortable questions, isn´t willing to just let go and steps on the foot of an old man who believes he is the master of every female person in the world.

The writing style is soft, there is a lot of guessing and thinking but not really detailed actualities that could pull you really in. And the fact, that from the first page on a lot of characters are being introduced to the reader and the plot jumps back and forth in time isn´t very helpful either. Paula Hawkins has divided the story into four parts. During those the language is gentle some figures are very blunt and some are very hesitant.  The psychological finesse is great. No doubt about that. And the base of the plot is a good idea - just not very well implemented. In my eyes a sad thing, because if she would have used everything she set up in her scheme for this thriller, she could have made this book a great one.

A lot of things were presented when it comes to places, other women, stories within the story, and what the relationship between Jules and her sister Nel was. You can read this book without problems, yes, but there is nothing that makes you eager or breathless to find out what´ll happen on the next page. It is like watching a quiet river chop in his river bed without any drift, swirl, or anything else. I missed details, the feeling that there had to be a greater reason why all this happened. And from a certain point, I was kind of sure, who the bad person was. Only to find out that I was right and not right. Yap, the end was kind of confusing. But who wonders? 

This thriller contains some sick thinking. And the fact, that there is only one thing a woman is good for seemed very ancient to me. Everything that goes South is blamed on women. They are evil creatures and that was something, that disgusted me. No, I am not a feminist, but here, with the pale story around it, it was way too much. 

Until the very end, it wasn´t possible for me to build a connection with the figures. They are without any depth, there was nothing to get a grip on, and the picture the author is creating about women in general not really something I want to see.  

Jules has cut every bond she ever had with her family. After her mother´s death, she moved away and refused to speak with her sister ever again. Good, she had her reasons, and it turned out that some major misunderstandings were the reason why they couldn´t go along with each other anymore. For me, it was simply too much of everything. Too much hate, too much rage, too much helplessness, and way too many things she didn´t want to talk about. Not with her sister and for sure not with her nice.

A beautiful cover that shows exactly what this thriller is all about. The end was plain and simple said, way too chewy and way too long stretched. And the fact, that I always felt like kept in the distance with the figures, the dry atmosphere and everything else that is happening in this thriller, let me come to the sad conclusion that this author and her style is really nothing for me. Sad, but this was an average thriller lacking some important things - a great or at least good thriller should have.

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Blanvalet in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review. 

*The original title was published Into The Water by Doubleday on May 2, 2017

Paula Hawkins
Paula Hawkins ©private

Paula Hawkins grew up in Zimbabwe. 1989 she moved to London, where she still lives. Over 15 years she worked as a journalist before she started writing novels. Her first novel Girl on the Train captured instantly the top of the bestseller lists in England and the US and even before the publishing date DreamWorks secured the movie rights. 


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