The Girl on the Train

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In brief – a good thriller, but not a very good novel. It had all the page-turning qualities of a competent thriller, even though I suspected I knew whodunit about two thirds of the way in. Paula Hawkins’ novel is well written, a crisp prose with believable characters. But it is only just a thriller and as such at times I felt as if I were reading a detailed treatment of a screenplay. While that’s all fine for the thriller genre, this book doesn’t extend beyond that. In contrast, the Stieg Larsson books made for good thrillers and good novels. They explored social ills in Sweden, such as violence against women, while giving its readers thriller plotlines. So too with Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which combined thriller with social satire. Once again, I’m left wondering what all the fuss is about.

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