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  1. The Girl On The Train is, perhaps, an odd choice of title for a novel about a woman, Rachel, in her (presumably) late 30s, divorced from her husband and commuting on a daily basis from the Home Counties into central London. In fact, the novel is not really much more about Rachel than about Megan, a woman whose garden backs onto the train line, and Anna, the woman for whom Rachel’s husband Tom left her. On her journeys to and from London, Rachel often sees Megan in her garden, sometimes joined by her husband Scott. Of course, Rachel doesn’t actually know the couple – thinking of them as Jason and Jess – and imagining the wonderful and happy life they must be leading. Rachel, lodging with an old university friend and submitting her soul to the demon drink. So when Rachel hears that Megan is missing, she can’t help getting involved. The plot is a twisty, turny thing brought to us in first person narration by each of the three women – Megan’s narrative taking place over an earlier time period. Rachel’s memory plays tricks with her, meaning we have to fill in gaps and infer the real picture from those around her. Rachel, in particular, is an impetuous woman who jumps to early conclusions. Hence, she finds a succession of grand theories behind Megan’s disappearance, and champions each one with vigour until it is replaced with the next. This leaves the reader constantly guessing, sometimes one step ahead of Rachel, and sometimes on step behind. It is complex and well done. On the other hand, the three voices are way too similar and it can be too easy to forget who is narrating, given that the same cast of characters pops up in all three threads. I understand that the voices sound quite different in the audiobook so the similarity between the narrators is not a problem. But for readers of the written text, it is a shortcoming. There is quite a female feel to the book. It is about relationships and emotions; insecurities and disempowerment. However, it stays the right side of the chick-lit barrier; it is a good psychological thriller that both men and women would enjoy. ****0
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