Two short, eerie prologues set the tone for this smash hit of a novel, The Girl on the Train. A body in the woods followed by a woman fearing for her life.
Rachel catches the 8:04 in London Euston and returns just before six each day. Her train stops at the same signal each day, which gives her plenty of time to look out of the window and stare at the houses beyond the tracks. Two of these houses hold particular meaning for her. One, the house in which she and her ex-husband lived. He still lives there, with a new wife and daughter.
The other one is a bit more of a mystery. She calls the couple Jason and Jess and imagines their lives for them. Perfect couple, perfect life. And she reflects on how she has fallen.
Then one day, she sees something that could change the course of not her life but the lives of those who live in these two houses. And she is determined to solve the mystery.
This is no small feat, however, between her alcoholism, her blackouts, and the trouble with her ex and his wife. And as she unravels the mystery, slowly but surely, she comes to discover the gaps in her own memory, so convincingly filled by others, are not what she previously believed.
I found The Girl on the Train to be one of those books that you just have to read wherever you are - making a cup of tea, doing the housework one handed, staying up as late as you can... It's brilliantly paced and the three points of view - Rachel, Anna (the new wife) and Megan (the actual name of the woman Rachel called Jess) - help the mystery keep pace as each chapter reveals something new.
Highly recommend this book - but don't start it just before you go to sleep as you once you start it will be very hard to put down.