20 November 2015

Books: The Girl on the Train/Dark Places

I posted this screen capture of my iBooks on Instagram a few weeks before I gave birth. I thought I was going to be able to catch up on my reading list while waiting for the baby to arrive, but I was mistaken.I was either too sleepy, too tired or was pre-occupied with thinking what else to prepare that I only managed to finish a couple of books.

iBooks Reading List

For some reason, our TV was always tuned in to the Crime and Investigation channel. I was watching these crime shows almost everyday, JP found it weird and even told me, one day, to stop, and move on to another station. I think he was concerned all those sinister and creepy shows will affect my mindset, and pass on to the baby. So, no more CI channel after that.
My book preference, however, still leaned toward suspense and crime. I finished these two about a week apart. One was a disappointment, and the other was a compelling read.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

The blurb (Source)
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? 

This book has been on the New York Times Bestseller's List for almost the entire year, that's why I put it on my reading list. You can't help compare it to "Gone Girl", but there's something missing here. The main character, Rachel is an alcoholic and I personally can't stand her ramblings. She's an unlikeable character and that makes for a challenging read. I almost stopped reading, because it was too long-winded. I found it trying too hard to make it hard for you to guess what really happened and who the killer was.
Read this if you have a LOT of time to spare, but even then, you'll probably backread to a couple of chapters because you'll forget what previously happened. It will be made into a movie soon, I think it will be better if you just wait for it to come out.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

The blurb (Source)
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

Similar to the main character in "The Girl on the Train", Libby Day is a flawed and unlikeable, but I rooted for her throughout the book. I like how the narrative went back and forth between the past and the present to give you clues as to who really did the crime. But in the end, the answer is still shocking and also sad.
This one was already made into a movie, which was critically panned. So I suggest you go ahead and read the book, it's still slow reading, but it's really good.
I'm looking for the next great mystery/suspense novel. Any suggestions are welcome!

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