2015 1st year edition; Riverhead Books publishers, New York; hardbound in fern green boards with silver lettering on cover and spine; very good condition with unmarked pages, appears unread; dust jacket very good.
The Girl on the Train (2015) is a psychological thriller novel by British author Paula Hawkins. The novel debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015 list (combined print and e-book) dated 1 February 2015, and remained in the top position for 13 consecutive weeks, until April 2015. In January 2016 it became the No.1 best-seller again for two weeks. Many reviews referred to the book as "the next Gone Girl", referring to a popular 2012 psychological mystery with similar themes and use of unreliable narrators.
The story is a first-person narrative told from the point of view of three women: Rachel, Anna, and Megan.
Rachel Watson is a 32-year-old alcoholic, reeling from the end of her marriage to Tom, who left her for another woman, Anna Watson. Rachel's drinking has caused her to lose her job; she frequently binges and has blackouts. While drunk, she often harasses Tom, though she has little or no memory of these acts once she sobers up. Tom is now married to Anna and has a daughter with her, Evie – a situation that fuels Rachel's self-destructive tendencies, as it was her inability to conceive a child that began her spiral into alcoholism. Rachel follows her old routine of taking the train to London everyday; her train slowly passes her old house, where Tom, Anna, and Evie now live. She also begins watching from the train an attractive couple who live a few houses away from Tom. She idealises their life (christening them "Jason" and "Jess"), though she has no idea that their life is far from perfect. The wife of the couple, Megan Hipwell ("Jess"), has a troubled past. She finds her life boring, and escapes from her troubles by taking a series of lovers. Megan has sought help by seeing a therapist, Dr. Kamal Abdic. Eventually, she reveals to him a dark secret she has never confided to anyone before.
Anna is young, beautiful, in love with Tom, and happy as a stay-at-home mother to the young Evie. While at first she enjoyed the idea of showing off to Rachel that Tom picked her over Rachel, she eventually becomes furious at Rachel's harassment of her family.
One day, Rachel is stunned to see Megan kissing another man. The next day, after heavy drinking, Rachel awakens to find herself bloody and injured, with no memories of the night before. She learns that Megan is missing, and is questioned by the police after Anna reports having seen her drunkenly staggering around the night of Megan's disappearance. Rachel becomes interested in the case and tells the police she thinks Megan was having an affair. She then contacts Megan's husband, Scott ("Jason") and tells him as well, lying that she and Megan were friends.
Rachel learns that the man she saw kissing Megan was Kamal...