Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsThe Girl on the Train: What it is about

From the publishers: “Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

The Girl on the Train: What I thought

This is one of the books I read for the 24-hour-readathon. And it was ideal for that. A fast read, reasonably thrilling, ideal for when you want something that doesn’t last for hours and hours and hours.

It was both interesting and frustrating that the main character, Rachel, can’t remember certain things. She was in the area when a woman went missing, but did she have anything to do with it? She doesn’t know. She befriends the prime suspect, the woman’s husband (a real clever thing to do, right?) and meddles in the police investigation. But for all we know, she has nothing to do with it. Or maybe everything.

It’s fun to read, but I had trouble keeping certain characters apart, in particular the husband of the missing woman, and Rachel’s own ex-husband. They seemed too similar. Also, their partners were rather similar. What I like about certain thrillers, is that initially I have an idea of what might have happened and during the story, I have to change my mind again and again. That was certainly the case here. Bit by bit new information comes to the surface that changes your view on the situation. I love that!

So, a fun, quick read, but nothing too special. Ideal for a holiday or train journey.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 318

First published: 2015

I got this: from Ciska of Ciska’s Book Chest (just because)



Book review: Disclaimer by Renée Knight

'Disclaimer by Renée KnightDisclaimer: What it is about

From goodreads: “Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew—and that person is dead.

Now that the past is catching up with her, Catherine’s world is falling apart. Her only
hope is to confront what really happened on that awful day . . . even if the shocking
truth might destroy her.”

Disclaimer: What I thought

The story is narrated through the viewpoint of two people: Catherine, the woman who
finds the book about herself, and an older man, a widower. After a while, it becomes
clear how the two are related, and the man becomes a threat to her.

The beginning was a little slow, and relied on the fact that Catherine had never told her
husband and son what happened in the past. She never thought anyone would find
out about it, but they do. And soon her husband mistrusts her and her life falls apart.

Her husband seemed to quite easily believe the story he is told, although Catherine
claims it was not like that. She doesn’t get a chance to tell her story, but when she
does, he quite easily believes that as well. I found it a little too convenient how he believed whatever he was told.

Catherine’s character was very convincing. While she should have told others about what happened to her in the past when it did happen, she had a good reason not to. Some interesting developments make this initially slow book a good read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 352

First published: 2015

I got this: from the publishers for review (E-book via Netgalley)

Genre: Psychological thriller


Book review: My Last Confession by Helen Fitzgerald

My Last Confession by Helen FitzgeraldMy Last Confession: What it is about

From amazon: “A naïve parole officer in her first month on the job. An extremely good-looking convicted murderer. What could go wrong?

These are some of Krissie’s tips for fellow parole officers:

Don’t smuggle heroin into prison.

Don’t drink vodka to relieve stress.

Don’t French-kiss a colleague to make your boyfriend jealous.

If only she’d taken her own advice…

When she starts the job, Krissie is happy and in love. Then she meets convicted murderer Jeremy, and begins to believe he may be innocent. Her growing obsession with his case threatens to jeopardise everything – her job, her relationship and her life.”

My Last Confession: What I thought

Helen Fitzgerald’s books are thrillers with a difference. They don’t fit into the typical thriller-mould and are a little crazy, but great fun at the same time.

Krissie thought being a parole officer would be easy. You read reports, visit the prisoners and that’s it. But already on her first case, she gets involved more than she should. He is a good-looking guy, and he wasn’t even anywhere nearby when the murder happened. It’s just that his estranged mother won’t give him an alibi, although he was with her that day.

So, Krissie is a little in love and talks to the people in his life and slowly starts to home in on a possible killer. Her home life is a mess, meanwhile, with her artist boyfriend is busy organising an exhibition, while he’s in the meantime supposed to look after their young child.

It was fun, it was different, it had quite a twist, too. An easy read for when you want a thriller without blood and gore. Oh wait, there are of course some missing fingers…

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 272

First published: 2007

I got this: bought it

Genre: thriller

Other books I read by this author: The Duplicate, Bloody Women


Book Review: The Home Place by Carrie La Seur

The Home Place by Carrie la SeurThe Home Place: What it is about

From the publishers: “The only Terrebonne who made it out, Alma thought she was done with Montana, with its bleak winters and stifling ways. But an unexpected call from the local police takes the successful lawyer back to her provincial hometown and pulls her into the family trouble she thought she’d left far behind: Her lying, party-loving sister, Vicky, is dead. Alma is told that a very drunk Vicky had wandered away from a party and died of exposure after a night in the brutal cold. But when Alma returns home to bury Vicky and see to her orphaned niece, she discovers that the death may not have been an accident.

The Home Place is a story of secrets that will not lie still, human bonds that will not break, and crippling memories that will not be silenced. It is a story of rural towns and runaways, of tensions corporate and racial, of childhood trauma and adolescent betrayal, and of the guilt that even forgiveness cannot ease. Most of all, this is a story of the place we carry in us always: home.”

The Home Place: What I thought

The publisher compares this book with A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash and The House Girl by Tara Conklin, which I enjoyed both, so I was keen to read this book. While I’m not quite sure about the comparison with the latter, I enjoyed The Home Place a lot.

Alma comes back “home” after her sister has died. Is it an accident? Really, Alma wants to go back to her busy life in the big city but there’s also her sister’s daughter. There isn’t really anyone suitable around who can take care of her. They spend some time on the Home Place, the old farm house where no one of the family have lived for a while.  But are they safe there?

Alma finds herself looking into her sister’s death and discovering things she’d rather not know. It’s an almost-thriller (I wasn’t on the edge of my seat at any time) that gently evolves. It was enjoyable but it finished too fast for me. I guess that’s a good sign.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 261 (ebook)

First published: 2014

I got this: for review from Netgalley/HarperCollins

Genre: contemporary fiction


%d bloggers like this: