“Blood is thicker than water…”

Hello wonderful readers! Thanks for taking time out of your day to read the final instalment of books beyond the story’s crime month reviews! What a month it has been! Here is a reminder of all the titles involved…

‘Everything But The Truth’ by Gillian McAllister

‘The Escape’ by C. L. Taylor

‘Watch Me’ by Angela Clarke

And dun dun dun duuuuuuuuun….. The last book in this crime special is ‘Into the Water’ by Paula Hawkins.

Now, this is the same author who wrote the worldwide phenomenon ‘The Girl on the Train’ (scroll down my blog and you’ll find the review for it!).

After reading ‘The Girl on the Train’, (which I really enjoyed) my expectations were quite high but after reading a few chapters of Hawkins’ new book, I realised that this book was an entirely different ball game. The themes were a lot darker and instead of thrilling I would say that it was more of a twisted mystery. This does not mean I didn’t enjoy it! I believe that Hawkins’ second book is meant to be a little more distorted and wicked than her first bestseller. I like the fact that the author has explored different themes in this story instead of being a ‘carbon-copy’ of her first. There are a few similarities (such as character narratives) but for the most part, a fantastically different novel!

Set in the little town of Beckford in England, the story is focused around a river which the locals call ‘the drowning pool’. The pool has historic significance of drowned witches and troubled women but it seems history has repeated itself when Nel Abbott is found dead in the water. Did she jump? Was she pushed? With the locals keeping secrets and lying to one another, the past starts to surface leaving those to blame exposed…

Jules, (Nel’s sister) now has to deal with the aftermath of Nel’s death in addition to looking after Nel’s daughter, Lena. A troublesome teen with a wild spirit isn’t exactly a good match for meek and mild Jules. I did like how their relationship progressed through the novel though.

Basically, it’s a ‘whodunnit’ of what happened to Nel… was it an accident or was it murder? I liked the lingering mystery throughout the book but storylines of the many many many (many many many) characters kind of ‘used up’ the thrilling elements inplaces leaving the ending a sort of… anti-climax. That’s another thing- characters. Because there were so many it was a little confusing and some were a little irrelevant to the plot. However I guess it, well, kept me guessing till the end! And believe me when I say the mystery goes right up until the last page…

Personally, I don’t know why anyone would live in a town where a river is known for drowning and suicides (some of them only teenagers!) but then again, a spooky setting is great for a whodunit! In my opinion, I would have liked a bit more focus on the supernatural, especially witches. There are a few elements where the characters may or may not hear the voices of the dead, but still, I would have liked a little more.

I did like the interrelating plot lines between the characters as it allowed me to connect with them a bit more and change my opinion of them. It was a bit like ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. I think Hawkins was really clever for writing the characters in this way as it was another technique to keep you guessing what happened to Nel…

RECOMMENDATION

I would recommend ‘Into The Water’ for anyone who loved ‘The Girl On The Train’ as although the themes are much darker, it is still a mystery thriller in my book! For anyone who is curious to read a more modern whodunit, after the classics of Agatha Christie per se, I believe Hawkins is just the author to bring a murder mystery into the modern world!

I hope you enjoyed Books Beyond The Story’s crime month! I sure have! I will be doing more themed months in the future so stay tuned! As for the next few weeks? I have a bunch of author requested reviews to post including some interviews with the authors themselves! HOW EXCITING IS THAT?!

I’d sum up this book as a ‘modern day thriller taking you on a dark and twisted journey’

As always, Happy reading!

PS. Once again I found myself deep in goose poo after trudging down to the lake for this picture… I was seriously considering renaming ‘crime month’ to ‘the month where I had to live amongst the geese to get cool book pictures’. 😉

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