Into the Water is the second novel by Paula Hawkins, author of Girl on the Train. It hasn’t received the same attention or acclaim as her first novel but I have to admit that I found it a great page turner. It’s definitely not up there with her first but had enough intrigue and to keep me coming back.
The book tells the story of a lake in a small town that has a bleak history. First as a location for witch trials and later as a suicide spot, with all of the victims women. When two women die in the lake in quick succession it leads to the unravelling of hidden histories in the town.
Hawkins drops clues like breadcrumbs throughout the story and hints at several suspects, which leaves you wanting the story resolved. I enjoyed the format, with the story revealed from the viewpoint of several characters. It was interesting to see the different interpretation of events by characters and it does make you think about your own take on situations.
My one big hang up about the book was the youngest narrator – Lena. At times she seemed every bit a teenager and at others she seemed far too mature based on her description. There were moments where her emotional intelligence and awareness was beyond belief, especially given some of the earlier chapters. We think we know it all at 16 but this kid really seemed to see through people and to read and handle situations that adults would struggle with. But in the next chapter she was sullen and childlike. Flitting between the two didn’t sit right with me, but I guess the teenage years are that middle ground. A delicate thread between childhood and adulthood, so who am I to judge?
If you are looking for a fine piece of literature this is not the place, but if you want a quick mystery to keep you guessing this has it by the barrel.