I love murder mysteries, especially on audio book—my commute just flies by! I especially enjoy murder mysteries with female narrators. It’s safe to assume I really loved Gone Girl. When The Girl on The Train came out, I was an early cheerleader. I “read” it through Audible and the narration was really outstanding, which I think made me like it more than I would have if I had just read the book normally. This is all to say, I came into this book with high hopes. It had to do quite a bit to disappoint me, and boy did it disappoint me.
Spoilers will abound.
Let’s start with a synopsis, shall we? Travel reporter Lauren “Lo” Blacklock’s apartment gets broken into, and two days later she’s on a cruise where she hears a big splash, like a body thrown in the water! She’s the only witness to a murder! Or is she? Maybe she’s just crazy and imagined the whole thing!
And that’s the gist of it. We spend half the book debating Lo’s sanity with her and the other passengers. She had a nervous breakdown several years ago and takes antidepressants! Oh no! How can we possibly believe her when she has depression? As if that were not enough, on the night of the “murder” she’d been drinking and she was majorly sleep deprived. That’s not to say all of this DOESN’T happen in real life, of course. But Lo is an idiot and a pain in the butt AND she makes things so much worse for herself. I won’t go into too many details, but she gets captured by basically following a trap, she accuses everyone, she sees a picture of the missing girl and instead of pulling the photographer aside and asking for a copy she just lets it go. She blabs to the entire ship without thinking of potential consequences! She develops a bit of a spine by the end but good lord it’s like pulling teeth for this woman to develop a sense of self preservation.
Beyond Lo’s sheer dumbassery, we have the fact that plot lines are just left dangling everywhere. The person who was supposed to be in Cabin 10 had his house broken into (just like Lo!) but then we never get an explanation as to whether those two things are connected. Everyone involved in the murder plot dies except Lo so we don’t get much closure there—everything happens offscreen. In between Lo’s narrative, we get news clips that tell us Lo’s boyfriend, who she treats like crap by the way, is putting together a manhunt for her because she hasn’t answered her emails while she’s on a cruise! Sure, the WiFi’s down, but why couldn’t the police call the ship? Again, so many bizarre choices.
Suffice to say, I was not a huge fan BUT it I can admit did its job and I was entertained for a few days. Just don’t think about it too hard and it might be enjoyable. Maybe. If you ignore Lo.