We knew it was only a matter of time before Paula Hawkins, the international bestselling author of 2015's The Girl on the Train, released another deeply emotional and psychologically disturbing story. In her new novel, Hawkins' protagonist is Lena, a 15-year-old who's orphaned when her successful single mother, Nel, is found dead—fully clothed, her injuries consistent with "a fall from the cliffs above"—at the bottom of a river in her small hometown of Beckford, U.K. It's also the river where a teenage girl had drowned earlier that summer—and, it turns out, they aren't the only women who've succumbed to those dark waters, which locals call the "Drowning Pool." The two deaths bring up waterlogged secrets of the past, including the demise of half a dozen other women.
While the story is told through the points of view of several characters (in the same rotating-narrative style as The Girl on the Train), it's Lena and her aunt, Jules, a virtual stranger who has been forced back to Beckford to identify her estranged sister's lifeless body and deal with her grieving niece, who the reader fixates on most. The pair must forge a relationship while embroiled in the police investigation of Nel's apparent murder.
Suspenseful, compelling and full of masterful twists and turns, a literary approach we've come to expect from Hawkins, this book will have you enthralled.
Into The Water (Doubleday Canada) by Paula Hawkins, $35.