Trigger warning: rape
After "The Girl on the Train" I should have passed on reading this. But I figured I would give Paula Hawkins one more try. This book was all over the place with too many characters and motivations to keep straight. The writing was not good, nor was the flow. Also I picked out who did it straight away so that wasn't even a surprise. There is a lack of descriptions of people and the setting through the whole book. It doesn't even reads taking place in England by the way. Just some faceless town that sounds way too "American". Also there's barely any dialogue between characters. Enjoy reading inner monologues all over the place.
"Into the Water" is supposedly about a woman named Jules, called back to a summer place she and her family stayed at while growing up. Jules sister Nel is found dead, an apparent suicide. However Jules doesn't believe her sister committed suicide. Be prepared though for Jules to not really do a thing about that and spend the majority of the book "talking" to her sister and relieving a traumatic event that caused her to cut her sister off from her as an adult.
There's about 10 other character POVs we get in this one by the way. Besides Jules we have her niece Lena, Lena's friend who committed suicide younger brother Josh and his mother Louise. We have the local police (two of them) the local policeman's wife and father. Lena's school teacher, and a local psychic. I feel like I'm blanking on someone, but I can't even recall at this point. That's way too many people to track while reading. There's absolutely no development since each chapter POV is around 3 pages long. Just know everyone but Josh is terrible in some way.
Ultimately we have Nel's death leading to consequences for a lot of characters in this book Nel seemed hell bent writing a book about the local swimming hole that had a lot of deaths attached to it. When a young girl who was best friend's with Lena dies, many blame Nel's research as making suicide fascinating to teens.
The writing was not great. I can see why each chapter needed the character name since after a while all the characters sounded the same. We also get excerpts from Nel's book in between some chapters that also makes things confusing. The flow was non-existent since jumping every few pages to another character makes it hard for the plot to progress.
The setting of this book is some English town though at times I thought I was reading about some town in New England. I don't know why but when I think of witches being drowned which is about one of the stories that Nel is writing about, I automatically think of Salem. It doesn't help that we don't really get a sense of the town or the place or anything else because none of the character seem to pay attention to anybody but themselves. It's just disappointing because I think there was a very good glimmer of an idea in this book that just got lost because there was way too much going on.
Ultimately I think that just maybe this book was a bit too rushed that people were trying to build on the success of "The Girl on the Train." I mean I'm one of those few readers that thought that book was just overblown hype and wasn't as good as everybody else kept talking about. And I definitely don't think this book is good at all. If you're going to read it I suggest you get it from the library and you don't waste your money on on this. There's better thriller books out there I think that are going to be worth your time.