Into the Water by Paula Hawkins [in Library Journal]
The mega-success of The Girl on the Train guaranteed Paula Hawkins’s sophomore title would be an instant bestseller. And, again, Hawkins provides another head-spinning mystery from which she slyly (mis)leads readers toward startling revelations.
Nel Abbot is dead. Weeks earlier, Nel’s daughter Lena’s best friend Katie also died – in the same Drowning Pool. Nel’s long-estranged sister Jules appears to proxy-parent orphaned Lena and attempt to figure out what happened.
The characters proliferate, which could be why the producers decided on a five-narrator cast (Laura Aikman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, and Imogen Church), albeit without attribution (yet again) of who narrates whom. The readers clearly aren’t listening to one another when voicing the same characters: Katie’s mother, Louise, sounds like a middle-aged matron or a hysterical suburbanite; Katie’s little brother Josh flits between expected preteen boy or thug-in-the making; investigator Patrick and his estranged wife Helen sound like they have split personalities. Alas, the cast – already on the verge of unwieldy – won’t get any aural clarification here.
Verdict: Given Hawkins’s phenomenal following, no plot or production missteps will deter her vast audience from demanding access to Water in multiple formats.
Review: modified from “Audiobooks: Xpress Reviews,” Library Journal, October 5, 2017