HQ | December 2016 | 384 pgs
Source: Library

The cover quoted this as The Girl on the Train meets Rear Window. As I haven't read the latter I have no idea what it is about but I did read the former and it was an intense read. With this in mind I began my reading journey with some expectations and hoping that it would surprise me and turn out nothing like TGOTT (not that it is not good, just hoping for something different) and I wasn't disappointed, at least the writing style is concerned.

Set in East London with a new-build apartment and an estate marked for demolition, we see the social divide amid the neighbourhood and the opposite feelings of some of the residents living there. However, this is not about the apartments but one particular woman named Lily Gullick. A keen birdwatcher, she loves looking for them through her binoculars at her apartment until her observation begins to shift to her neighbours. And when she sees something suspicious in a neighbouring block, she decides it's best to keep the information to herself, at least temporarily. But the following day, an elderly woman is found dead in her flat. Lily has spoken to the elderly woman once the previous night and she couldn't help but to link what she saw at the next block might have something to do with the elderly woman's death. And this prompts her to do some investigation of her own until she thinks of nothing but this unsolved case; not even her husband Aiden could deter her from doing so.

As intriguing as this may sound, I found myself disappointed with the story but first I will focus on the things I liked about this book. Lily is an unreliable narrator to start with, and as old as this may sound I haven't gotten tired of unreliable narrators, yet. They are the main thing that keep the story moving and not to mention keep readers on edge. Plus, the writing style is a bit different here. Told from Lily's perspective, the chapters read like a journal yet they connect smoothly and didn't really feel like journal entries.

Onto the disappointing note, I found the story going towards another direction and lacks credibility after reading more about it. At times I found some parts confusing but I persevere, hoping there would be a turn but sadly it still didn't spark my interest. Lily was an interesting character, but I didn't really feel connected to her (maybe in the beginning but then she got on my nerves; plus the story direction may have killed it). That said, I still find there is potential with the author's writing. This book simply wasn't a good fit to me.

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12 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I haven't read The Girl on the Train, but love the Hitchock film Rear Window with Jimmy Stuart and Grace Kelley. Sounds like this book, however, might not be something I'd seek out. :(

  2. Kay Says:

    Well, I have also read The Girl On The Train and have seen the movie Rear Window. I can see the parallels. Sorry this one didn't work so well for you. How do you think it compared with HER EVERY FEAR, another one that's been compared with Rear Window.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Oh, too bad it wasn't for you! I like these type of books, and actually read a Joy Fielding book last month that mentioned it was similar to Rear Window.

    That is not a book (that I know of) it's an American-made film from the '60s or so, that is considered a classic of suspense. If you can ever find it, please watch it because it was awesome. The older one with Jimmy Stewart, not the remake so much. The MC of the film is wheelchair-bound and likes to "spy" with binoculars on the neighboring apartment building to beat boredom. He thinks he sees a murder happen and gets involved, but the possible murderer realizes it and comes calling on him. Alfred Hitchcock directed it; he's a wonderful director!

    Getting back to the book, I guess I will pass, but I do like unreliable narrators still, and stories like Rear Window also.

  4. Lark Says:

    Too bad this one wasn't better.
    I haven't read The Girl on the Train, but I am a huge fan of Hitchcock's movie version of Rear Window (because I love Grace Kelly!) and would definitely recommend it. :) Hope your next read is better.

  5. I like unreliable narrators as well, Melody. I am sorry this one didn't work out though. It sounds like this one fell short in the end, and that's really too bad.

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I've not heard of Rear Window the film until now and it looks like this film is a must-watch. :)

  7. Melody Says:

    Rita - Thanks for telling me more about Rear Window. It does sounds like a film I'd enjoy. I'll have to check out that Joy Fielding book you're telling me. :)

  8. Melody Says:

    Lark - As I said, I need to check out Rear Window. It sounds like a great movie! :)

  9. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I think I got my expectations a little too high, since it was compared to The Girl on the Train and Rear Window. Nevertheless, I'll still check out this author's next book when the time comes.

  10. Melody Says:

    Kay - I don't know, but I think there's a trend about books on peeking Tom's lately, lol. I enjoyed Her Every Fear; it has a few characters who set my heart racing. I do see some similarities between Her Every Fear and The Watcher (the unreliable narrators and their spying movements) but the plots and the motives are different (even the narrator's emotional aspect but I figured this is the best I could say to avoid spoilers, lol).

  11. Iliana Says:

    It seemed like this one could have a lot of potential but sorry it didn't meet your expectations. On to the next book right? :)

  12. Melody Says:

    Iliana - The beginning was great but then it steered out towards another direction. Hopefully his next book will be better. :)

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