Why talk to your family about any of your personal issues?
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help.
Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to
the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the
teenage girl her sister left behind.
But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.
And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .
Paula Hawks has returned with about a pool, a drowning pool and the river that leads to the pool, the town next to the river, and I guess the people in the town. The follow-up to her popular debut, The Girl on the Train (reviewed). I am glad that this book wasn't titled The Girl in the Pool or do I immensely regret that it wasn't. It would probably be called The Girls of the Waters. Pool just sounds like holiday fun, rather than murder and death.
This novel is told in the point of view of a cast of (over ten) characters. Jules, sister of dead Nel is probably the focus, but there is no clear protagonist. Most these characters are unlikable. All of them are, some of them are despicable. It was fine, but it was quite a detached affair. The pool was the focus, but also didn't feel like personification location. It was more just a lot of shit has gone down at this part of the river. It's conspiracy of a town, who cares about people's sad little lives and horrible personalities. There were attempts at redeeming, but I didn't care enough about these characters to care. Except for the few I wanted to die. This was more about the plots, which fine in a thriller especially when you are juggling so many characters to tell a story.
There are some similar plot motifs from Hawkins début, you argue repeating themes if you felt like it. There is several mysteries going on. The discovery of Nel's body in the river is the starting point, but its a track so we loop around a lot. Nel herself was interested in the drowning pool's history and mysteries, writing a book about them (which we do get excepts from), therefore pissing off the locals because everyone needs a motive. There is obvious red herring. There is some stuff in the plot that makes no sense, I mean people make no sense.
I now would like to randomly point out that a teacher having a relationship with a student is criminal offense under the The Sexual Offenses Act 2003 unless that student is 18 then it's a grey zone of probable firing (though can still be charged for). The teacher if caught would be put on the sex offender register. I can't imagine a way a teacher would not know that. (Once again if you're under 18 years old, don't trust people who are immediately interested in you sexually who are two years older than you. There is something wrong with them and I have not been proved wrong in this. Girls are not that maturer than boys, this is a myth that I won't get into a rant at the moment).
I listen to this on Audio book, with David Weyman, Imogen Church, Rachel Bavidge and Sophie Aldred. Like I said there is tons of character, so these actors just jump around a lot and characters have more than one voice actor, I guess the choice of having more than one came from them knowing it would make money and The Girl on the Train leading its self so well to having more than one voice actor and does gave the best distinction by actually having different voices to change to, especially as some characters are real minor and forgettable. They were all fine, we got a vast range of British Accents, though I did think Welsh which this book is definitely not set in Wales. It set in middle England or upper England. I don't know enough about English motorways or remembered the town's name to see if its a real place. Hours from New Castle or something.
Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars for missing jewellery. This novel kept me interested is what I want from Mystery Thrillers. While different from her debut (which is should be), it is of the same level as her last novel. Once again if you like thrillers and the idea of this plot, gave it a go.