The Girl on the Train short summary & analysis

The Girl on the Train


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The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

Categories:Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

The Girl on the Train Analysis

People who read a lot of detective stories, know the cliche progress of these kind of books. There is a mysterious murder and the writer makes it obvious who are the guilty ones, one by one. And in the end neither one of them is the killer. That way, they thought that they surprise the reader. Also at the end of the book, they put the killer and the person who solved the mystery together to confront. So, Paula Hawkins’ detective novel The girl on the Train is a novel, just like this.

First of all, I would like to say that the first half of the book is very boring. We read an alcoholic woman who is also in depression, in a train over and over. It is necessary to show the interesting connection with the victim but, we can say that it’s way too long. The second half is getting faster and the curiosity increases but when the writer uses the usual detective novel strategies, people who read these kind of books know who the killer is and also can predict what will happen in the end.

As I said in the beginning, for the ones who like detective novels, ending is not that exciting. Writer’s attempt to ignore the killer and explain the suspects for so long already gives away the killer. After that you only read the rest of the book to find out you were right or not. And the end is pretty much the same cliche.

The Girl on the Train Short Summary

A person named Rachel takes the train everyday, and a couple who live by the house next to the train racks, attracted her attention. She was so interested that she gave them nicknames. The most important reason for this, was that she once dreamed about a house near the one with the couple lived. Rachel was once married but when she found out that she could not have children, she got depressed and started drinking. After that, her husband cheated on her and married that woman, also living in the house that Rachel once dreamed about living. That’s why when she sees the couple, she sees her own past and her dream. But, when she saw the woman with a different man, she was surprised and got disappointed.

Rachel got even more surprised when she saw the news one day. The woman from the couple she watched all the time, was missing and her husband was in shock. So, Rachel learns their real name. The suspect was the husband but Rachel does not believe that. She goes to the house to tell the husband what she saw a few days back. To get the man to believe her, Rachel says she is a friend of his wife and explains what she saw from the train. Also, she tells everything she knows to the police but because she is an alcoholic and disturbs her former husband, her words is uncared for. Moreover, Rachel was drunk, and was in the same neighborhood as where the couple lived, to disturb her husband again, the night the woman went missing, but she doesn’t remember anything. What she remembers is that she got hurt somehow and the woman who is missing looks a lot like her ex husband’s new wife.

Police, finally discovers the missing woman’s body and learn that she was pregnant. All the suspicion was turned to the man who the woman cheated her husband with. Rachel continues her work to solve the case and save the husband who she sympathizes with. However, the husband of the deceased woman, finds out that Rachel is an alcoholic and also is not a friend of her wife, he uses violence. After that incident, Rachel thinks that, he also might be the killer.

When Rachel was in confusion, she sees a person on the train station, she reminds of what happened that night. Now, Rachel knows the truth but also knows that no one will believe her. When she found out that she was right, she was face to face with the killer.


great novel, movie is terrible but i really liked the book