I recently stumbled upon a book named “The Girl on the Train”, while browsing the bookstore for birthday presents, i.e. Stephen King (all hail to the King) books for a friend. It was on sale, not very cheap, but still on sale, and even though I rarely buy new books, as I prefer second-hand, I bought this one for myself, adding it to the basket of King volumes. It was a strange thing for me to do for so many reasons: As mentioned, I rarely buy new books, and I rarely buy books I haven’t somehow been recommended through trustworthy sources, and even more, I rarely, as in never, buy books from the crime section. But there was something about this one. I had come across the title so many times in the past months. I had seen it mentioned over and over while browsing literary blogs, articles, news, etc. And it had caught my attention enough now to be put in my basket.
Luckily for this book, I was on my own in town, and I had some time to kill, which meant I was having lunch on my own before travelling home by bus. Lunch + bus ride means a lot of time for a new book, and I am a fast reader. Before I reached my house, I was almost half through the volume. And I was not very willing to stop reading even though home means kids, dinner, vacuuming, etc. I hurried to vacuum and pick up the kids so I could get back to the book. I managed to read for another hour and a half in the garden while the kids played and then I had to wait until after dinner when the kids were asleep. I didn’t go to sleep myself until I had finished the book.
This may not sound very unusual for other readers but for me it’s quite unusual to be able to finish a book in a day, especially a normal day with lots of other things to do. But I put aside everything I possibly could and just read. This book had something, that special something. The X-factor of books. It wasn’t my genre, not my normal preferred style, nothing normal, really, for me. But it was so good.
All this just to say that you’ll finally see me recommending a crime book. Off you go, now. Go and buy Paula Hawkins “The Girl on the Train.” You won’t be sorry.