Maureen Ellis is a keen reader in the crime genre. She regularly posts on Goodreads.com
Nel Abbot was found dead in the
river, just a few short months after the death of her daughter's best friend
Katie in similar circumstances.
Nel had lived in Mill House by
the river her entire life, and most of her memories pretty much revolved around
this dark and forbidding body of water, particularly 'The Drowning Pool'. It's
a place of secrets, mysteries and witchcraft. Nel was completely obsessed with
stories of 'troublesome' women who had lost their lives in the 'Drowning Pool'
including a 14 year old girl pronounced as a witch during the Witchfinder
Trials in the seventeenth century.
Nel leaves behind a daughter,
(15 year old Lena) who appears to harbour secrets of her own, and she's just
one of many in this small town of Beckford. It's a small town with big secrets.
The tragedy brings Nel's sister,
Jules back to the place she swore she'd never return to. She's Lena's only
family now but they've never met and relations between the two are somewhat
strained to say the least.
The narrative is told from many
viewpoints, with each chapter being devoted to a different character. I
particularly enjoyed the way this worked; as it gave each character plenty of
depth. The fact that they were bite sized chapters too, was an added bonus.
There was something of a slow
start, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of it, as the hints at witchcraft
and mysteries, and where this story was actually going, really kept me gripped.
There's a sinister air throughout, with unknown voices and footsteps on
creaking floorboards in the dead of night. There are lots of threads to the
storyline, lots of frayed edges, but Paula Hawkins pulls them all together to
create a fascinating read.