This psychological thriller, the follow-up to the huge-seller The Girl On The Train, is set in a village in Northumberland, where Jules Abbott returns home following the death of her estranged sister, Nel.
Was it suicide or foul play? The plot quickly thickens, as the stretch of water where she’s found has a long history as the scene of a series of tragic female deaths.
Nel herself was artistically obsessed with this place, known locally as The Drowning Pool, and the book similarly seeks to draw us in to its darkly compelling depths.
The story has many twists and a lot of plot to get through, alas, and the welter of revelations and reversals does get a tad breathless.
On top of that, the story is told from no fewer than 11 different viewpoints, and it takes quite a while for the reader to get each character sorted in the head, especially as tonally, they all sound quite similar.
The setting, which ought to be a living, breathing character in its own right in a tale like this, fails to really come to life.
Hawkins is very good at describing characters experiencing extreme emotions, and there are passages and scenes that are individually gripping. But somehow as a whole, the book lacks the narrative intensity and psychological power of The Girl on the Train.