BOOKS CHECKED OUT
Before there was the movie, there was the extremely popular book. For those who aren’t familiar with the story of “The Girl on the Train,” Rachel is intrigued by a woman who disappears, a woman she watched from the commuter train. Because of her heavy drinking, Rachel is not a believable source, and the plot twists keep the audience guessing. If you like suspense with a questionable protagonist or in which people aren’t what they seem, check out these other psychological suspense titles.
by Ruth Ware
On assignment for a travel magazine, writer Lo Blacklock takes a luxury cruise. When her first night is disturbed by a noise, she hastens out to the veranda. “I thought I saw something beneath the crest of a black wave — a swirling white shape that trailed beneath the surface as it sank, like a woman’s hand.” Interspersed between chapters are emails, news articles, and web forums about the disappearance of a woman. But nobody is missing from the ship, and because of Lo’s past trauma and her history of mental illness, nobody believes her. She, in turn, doesn’t know who to trust. “I leaned over the balcony, just as I had the night before, remembering that moment — the sound of the veranda door sliding stealthily back, the huge smacking splash, shocking in the quiet, and the smear of blood across glass…And for her sake, I could not let this drop. Because I knew what it was like to be her — to wake in the night with someone in your room, to feel that utter helpless certainty that something awful was going to happen, with nothing you could do to prevent it.”
by Susan Crawford
When Dana’s neighbor, Celia, is murdered, Dana can’t be sure that she didn’t commit the crime. “She was there. She was involved in Celia’s day, although she isn’t sure exactly how. She had far too much to drink…She closes her eyes and tries to remember the last thing she said to Celia. She thinks it was ‘I don’t ever want to see you again.’” Dana suspects her husband is unfaithful and she believes she’s being watched. “She’ll drive around until she gets her bearings, until she slows herself down. The snoring husband she no longer trusts, the house that fills her with foreboding, another night to pace and ramble as the sun claws its way up from the ground, lighting the sky with a bright, unwelcome day.” Her manic-depressive state affects her dependability but also gives her energy. “Right now the world is crystal clear, a honed and beauteous thing, allowing her to solve the mystery of her neighbor’s death, to bring back the soggy, foggy afternoon, to recover the missing moments and fill in all the blanks until she knows she had nothing to do with Celia’s violent departure.”
by A.S.A. Harrison
Alternating between Jodi and Todd, this is the story of a dissolving relationship. Jodi is a psychologist who enjoys a tidy and pleasant life with Todd. “In other words, she is deeply unaware that her life is now peaking, that her youthful resilience — which her twenty-year marriage to Todd Gilbert has been slowly eroding — is approaching a final stage of disintegration, that her notions about who she is and how she ought to conduct herself are far less stable than she supposes, given that a few short months are all it will take to make a killer out of her.” Todd likes his life with Jodi but has a passion for his best friend’s college-age daughter. “It’s like he’s in a car that’s careening along in the wrong lane, heading into oncoming traffic. It makes no difference that he doesn’t know how he got here. It’s going to be him who’s held accountable.”
by Colette McBeth
Rachel’s best friend Clara disappeared and Rachel, as a journalist, is assigned to the story. Rachel addresses the book to Clara, reminiscing about their once strong friendship and trying to figure out what took place. “So I didn’t see you that night. I wish I had. More than anything I wish I had. Because I know now that you must have seen me.” As mysterious things happen to Rachel, she becomes more apprehensive. “Everything was changing. All the things I thought I could hold on to were being snatched away. I didn’t know what I would be left with.”
by Fiona Barton
Jean has recently lost her husband, Glen, who was a suspect in a child abduction. “Everyone was very kind and trying to stop me from seeing his body, but I couldn’t tell them I was glad he was gone. No more of his nonsense.” The truth unfolds bit by bit as the narration switches among the perspectives of the widow, the detective, and the reporter, Kate. “Jean pulled her handbag onto her knee and undid a small packet of tissues ostentatiously, unfolding one to wipe an eye. She’s not crying, Kate thought, She’s faking.”
The Rutland Free Library has “The Girl on the Train,” the titles above, and many other thrillers.