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Book recommended by Nitya Kamath

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller with twists and turns that you will never expect. 

Rachel is an unemployed and divorced alcoholic living off her college friend. She is still desperately in love with her ex-husband, Tom, after he left her for another woman named Anna. With the down spiral that life has thrown at her, she turns to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Every day, she takes the train to London. As she passes by Bleinham Road, she overlooks a line of houses. One of them used to belong to her in her past life with Tom but now he shares it with Anna and their little daughter. She avoids looking at that and draws her attention to house number 15. 

At house number 15, there lives a young couple. She doesn’t know them nor do they know her, but every day she eagerly waits to see them. She names them Jess and Jason, and fantasises about their blissful life together. 

She wakes up one morning after a hazy and drunken night out to find Jess’s picture all over the news. Jess, whose real name is Megan Hipwell, has disappeared. Rachel believes that she has some information that might help the police with their missing person investigation but there is something more. The night of the disappearance is completely blank in her mind but she somehow feels connected to it. As the story unfolds, Rachel’s memory starts coming back to her and she uncovers what happened to Megan Hipwell.

Paula Hawkins is a popular British author, who is known for writing psychological thrillers and novels. She writes the story with a multiple narrative structure, which gives us the perspective of the three people – Rachel, Megan and Anna. She does a great job at tackling social issues and concerns with a gripping story.

With a number of awards and nominations, this best-selling book has been adapted into movies, in English and Hindi.