Book Review: Into the Water

“Some say the women left something of themselves in the water; some say it retains some of their power, for ever since then it has drawn to its shores the unlucky, the desperate, the unhappy, the lost. They come here to swim with their sisters.”

I expected this book to be beautifully, hauntingly chilling. It didn’t quite get there. I’ve previously read and enjoyed The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, which was creepy and intense, and succeeded in hurrying me through the pages, desperate to find out what would happen. Into the Water was a slower build, and the race to find a killer felt stagnant for a lot of the book.

In another way, Into the Water portrayed this history of women drowning in a particular spot in Northern England, and I loved the witchy, dark and historic vibes. It touched so closely on becoming a haunting ghost story, then boomeranged back into a thriller without giving in to the haunting, ghostly undercurrents that were desperate to burst forth.

I liked the message Hawkins was putting forth – of troublesome women, and how their families, their lovers, their people, don’t accept them. But the main villain(s) in the story felt weak. Even though some of the story came from the viewpoint of the killer (that’s not a spoiler; almost every character gets their own POV chapter), I didn’t really accept the killer’s motivation and actions.

However, I still enjoyed reading this, and especially enjoyed the subplots that allowed Hawkin to portray and play with her discourse of troublesome women. I gave it 3 stars.

Thanks for reading this book review!

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