Into the Water

Into the Water

by Paula Hawkins

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins



An addictive new novel of psychological suspense from the author of #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train.

“Hawkins is at the forefront of a group of female authorsthink Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbottwho have reinvigorated the literary suspense novel by tapping a rich vein of psychological menace and social unease… there’s a certain solace to a dark escape, in the promise of submerged truths coming to light.” Vogue

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525537199
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 59,321
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Paula Hawkins is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, which was made into a major motion picture.

Read an Excerpt

Why is it that I can recall so perfectly the things that happened to me when I was eight years old, and yet trying to remember whether or not I spoke to my colleagues about rescheduling a client assessment for next week is impossible? The things I want to remember I can’t, and the things I try so hard to forget just keep coming. The nearer I got to Beckford, the more undeniable it became, the past shooting out at me like sparrows from the hedgerow, startling and inescapable.
All that lushness, that unbelievable green, the bright acid yellow of the gorse on the hill, it burned into my brain and brought with it a newsreel of memories: Dad carrying me, squealing and squirming with delight, into the water when I was four or five years old; you jumping from the rocks into the river, climbing higher and higher each time. Picnics on the sandy bank by the pool, the taste of sunscreen on my tongue; catching fat brown fish in the sluggish, muddy water downstream from the Mill. You coming home with blood streaming down your leg after you misjudged one of those jumps, biting down on a tea towel while Dad cleaned the cut because you weren’t going to cry. Not in front of me. Mum, wearing a light-​blue sundress, barefoot in the kitchen making porridge for breakfast, the soles of her feet a dark rusty brown. Dad sitting on the riverbank, sketching. Later, when we were older, you in denim shorts with a bikini top under your T‑shirt, sneaking out late to meet a boy. Not just any boy, the boy. Mum, thinner and frailer, sleeping in the armchair in the living room; Dad disappearing on long walks with the vicar’s plump, pale, sun-​hatted wife. I remember a game of football. Hot sun on the water, all eyes on me; blinking back tears, blood on my thigh, laughter ringing in my ears. I can still hear it. And underneath it all, the sound of rushing water.
I was so deep into that water that I didn’t realize I’d arrived. I was there, in the heart of the town; it came on me suddenly as though I’d closed my eyes and been spirited to the place, and before I knew it I was driving slowly through narrow lanes lined with SUVs, a blur of rose stone at the edge of my vision, towards the church, towards the old bridge, careful now. I kept my eyes on the tarmac in front of me and tried not to look at the trees, at the river. Tried not to see, but couldn’t help it.
I pulled over to the side of the road and turned off the engine. I looked up. There were the trees and the stone steps, green with moss and treacherous after the rain. My entire body goose-fleshed. I remembered this: freezing rain beating the tarmac, flashing blue lights vying with lightning to illuminate the river and the sky, clouds of breath in front of panicked faces, and a little boy, ghost-​white and shaking, led up the steps to the road by a policewoman. She was clutching his hand and her eyes were wide and wild, her head twisting this way and that as she called out to someone. I can still feel what I felt that night, the terror and the fascination. I can still hear your words in my head: What would it be like? Can you imagine? To watch your mother die?
I looked away. I started the car and pulled back onto the road, drove over the bridge where the lane twists around. I watched for the turning— the first on the left? No, not that one, the second one. There it was, that old brown hulk of stone, the Mill House. A prickle over my skin, cold and damp, my heart beating dangerously fast, I steered the car through the open gate and into the driveway.
There was a man standing there, looking at his phone. A policeman in uniform. He stepped smartly towards the car and I wound down the window.
“I’m Jules,” I said. “Jules Abbott? I’m . . . her sister.”
“Oh.” He looked embarrassed. “Yes. Right. Of course. Look”— he glanced back at the house—“
there’s no one here at the moment. The girl. . . your niece . . . she’s out. I’m not exactly sure where. . .” He pulled the radio from his belt.
I opened the door and stepped out. “All right if I go into the house?” I asked. I was looking up at the open window, what used to be your old room. I could see you there still, sitting on the windowsill, feet dangling out. Dizzying.
The policeman looked uncertain. He turned away from me and said something quietly into his radio before turning back. “Yes, it’s all right. You can go in.”
I was blind walking up the steps, but I heard the water and I smelled the earth, the earth in the shadow of the house, underneath the trees, in the places untouched by sunlight, the acrid stink of rotting leaves, and the smell transported me back in time.
I pushed the front door open, half expecting to hear my mother’s voice calling out from the kitchen. Without thinking, I knew that I’d have to shift the door with my hip, at the point where it sticks against the floor. I stepped into the hallway and closed the door behind me, my eyes struggling to focus in the gloom; I shivered at the sudden cold.
In the kitchen, an oak table was pushed up under the window. The same one? It looked similar, but it couldn’t be; the place had changed hands too many times between then and now. I could find out for sure if I crawled underneath to search for the marks you and I left there, but just the thought of that made my pulse quicken.
I remember the way it got the sun in the morning, and how if you sat on the left-​hand side, facing the Aga, you got a view of the old bridge, perfectly framed. So beautiful, everyone remarked upon the view, but they didn’t really see. They never opened the window and leaned out, they never looked down at the wheel, rotting where it stood, they never looked past the sunlight playing on the water’s surface, they never saw what the water really was, greenish-​black and filled with living things and dying things.
Out of the kitchen, into the hall, past the stairs, deeper into the house. I came across it so suddenly it threw me, the enormous windows giving out onto the river— into the river, almost, as though if you opened them, water would pour in over the wide wooden window seat running along beneath.
I remember. All those summers, Mum and I sitting on that window seat, propped up on pillows, feet up, toes almost touching, books on our knees. A plate of snacks somewhere, although she never touched them.
I couldn’t look at it; it made me heartsick and desperate, seeing it again like that.
The plasterwork had been stripped back, exposing bare brick beneath, and the decor was all you: oriental carpets on the floor, heavy ebony furniture, big sofas and leather armchairs, and too many candles. And everywhere, the evidence of your obsessions: huge framed prints, Millais’s Ophelia, beautiful and serene, eyes and mouth open, flowers clutched in her hand. Blake’s Triple Hecate, Goya’s Witches’ Sabbath, his Drowning Dog. I hate that one most of all, the poor beast fighting to keep his head above a rising tide.
I could hear a phone ringing, and it seemed to come from beneath the house. I followed the sound through the living room and down some steps— I think there used to be a storeroom there, filled with junk. It flooded one year and everything was left coated in silt, as though the house were becoming part of the riverbed.
I stepped into what had become your studio. It was filled with camera equipment, screens, standard lamps and light boxes, a printer, papers and books and files piled up on the floor, filing cabinets ranged against the wall. And pictures, of course. Your photographs, covering every inch of the plaster. To the untrained eye, it might seem you were a fan of bridges: the Golden Gate, the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, the Prince Edward Viaduct. But look again. It’s not about the bridges, it’s not some love of these masterworks of engineering. Look again and you see it’s not just bridges, it’s Beachy Head, Aokigahara Forest, Preikestolen. The places where hopeless people go to end it all, cathedrals of despair.
Opposite the entrance, images of the Drowning Pool. Over and over and over, from every conceivable angle, every vantage point: pale and icy in winter, the cliff black and stark, or sparkling in the summer, an oasis, lush and green, or dull flinty grey with storm clouds overhead, over and over and over. The images blurred into one, a dizzying assault on the eye. I felt as though I were there, in that place, as though I were standing at the top of the cliff, looking down into the water, feeling that terrible thrill, the temptation of oblivion.
You loved the Mill House and the water and you were obsessed with those women, what they did and who they left behind. And now this. Honestly, Nel. Did you really take it that far?
Upstairs, I hesitated outside the master bedroom. My fingers on the door handle, I took a deep breath. I knew what they had told me but I also knew you, and I couldn’t believe them. I felt sure that when I opened the door, there you would be, tall and thin and not at all pleased to see me.
The room was empty. It had the feeling of a place just vacated, as though you’d just slipped out and run downstairs to make a cup of coffee. As though you’d be back any minute. I could still smell your perfume in the air, something rich and sweet and old-​fashioned, like one of the ones Mum used to wear, Opium or Yvresse.
“Nel?” I said your name softly, as if to conjure you up, like a devil. Silence answered me.
Farther down the hall was “my room”— the one I used to sleep in: the smallest in the house, as befits the youngest. It looked even smaller than I remembered, darker, sadder. It was empty save for a single, unmade bed, and it smelled of damp, like the earth. I never slept well in this room, I was never at ease. Not all that surprising, given how you liked to terrify me. Sitting on the other side of the wall, scratching at the plaster with your fingernails, painting symbols on the back of the door in blood-​red nail polish, writing the names of dead women in the condensation on the window. And then there were all those stories you told, of witches dragged to the water or desperate women flinging themselves from the cliffs to the rocks below, of a terrified little boy who hid in the wood and watched his mother jump to her death.
I don’t remember that. Of course I don’t. When I examine my memory of watching the little boy, it makes no sense: it is as disjointed as a dream. You whispering in my ear— that didn’t happen on some freezing night at the water. We were never here in winter anyway, there were no freezing nights at the water. I never saw a frightened child on the bridge in the middle of the night— what would I, a tiny child myself, have been doing there? No, it was a story you told, how the boy crouched amongst the trees and looked up and saw her, her face as pale as her nightdress in the moonlight; how he looked up and saw her flinging herself, arms spread like wings, into the silent air.
I don’t even know whether there really was a boy who saw his mother die, or whether you made the whole thing up.
I left my old room and turned to yours, the place that used to be yours, the place that, by the look of it, is now your daughter’s. A chaotic mess of clothes and books, a damp towel lying on the floor, dirty mugs on the bedside table, a fug of stale smoke in the air and the cloying smell of rotting lilies, wilting in a vase next to the window.
Without thinking, I began to tidy up. I straightened the bedding and hung the towel on the rail in the en suite. I was on my knees, retrieving a dirty plate from under the bed, when I heard your voice, a dagger in my chest.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
I scrabbled to my feet, a triumphant smile on my lips, because I knew it— I knew they were wrong, I knew you weren’t really gone. And there you stood in the doorway, telling me to get the fuck out of your room.
The smile died, because of course it wasn’t you at all, it was your daughter, who looks almost exactly like you did when you were a teenager. She stood in the doorway, hand on hip. “What are you doing?” she asked again.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m Jules. We haven’t met, but I’m your aunt.”
“I didn’t ask who you were,” she said, looking at me as though I were stupid, “I asked what you were doing. What are you looking for?” Her eyes slid away from my face and she glanced over towards the bathroom door. Before I could answer, she said, “The police are downstairs,” and she stalked off down the corridor, long legs, lazy gait, flip-​flops slapping on the tiled floor.
I hurried after her.
“Lena,” I said, putting my hand on her arm. She yanked it away as though scalded, spinning round to glare at me. “I’m sorry.”
She dipped her eyes, her fingers massaging the place where I’d touched her. Her nails bore traces of old blue polish, her fingertips looked as though they belonged to a corpse. She nodded, not meeting my eye. “The police need to talk to you,” she said.
She’s not what I expected. I suppose I imagined a child, distraught, desperate for comfort. But she isn’t, of course, she’s not a child, she’s fifteen and almost grown, and as for seeking comfort— she didn’t seem to need it at all, or at least not from me. She is your daughter, after all.
The detectives were waiting in the kitchen, standing by the table, looking out towards the bridge. A tall man with a dusting of salt-​and-​pepper stubble on his face and a woman at his side, about a foot shorter than him.
The man stepped forward, his hand outstretched, pale grey eyes intent on my face. “Detective Inspector Sean Townsend,” he said. As he reached out, I noticed he had a slight tremor. His skin felt cold and papery against mine, as though it belonged to a much older man. “I’m very sorry for your loss.”
So strange, hearing those words. They said them yesterday, when they came to tell me. I’d almost said them myself to Lena, but now it felt different. Your loss. I wanted to tell them, she isn’t lost. She can’t be. You don’t know Nel, you don’t know what she’s like.
Detective Townsend was watching my face, waiting for me to say something. He towered over me, thin and sharp-​looking, as though if you got too close to him you might cut yourself. I was still looking at him when I realized that the woman was watching me, her face a study in sympathy.
“Detective Sergeant Erin Morgan,” she said. “I’m very sorry.” She had olive skin, dark eyes, blue-black hair the colour of a crow’s wing. She wore it scraped back from her face, but curls had escaped at her temple and behind her ears, giving her a look of dishevelment.
“DS Morgan will be your liaison with the police,” Detective Townsend said. “She’ll keep you informed about where we are in the investigation.”
“There’s an investigation?” I asked dumbly.
The woman nodded and smiled and motioned for me to sit down at the kitchen table, which I did. The detectives sat opposite me. DI Townsend cast his eyes down and rubbed his right palm across his left wrist in quick, jerky motions: one, two, three.
DS Morgan was speaking to me, her calm and reassuring tone at odds with the words coming out of her mouth. “Your sister’s body was seen in the river by a man who was out walking his dogs early yesterday morning,” she said. A London accent, her voice soft as smoke. “Preliminary evidence suggests she’d been in the water just a few hours.” She glanced at the DI and back at me. “She was fully clothed, and her injuries were consistent with a fall from the cliff above the pool.”
“You think she fell?” I asked. I looked from the police detectives to Lena, who had followed me downstairs and was on the other side of the kitchen, leaning against the counter. Barefoot in black leggings, a grey vest stretched over sharp clavicles and tiny buds of breasts, she was ignoring us, as if this were normal, banal. As though it were an everyday occurrence. She clutched her phone in her right hand, scrolling down with her thumb, her left arm wrapped around her narrow body, her upper arm roughly the width of my wrist. A wide, sullen mouth, dark brows, dirty blond hair falling onto her face.
She must have felt me watching, because she raised her eyes to me and widened them for just a moment, so that I looked away. She spoke. “You don’t think she fell do you?” she said, her lip curling. “You know better than that.”

Customer Reviews

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Into the Water 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Need to learn characters in Part 1 before it makes sense. Parts 3 and 4 are the best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was good but it was a bit confusing till you learn the characters i would recomend reading just no its nothing like her other book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started out great but the last 100 pages became a little watered down. In my opinion i felt like there were too many character perspectives so that too felt muddled. It was a fast and easy read. Overall it was not the best but it wasn't the worst.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ok but not anywhere near Girl On A Train. The characters all seemed to blend into each other. There was no "connection" to sny character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The drowning pool has claimed many lives over the years, most assumed to be suicides. But are they? Part ghost story, part dysfunctional family saga and murder mystery, told in many voices this book keeps you guessing. A little hard keeping the characters straight early on, as all principles are introduced in the first 50 pages, but press on. And pay attention to those early scenes, they foreshadow the big reveal at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very intriguing and has many plot twists and turns. The story is told from many different points of view but is easy to follow. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! Another amazing book that begs you to read it all in one sitting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a twisting, turning, spooky, wonderfully atmospheric thriller. I liked it more than The Girl on the Train -- where Paula Hawkins's first book shows you the perspectives of several outsiders, this one allows you to become fully immersed in the lives of the people who live in Beckford, a strange town with stranger secrets. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Twin Peaks -- there's the outsider cop, lots of teenagers with secrets, people who are not what they seem, a town with a very spooky history, and a mysterious old woman who watches the goings-on from her window. If someone is looking for a duplicate of Girl on the Train, they might be disappointed, because this isn't quite as much of a straightforward thriller as Hawkins's first novel. Like the river that runs through the town, it's a bit slower-moving. But also like the river, it's full of secrets, surprises, and twists -- a patient reader will find it richly rewarding.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me hooked from page one. Loved the various points of view and the lack of information given to the reader until the last possible second.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although I did enjoy her last book, I found this one to be a bit tedious. Too many characters and too many story lines. It was hard to keep everyone straight. Sorry I spent the money on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you liked Girl on the Train or Gone Girl, you should like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As reading, i felt as if the author was running me around a dark, mystical village. I got tired of it, so the climax was a yawn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much better then the girl on the train
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had such high hopes since I loved her other book... This was a major disappointment. I couldn't keep track of all the characters, stuck it out since. I paid 14.99
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I struggled to get through this book! Had I not paid for it, I wouldn't¿ have finished reading it. It was so unrealistic and boring .
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
First thing: I haven’t read The Girl on the Train so I picked up this book and just went in because I felt like a good mystery. So was it any good? Yes and no. There were several story arcs going on in this novel which was alright and easy to follow. I’d rather enjoyed reading most of them. I didn’t enjoy reading about Julia though. It’s not because I don’t sympathize with what she went through, it must have been horrible. I just didn’t really like her much as a character. There were moments where she was completely weak and useless. However, I’m glad of her outcome and of her development. Of all the characters; Lena and Julia developed the most. In the beginning of the novel, I found it a little hard to follow at first. Each chapter is told in the point of view of another character and rotates all throughout the story. So you have to be aware of who’s who early in the story. There’s also flashbacks involved (those aren’t hard to follow though.) I’d have to say, the character I enjoyed reading the most was Lena because of her fiery personality and her attitude (typical teenage angst but it was well done.) The rest of the characters were all right to read but don’t really produce enough of a presence to make such a huge impact on the book. Patrick, Mark, and Sean make your teeth grind though. The three of them being odious spineless bastages who need to get their due. of them gets their due. (Won’t spoil it any further.) Plot wise, it’s a subtle slow moving mystery. The reader is kept guessing and although it may seem obvious as to who has done it, there’s more to just a whodunit. There’s a reasoning behind the deed that has taken place. There were few elements of some sort of supernatural characteristics in the plot but it’s nothing to be in awe about and it doesn’t really put any depth into the story or make the plot go further. It could be considered as just to fill in the blanks into the novel. Which I wasn’t too crazy about. I ended up finishing it because it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t the best I’ve read either. Would I recommend it? Not really. Worth the read? It’s all right. Some people may like this type of story some might not. (It has a feeling of a TV movie to it, in my opinion.) (less)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the read immensley! Could not wait to pick it up again when forced to stop. However I was expecting a twist and conclusion that would surprise me and tie everything together . Very disappointed in the rather expected ending that still left many loose ends. Henderson? Jeannie?
Anonymous 15 days ago
It's a challenge to figure out the truth as it changes from character to character but definitely worth the effort. A second reading is a must.
Anonymous 3 months ago
The book uses different characters to narrate each chapter. She doesn’t do a great job distinguishing a strong and different tone for each. The plot wonders around too much and didn’t hold my attention. The ending was obvious and in keeping with her style.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Confusing in the begining soon as u learn who is who it gets really good i also had to re read the ending so i got it straight buy this book u wont be sorry
Anonymous 7 months ago
Had too many characters to keep track of; none interesting. Didn't build the plot. No big reveal. Ending was so convoluted that I had to read a review to understand who the killer was and even then it was blah. TERRIBLE!
Anonymous 9 months ago
Waste of money. Who is talking to who?? Nothing like Girl on the Train.
Svrmomof6 12 months ago
This was a totally different writing style than I am used to. The book gives different point of views and perspectives throughout the story. Back and forth. Great twists and turns, good plot, it did keep me entertained and interested. I liked the story but would have preferred a more direct presentation, Still I give it 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4. Publisher's Synopsis: The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present. Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.
Julissa Uribe More than 1 year ago
The novel Into The Water, written by Paula Hawkins, is a thriller filled with suspense and mystery. The novel tells about the death of a woman, and her obsession with the deaths of other women, where the scene of the crime is the same exact place, the Drowning Pool. The detectives are trying to figure out if her death was suicide, or a murder. The woman leaves her daughter, Lena, as an orphan, and her sister with a new responsibility, to take care of Lena. The novel is told from the perspective of all characters, which lets the reader in the minds of each character, to know what each character is feeling and thinking in different situations. The novel was a bit fast at first, since the book begins with the death of Nel Abbott right away; however, it later develops details and theories. The first-person point of view from each character makes the pace of the book seem slow towards the end, because the reader may know something that the other characters don’t. The protagonist in this novel would be Nel Abbott, the woman whose death is being investigated throughout the story. The antagonist would be Julia, or Jules, her sister, who was relieved about her sister's passing; she hated Nel for playing mind games with her, even after her death; they were practically opposites. The major conflict in this novel was the journey to the discovery of Nel's cause of death. Many people in Beckford disliked Nel and trying to figure out who killed her was a major conflict since mostly everyone in town had a motive to see her dead. My favorite character is Lena Abbott, Nel's daughter and Jules' niece, because she went through so much throughout the novel, overcoming her mother's death, dealing with the question as to who killed her mother, and she struggled with her own blame throughout the novel (because she had fought with her mother right before she died), and she grew strong throughout every step of the way. I really enjoyed reading this novel, all the suspense and cliffhangers left me wondering as to what was going to happen next. I really recommend this novel to those who enjoy the suspense, and cliffhangers. If I could change anything, I would add more chapters in Nel’s point of view.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago