The Girl On the Train has just set an all-time sales record, beating Dan Brown and J.K. Rowling’s books alike.
The book, which follows an alcoholic who becomes entangled in a suburban mystery when a woman she watches on her daily train commute disappears, has already been optioned for a movie potentially starring Emily Blunt. Hawkins, the author, knows how to write and has heard of characterization, unlike some other popular writers, which is an improvement — good job everyone!
The book itself is thoroughly mediocre; the twist is achieved not through a clever sleight of hand (like Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin or even Jennifer Egan’s The Keep), where, Sixth Sense style, you can revisit the story once you know and see how it fits. It’s instead achieved through simply hiding a character’s personality from the reader until it’s time to reveal that they’re secretly evil for no reason.
However, there is something to be said for the author not being a terrible person who has either plagarized someone else’s idea or pretended to be a pregnant woman who threatened to abort a fetus unless pro-lifers gave her money, which is something a man actually did.
Progress! A non-ethically bankrupt author! There may be some hope for humanity yet.