Jules Abbott, the heroine of bestseller Paula Hawkins’s twisty second psychological thriller, vowed never to return to the sleepy English town of Beckford after an incident when she was a teenager drove a wedge between her and her older sister, Nel. But now Nel, a writer and photographer, is the latest in a long string of women found dead in a part of the local river known as the Drowning Pool. As Nel put it, “Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.” Before Nel’s death, the best friend of her surly 15-year-old daughter, Lena, drowned herself, an act that had a profound effect on both Nel and Lena. Beckford history is dripping with women who’ve thrown themselves—or been pushed?—off the cliffs into the Drowning Pool, and everyone—from the police detective, plagued by his own demons, working the case to the new cop in town with something to prove—knows more than they’re letting on. Hawkins (The Girl on the Train) may be juggling a few too many story lines for comfort, but the payoff packs a satisfying punch. Author tour. Agent: Lizzy Kremer, David Higham Associates (U.K.). (May)
Paula Hawkins. Riverhead, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7352-1120-9
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