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Hawkins Into the Water is a chilling tale of a single mum Nel who is found dead at the bottom of a river that runs through a small town with big secrets. She leaves behind a lonely teenage daughter whose friend met with a similar fate a few months earlier. The incident brings Nel’s sister Jules back to the place she swore never to return, wondering if her sister really did throw her off a cliff. Are the deaths a coincidence or are they somehow connected to the 17th-century teenager who perished in the same ‘Drowning Pool’?
Into the Water starts off with a brilliant dramatic shock that promises to keep you hooked. It, however, fails to keep up as the narrative continues, largely owing to the structure. The story is carried by 11 different characters, making it way more ambitious than the author’s first best-selling book. After the massive success of The Girl on the Train, Hawkins was met with the challenge of proving that her first book was not just a fluke. But the different characters and voices make this one confusing and, worse, even more monotonous at times.
There’s no denying, however, Hawkins’s brilliant writing and the intriguing story that shines through.
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published By: Riverhead Books
Price: INR 599
Hope Jahren is an acclaimed geochemist and geobiologist at the University of Oslo, and Lab Girl is as much about her adventures and experiments at work as it is about human relationships. It is a celebration of work and love, and how these two things, when brought together, can make anything possible. Jahren takes her through her childhood in Minnesota, living with a strict mother and a carefree father, and explains how she found her safe place in science. But this book is much more than just about science- it is about the strange bond she forges with her lab partner, Bill, and the adventures they have together. Jahren also writes about the struggles of being a woman in this space and the difficulties she faces with funding, glass ceilings, and politics.
A little bit about the writer living with manic depression and anxiety comes through in places, and she handles it with care and poignancy. Written in an easy-to-grasp, engaging way, Lab Girl is a book that you won’t have any trouble reading, understanding, and enjoying, even if science was not your favorite subject in school.
Author: Hope Jahren
Published By: Knopf
Price: INR 1299
I See You is Clare Mackintosh’s second novel and just like the previous bestseller, I Let You Go, this one is also a gripping, edge-of-the-seat psychological thriller. The premise is bizarre and eerie from the word go. During her daily commute to work, Londoner Zoe Walker chances upon her photograph in the newspaper classifieds- it’s just a blurred image with a mysterious-sounding website address-findtheone.com and a phone number. No other information. Determined to get to the bottom of it, Walker shows the advertisement to her family, who think it’s just a coincidence. She next sees the ad with a photograph with another woman and a few days later, the same woman is found murdered.
A former cop herself, Mackintosh manages to weave a complex yet believable tale that keeps you turning the pages. While the writing is succinct and lucid enough to hold your interest, the book’s Achilles heel would be the numerous red herrings thrown in by the author to keep you from guessing who the culprit is. So much so, that at some point, it seems like anyone and everyone could be the murderer.
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Published By: Sphere
Price: INR 699
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