The commuting way of life into the heart of London from the small towns around it, that feeds the city's working day and then drains away again in the evening, is a shared experience for so many, including me, that I immediately realised I would have to read this book.
This thriller centres on Rachel, who herself travels in and out of London every day, looking at her fellow passengers and idly comparing her own rather miserable life with theirs. Every day her train travels past 'warehouses and water towers, bridges and sheds, past modern Victorian houses, their backs turned squarely to the track' as it makes its way past the fictional Buckinghamshire 1960s new town of Ashbury into London Euston to take commuters to their desk jobs across the city. But every day her train shudders to a halt at the same set of broken points and she stares into the same three back gardens and houses, watching the lives of those who live there as they drink their morning coffees in the sunshine, embrace their loving partners and feed their babies.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2013
Megan is still missing, and I have lied - repeatedly - to the police.
I was in a panic by the time I got back to the flat last night. I tried to convince myself that they'd come to see me about my accident with the taxi, but that didn't make sense. I'd spoken to police at the scene - it was clearly my fault. It had to be something to do with Saturday night. I must have done something. I must have committed some terrible act and blacked it out.
I know it sounds unlikely. What could I have done? Gone to Blenheim Road, attacked Megan Hipwell, disposed of her body somewhere and then forgotten all about it? It sounds ridiculous. It is ridiculous. But I know something happened on Saturday. I knew it when I looked into that dark tunnel under the railway line, my blood turning to ice water in my veins.
Blackouts happen, and it isn't just a matter of being a bit hazy about getting home from the club or forgetting what it was that was so funny when you were chatting in the pub. It's different. Total black; hours lost never to be retrieved.