“Yes, it is. It’s, like, when someone has an affair, why does the wife always hate the other woman? Why doesn’t she hate her husband? He’s the one who’s betrayed her, he’s the one who swore to love her and keep her and whatever forever and ever. Why isn’t he the one who gets shoved off a fucking cliff?”
― Paula Hawkins, quote from Into the Water

60_dentro l'acqua

I think this can be defined for me as the Summer of thrillers, which is definitely one of my favorite genres, but I usually leave them for the winter, wrapped in blankets and with a nice hot chocolate to comfort me. Instead, this time I was attracted by the beach, by the calm sea and the wind almost totally stationary to have a good feast of high emotional tension.

Isolating myself from the brave few who were under the sun below the 38 ° C of this hellish July, I started three very respectable thrillers. And I must say that despite the blinding light, the hot temperatures and the constant search for refreshment, they managed to bring me into the shadows of the anguish and mysteries of this narrative genre.

“The things I want to remember I can’t, and the things I try so hard to forget just keep coming.”
― Paula Hawkins, quote from Into the Water

In particular, the ten voices of the protagonists of “Into the water” by Paula Hawkins did not disappoint me at all. Each voice tells a part of the story, and it does it from its own point of view, so even if the reader is aware of everything, it always seems that a detail is missing, that something is missing. And in the end, more than a classic thriller, it almost seems like a treasure hunt, a riddle, a game.

Between an ice cream and a walk on the hot shore, I wondered who was lying and who was telling the truth, and if my suspicions fell on one character, his point of view would mislead me and lead me to bet on another one.

It’s a theatrical novel, it’s like taking part in a murder mystery dinner, where you know for sure that everyone plays a part but you can’t immediately understand who lies better or more. And who is actually not telling lies at all: he simply believes that that is the truth.

“Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.”
― Paula Hawkins, quote from Into the Water

Of course, if the three narrative voices of Hawkins’ first book, The Girl on the Train, have confused many readers who have abandoned the challenge, imagine with ten! But the trick is to read it as if it were a show or a puzzle, a beach game. Impossible not to be fascinated by the fatal attraction that this lake seems to have, the true protagonist of the story, and in particular of that part called “The drowned pond” where since time immemorial women of all ages and ethnic groups have drowned by accident, suicide or murder …

“The river can go back over the past and bring it all up and spit it out on the banks in full view of everyone, but people can’t.”
― Paula Hawkins, quote from Into the Water

Nel, the latest victim, was obsessed with the story of women who ended up tragically and drags us deeply with her in a succession of unanswered questions. Until finally the puzzle begins to come together … yet it always seems that a piece is missing. The solution is there, right in front of us, but it eludes us. It has always been at hand from the very first pages, but it comes to an end with doubt, and I liked that because I usually find the criminal on page 20.

It goes without saying that the ideal location would be close to a lake, perhaps even one of those with many legends around. I had half an idea of renting a boat and going to read it in the middle of Lake of Nemi[1], but unfortunately I didn’t have the time.

And then I’ve always been a little afraid of lakes ….


[1] https://www.e-borghi.com/en/village/Roma/388/nemi