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'The Girl on the Train' rockets up sales charts, receives more critical praise

'The Girl on the Train' is by Paula Hawkins.

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    'The Girl on the Train' is by Paula Hawkins.
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“The Girl on the Train” has left the station and shows no sign of slowing. 

As we previously reported, the novel “Train,” by Paula Hawkins, which centers on a woman who watches a couple from a train and becomes a suspect when the wife goes missing, was released on Jan. 13 and quickly became the subject of enthusiastic reviews. Amazon selected it as one of the best titles coming out this month and various critics praised the book, with lines like: “’The Girl on the Train’ has more fun with unreliable narration than any chiller since ‘Gone Girl,’”; “Calling it now: The Girl on the Train is the next Gone Girl”; and “[Hawkins is] the new voice for the new year everyone’s buzzing about,” among other reviews.

Now sales are reflecting the buzz. “Train” is currently ranked number three on the Amazon bestseller list, number seven on the Barnes & Noble bestseller list, and came in at number two on the IndieBound hardcover fiction list for the week of Jan. 22.

In the meantime, “Train” has picked up more critical praise. Guardian writer Suzi Feay said of the book, “Hawkins has come up with an ingenious slant on the currently fashionable amnesia thriller…. Hawkins juggles perspectives and timescales with great skill, and considerable suspense builds up along with empathy for an unusual central character.” NPR critic Michael Schaub wrote that the book is “perfectly paced, from its arresting beginning to its twist ending; it's not an easy book to put down…. [T]he people we meet in ‘The Girl on the Train’ are drawn beautifully…. Hawkins uses [alternating points of view] masterfully…. Hawkins' writing is excellent, and also cinematic, in the best possible way.” Meanwhile, Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly awarded it an A-, writing “Paula Hawkins … pulls off a thriller's toughest trick: carefully assembling everything we think we know, until it reveals the one thing we didn't see coming.”

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