Paula Hawkins’s debut thriller novel The Girl on the Train makes a compelling weekend read for anyone interested in human nature.

Published in January last year, the thriller received acclaim as soon as critics got their hands on the novel. And they were all right. Hawkins demonstrates just how talented she is in her craft as The Girl on the Train is excellently structured: there is never a dull moment throughout the entirety of its thoroughly chilling and tense plot.

In case the title wasn’t enough of a giveaway, The Girl on the Train is first told from the perspective of Rachel Watson, a lonely alcoholic who commutes to London every day at the same time. If there was a degree in people-watching, Ms Watson would pass with first-class honours. Then two other perspectives are introduced: Anna and Megan. Told from three equally interesting and deceiving narratives, Hawkins is able to keep you turning the page as so many different pieces of the story unravel at exactly the right time.

The Girl on the Train should also be praised for the stellar accounts of personality and the psychology of each character. Psychopaths, compulsive cheaters and anxiety-ridden, abused characters are all covered in a mere 316 pages. And they’re not just briefly covered — they are presented in-depth and with accuracy, with many readers coming forward to talk about how they can identify with the trauma the characters experience. When Megan goes missing, it is then we are able to see the true extent of psychological damage and its consequences.

It is also important to note that if you do not have a natural interest in human behaviour and never find yourself people-watching on public transport, this book will be difficult to sink your teeth into at the beginning. However, The Girl on the Train is fascinating, despite what some people might view as a slow start. Paula Hawkins has really proven herself to be one to watch with this exceptional debut novel. I couldn’t get enough.