I bet there have been countless occasions when you’ve peered into back gardens and houses.
If you commute from Brighton, I bet there have been countless occasions when you’ve peered into back gardens and houses from the train - especially in that bit of the line as it hits the suburbs of Victoria.
Those glimpses of washing being put out, or an optimistic soul polishing up the barbeque, are a fascinating glimpse into other lives.
Rachel takes the train every morning, she knows it will wait at the same signal every time, she’s even started to feel that she knows the people in the house, she calls them "Jess and Jason". They look happy. If only she could be.
Then, one day, she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
It’s enough for her to become part of their lives in a way that will damage a lot of people, including Rachel herself. Now, they will see that she is much more than just the girl on the train.
This is a clever and compelling novel; the tension grows and grows. And I found myself convinced that I’d uncovered the plot, only to be surprised again and again.
I think it would be the perfect train book. But do be prepared never to look out of the train window again into those slices of life seen from the window.
We now know that they are not quite what they appear.