cover image Into the Water

Into the Water

Paula Hawkins, read by Rachel Bavidge and a full cast. Penguin Audio, , unabridged, 9 CDs, 11 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-525-49604-5

In Hawkins’s psychological thriller set in the sleepy English town of Beckford, photographer-author Nel Abbott is in the midst of writing a book about the township river—known among locals as the Drowning Pool because of the many lives it has claimed—when she too falls victim to it. The new police officer in town, Erin Morgan, is assigned to the case, and as soon as she declares Nel’s death a murder, she realizes that nearly everyone in the village is a suspect. There are a number of different character-narrators, and the audio edition employs a full team of voice actors to portray them: actor Imogen Church reads Officer Morgan’s chapters in a skeptical cockney accent; Sophie Aldred plays Nel’s estranged sister Jules, confused and annoyed; Laura Aikman is Nel’s petulant 15-year-old daughter Lena. Doing the lion’s share of the narration, actor Bavidge covers the sections written in the third person with crisp efficiency, then switches to a soft, lyrical, and dramatic voice for excerpts from Nel’s unfinished book-within-the-book, which help to fill in missing backstory pieces and eventually suggest both the reason she wound up in the drowning pool and who put her there. [em]A Riverhead hardcover. (May) [/em]