Into the Water Read online





  RIVERHEAD BOOKS

  An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

  375 Hudson Street

  New York, New York 10014

  Copyright © 2017 by Paula Hawkins Ltd.

  Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

  Extract taken from “The Numbers Game,” Dear Boy © Emily Berry and reprinted by permission of Faber & Faber.

  Excerpt from Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks, copyright © 2012 by Oliver Sacks. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

  Lyrics from “Down by the Water” by PJ Harvey reproduced by kind permission of Hot Head Music Ltd. All rights reserved.

  Ebook ISBN: 9780735211216

  Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

  Names: Hawkins, Paula, author.

  Title: Into the water : a novel / Paula Hawkins.

  Description: New York : Riverhead Books, 2017.

  Identifiers: LCCN 2017003237 | ISBN 9780735211209 (hardback)

  Subjects: LCSH: Psychological fiction. | BISAC: FICTION / Literary. | FICTION / Suspense. | FICTION / Contemporary Women. | GSAFD: Suspense fiction.

  Classification: LCC PR6108.A963 I58 2017 | DDC 823/.92—dc23

  LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017003237

  p. cm.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Version_1

  For all the troublemakers

  CONTENTS

  TITLE PAGE

  COPYRIGHT

  DEDICATION

  EPIGRAPH

  THE DROWNING POOL | LIBBY

  PART ONE 2015 | JULES ABBOTT

  Monday, 10 August | JOSH WHITTAKER

  Tuesday, 11 August | JULES

  NICKIE SAGE

  JULES

  JULES

  LENA ABBOTT

  MARK HENDERSON

  LOUISE WHITTAKER

  THE DROWNING POOL (UNPUBLISHED) | DANIELLE ABBOTT

  ERIN MORGAN

  JULES

  LENA

  JULES

  August 1993 | JULES

  2015 | Wednesday, 12 August | PATRICK TOWNSEND

  Thursday, 13 August | ERIN

  JULES

  JULES

  THE DROWNING POOL | 1679 | LIBBY

  Monday, 17 August | NICKIE

  HELEN TOWNSEND

  JOSH

  LENA

  JULES

  August 1993 | JULES

  2015 | SEAN TOWNSEND

  THE DROWNING POOL | 1983 | LAUREN

  ERIN

  PART TWO Tuesday, 18 August | LOUISE

  SEAN

  Wednesday, 19 August | ERIN

  MARK

  ERIN

  ERIN

  LENA

  LENA

  THE DROWNING POOL | 2015 | KATIE

  JULES

  August 1993 | JULES

  2015 | HELEN

  SEAN

  Thursday, 20 August | LENA

  Friday, 21 August | ERIN

  THE DROWNING POOL | 1920 | ANNE WARD

  Sunday, 23 August | PATRICK

  NICKIE

  JULES

  JULES

  NICKIE

  JULES

  PART THREE Monday, 24 August | MARK

  JULES

  JULES

  MARK

  LENA

  ERIN

  JULES

  ERIN

  SEAN

  LENA

  JULES

  THE DROWNING POOL | 1983 | LAUREN, AGAIN

  SEAN

  LENA

  SEAN

  LENA

  SEAN

  JULES

  LENA

  JULES

  Tuesday, 25 August | ERIN

  HELEN

  JULES

  ERIN

  JULES

  PATRICK

  PART FOUR September | LENA

  JOSH

  LOUISE

  December | NICKIE

  ERIN

  HELEN

  January | JULES

  PATRICK

  SEAN

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  I was very young when I was cracked open.

  Some things you should let go of

  Others you shouldn’t

  Views differ as to which

  —Emily Berry, “The Numbers Game”

  We now know that memories are not fixed or frozen, like Proust’s jars of preserves in a larder, but are transformed, disassembled, reassembled, and recategorized with every act of recollection.

  —Oliver Sacks, Hallucinations

  THE DROWNING POOL

  LIBBY

  “Again! Again!”

  The men bind her again. Different this time: left thumb to right toe, right thumb to left. The rope around her waist. This time, they carry her into the water.

  “Please,” she starts to beg, because she’s not sure that she can face it, the blackness and the cold. She wants to go back to a home that no longer exists, to a time when she and her aunt sat in front of the fire and told stories to each other. She wants to be in her bed in their cottage, she wants to be little again, to breathe in woodsmoke and rose and the sweet warmth of her aunt’s skin.

  “Please.”

  She sinks. By the time they drag her out the second time, her lips are the blue of a bruise, and her breath is gone for good.

  PART ONE

  2015

  JULES ABBOTT

  There was something you wanted to tell me, wasn’t there? What was it you were trying to say? I feel like I drifted out of this conversation a long time ago. I stopped concentrating, I was thinking about something else, getting on with things, I wasn’t listening, and I lost the thread of it. Well, you’ve got my attention now. Only I can’t help thinking I’ve missed out on some of the more salient points.

  When they came to tell me, I was angry. Relieved first, because when two police officers turn up on your doorstep just as you’re looking for your train ticket, about to run out of the door to work, you fear the worst. I feared for the people I care about—my friends, my ex, the people I work with. But it wasn’t about them, they said, it was about you. So I was relieved, just for a moment, and then they told me what had happened, what you’d done, they told me that you’d been in the water and then I was furious. Furious and afraid.

  I was thinking about what I was going to say to you when I got there, how I knew you’d done this to spite me, to upset me, to frighten me, to disrupt my life. To get my attention, to drag me back to wher