MLA Gold Award Site

Summary and book reviews of The Stranger on the Train by Abbie Taylor

The Stranger on the Train

by Abbie Taylor

The Stranger on the Train
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    May 2014, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

With dark twists and intertwining narratives, The Stranger on the Train is an unforgettable novel of psychological suspense that you will keep you guessing until the shattering finale.

A mother's worst nightmare: the subway doors close with her baby son still on the train. In this suspenseful debut novel, a woman goes to unimaginable lengths to get her child back.

A struggling, single mother, Emma sometimes wishes that her thirteen-month-old son Ritchie would just disappear. Then, one quiet Sunday evening, after a sinister encounter on the London Underground - Ritchie does just that.

Emma immediately reports his abduction to the police but there she faces a much worse situation than she ever imagined. Why do the police seem so reluctant to help her? And why do they think she would want hurt her own child?

If Emma wants Ritchie back, she'll have to find him herself. With the help of a stranger named Rafe, the one person who seems to believe her, Emma sets off in search of her son. She is determined to find Ritchie no matter what it takes…but who exactly is the real enemy here?

With dark twists and intertwining narratives, The Stranger on the Train is an unforgettable novel of psychological suspense that you will keep you guessing until the shattering finale.

Chapter One
Sunday, September 17th
Day One

At the top of the stairs, a group of teenage boys slumped against the walls with their feet out, taking up most of the passageway. They wore black puffy jackets and had the same expressions on their faces: blank, hard, bored. Emma heard their voices from around the corner, echoing off the tiles. As soon as they saw her, their conversation stopped.

"Excuse me," Emma said politely.

Very slowly, they moved their feet back. There was just enough room for her to pass. She had to walk straight through the middle of the group, feeling their eyes on her. They watched in silence as she struggled down the steps with the buggy and Ritchie and all the bags.

She was glad when she got to the bottom of the steps and around the corner. The tube platform was deserted and starkly lit. Emma checked behind her. The boys had not followed.

"All right, Rich?" Relieved, she crouched down beside the buggy. She was not normally a nervous person, but ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse

The missing child plot, of course, brings to life every parent's worst nightmare. Equally unsettling, however, is the way in which Taylor brings to light many of the secret and ugly desires that mothers may occasionally have, but can only rarely articulate.   (Reviewed by Norah Piehl).

Full Review Members Only (611 words).

Media Reviews
The Washington Post

Many will devour in a gulp Abbie Taylor’s first-rate debut thriller...Taylor writes perceptively and poignantly about the powerful bond between parent and child.

Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Taylor keenly depicts the bliss and terrors of being a parent.

Kirkus Reviews

An Alfred Hitchcock–like psychodrama drawn from a mother's nightmare.

Booklist

This first novel is driven by plot, and the roller-coaster ride...is compelling enough to grab and hold interest.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. British author Taylor's taut debut is a heart-stopper...Beginning with the gasp-inducing first chapter, readers won't exhale until the end.

Closer (UK)

A roller-coaster thriller and a great read.

Author Blurb Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author
A sensitive meditation on the parenthood with all it's joys and hardships as well as an unputdownable thriller. Don't miss it!

Reader Reviews
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Child Abduction Novels

The sudden disappearance of a young child is certainly one of a parent's worst nightmares. It's probably no wonder, then, that the topic has been explored in a large number of novels, ranging from straightforward mysteries and thrillers to more literary approaches that use child abduction as a springboard for exploration of other topics. Here are a few recommended novels from across that range:

The Deep End of the OceanThe Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
You might remember this book as the very first title chosen for Oprah's Book Club almost twenty years ago. It's still a powerful and moving exploration of the ways in which a child's abduction - or any sort of family tragedy, really - has implications for members of the family far beyond the ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Stranger on the Train, try these:

  • Defending Jacob jacket

    Defending Jacob

    by William Landay

    Published 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis - a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.

  • Room jacket

    Room

    by Emma Donoghue

    Published 2011

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world....

    Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience - and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everyone Brave is Forgiven
    Everyone Brave is Forgiven
    by Chris Cleave
    I've always been interested in the history of the Blitz, the period of intense aerial raids of ...
  • Book Jacket: Saving Montgomery Sole
    Saving Montgomery Sole
    by Mariko Tamaki
    Understanding identity is one the most important parts of adolescence. For some teenagers, those who...
  • Book Jacket: All Tomorrow's Parties
    All Tomorrow's Parties
    by Rob Spillman
    In this absorbing memoir, co-founder of Tin House magazine, Rob Spillman, recalls his artistic ...
Win this book!
Win The 100 Year Miracle

50 Copies to Give Away!

The 100 Year Miracle is a rich, enthralling novel, full of great characters.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
    by Phaedra Patrick

    In a poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Alaskan Laundry
    by Brendan Jones

    A fresh debut novel about a young woman who moves to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Sign O T T

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.