The breakaway success of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train – and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl before it – seems to have sent publishers scrabbling through their slush piles, snatching up any story with a suitably dodgy narrator they can shove onto the bandwagon.
Just as Stephenie Meyer launched a thousand supernatural YA novels, just as E. L. James launched… whatever she launched, Hawkins has crammed the shelves full of unreliable narrators, women who don’t want to go into their shady pasts or tell us what they’re taking all that medication for.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (It’s hard to argue you shouldn’t be publishing books people clearly want to read, after all.) Just because one author has hit success with a certain thought or theme or gimmick doesn’t mean another writer can’t riff off the idea to come up with something new and interesting.