Paula Hawkins

British Writer

Paula Hawkins began her writing career as a journalist in The Times. Following fifteen years of business reporting, she worked as a freelance writer for various publications before commencing a literary career in 2009. Under the name Amy Silver, she wrote romantic comedy fiction. ‘Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista‘ is one of them.

Hawkins’ psychological thriller ‘The Girl on the Train’ ascended the UK bestseller list after its release in 2015, then proceeded to do even better in America. Adapted into a film in 2016, ‘The Girl on the Train’ took six months to complete. In November 2016, Paula Hawkins was one of BBC’s 100 Women.

Life Facts

  • She was born on August 26, 1972
  • She was born and raised in Zimbabwe but moved to London with her parents at 17.
  • Her father was an economics professor and financial journalist.
  • She started her career in the mid-1900s as a financial journalist.

Interesting Facts

  • She matured among diplomats and intellectuals.
  • She has never felt the need to get married.
  • Under the pseudonym Amy Silver, she wrote four novels.
  • Her fifth novel, ‘The Girl on the Train’ gained more publicity than her previous works.
  • When she wrote ‘The Girl on the Train,’ she was in a financial crisis.
  • She shies away from unnecessary publicity.
  • One of her literary influences was C.S. Lewis.

Famous Books by Paula Hawkins

After turning her hand from journalism to fiction, Paula Hawkins began to write romantic comedies. Her literary works include:

    • The Girl on the Trainwas published in January 2015. Still obsessed with her husband, Rachel Watson witnesses a key event in a neighborhood murder. Unfortunately, she is too drunk to take note of her environment and wrongly accuses the victim’s therapist. Between her drinking problem, stalking her ex-husband, and wondering about the life of the once-perfect couple she saw from inside the train, Rachel eventually put the pieces together. In this novel, Paula Hawkins highlights the devastating effects of depression and alcoholism.

    • ‘Into the Water’ is a subliminal thriller published in May 2017. Frequently using the phrases “troublesome women” and “good men,” Hawkins tells the story of an English town. Nel Abbott is writing about the town’s river named “Drowning pool” when she also becomes a victim. Erin Morgan gets assigned the case, which proves complicated as almost everyone appears to be a suspect. ‘Into the Water’ contains graphic illustrations of the town and the characters within it. Famous for the usage of suspense and mystery, this novel by Hawkins does not present many of these elements. The plot moves slowly, making it hard to be engrossed in the story.

    • ‘A Slow Fire Burning’ is structured as a murder mystery, yet, the identity of the murderer is hardly fascinating. When a young man gets killed on a houseboat, the question of the killer arises. This young man’s mother and cousin had fallen to death sometime earlier. As the plot unfolds, Hawkins slowly exposes the personalities of the main suspects; a 20-year-old Laura and a nosy neighbor named Miriam. Between these two is the victim’s aunt Carla. Although ‘A Slow Fire’ possesses no vivid scenes, the writing is flawless and overwhelming. It got published in August 2021.

Early Life and Education

Paula Hawkins was born on August 26, 1972. She was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. Her father was Anthony “Tony” Hawkins, and her mother was Glynne. After attending Arundel School in Harare, she proceeded to Collingham College in London, where she studied for her A-levels.

At Keble College and the University of Oxford, she studied philosophy, politics, and economics. Her education honed her financial literacy, which eventually led to a book on financial advice. Proceeding from the University of Oxford, she began a career in journalism for The Times.

Literary Career

After working as a journalist for fifteen years, Hawkins decided to pursue fictional writing. First, she released a book titled ‘The Money Goddess’ in 2007. Around 2009, she began to write romantic comedies under the name Amy Silver, writing four novels. After her fourth Silver rom-com dropped in 2013, she released ‘The Girl on the Train’ with her real name.

The novel went on to spend 13 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list and stayed at the top spot in the UK hardback charts for 30 weeks. Hawkins’ second psychological thriller ‘Into the Water’ was published in 2017 and became a Sunday Times bestseller. Her third most famous novel, ‘A Slow Fire’ was released in August 2021.

Personal Life and Achievements

The 50-year-old British novelist is currently single with no children. In 2022, her Net Worth was around $1 million – $5 million. Hawkins presently lives in London.


  • ‘Girl on the Train’ for Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery and Thriller in 2015.
  • ‘Girl on the Train’ for Anthony Award for Best Crime Fiction Audiobook in 2016.
  • ‘Into the Water’ for Goodreads Choice Awards Best Mystery and Thriller in 2017.


  • Glamour Award for Writer in 2015.
  • ‘Girl on the Train’ for Audie Audiobook of the Year in 2016.
  • Triple Platinum status for ‘The Girl on the Train’ and Silver for ‘Into the Water.’

Literature by Paula Hawkins

Explore literature by Paula Hawkins below, created by the team at Book Analysis.