Study Guide

The Girl on the Train Chapter 38

By Paula Hawkins

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Chapter 38


  • Rachel regains consciousness.
  • She's scared because she knows Anna won't contact the police.
  • Because Tom isn't just a murderer but a creep, too, he starts making out with Rachel against her will before killing her.
  • While she's enduring that, she takes something from the kitchen drawer.
  • Rachel catches him off guard, shoving him backwards, stomping his foot, then kneeing him in the face.
  • She runs outside, but Tom catches up to her and tackles her to the grass.
  • As the train speeds by, Rachel reaches into her pocket, gets a corkscrew, and jams it into Tom's neck. Whoa—that's not wine pouring out.
  • We flash forward two days.
  • Rachel is on the train like she was at the beginning. But unlike the beginning, she's sober. Yay.
  • She recalls what happened after she stabbed Tom. Here it is:
  • Anna actually called the police. Not only that, but she told them the truth: that Rachel killed Tom in self-defense.
  • She even lies a little to make it more convincing, saying Tom came at Rachel with the corkscrew but Rachel turned it against him.
  • Rachel says that all of Tom's lies came out in the newspaper. He lied about everything—his army buddies, his parents, everything.
  • After killing her lying, murderous ex-husband, Rachel needs a vacation, so she goes to a hotel on the Norfolk coast to relax.
  • She realizes that she hasn't had a drink in three weeks. Wow, good for her.
  • Before the book ends, Rachel remembers one last detail, something Anna didn't tell the police: After Rachel stuck the corkscrew in Tom's neck, Anna came outside and twisted it in deeper, just to make sure he was dead. Yikes.
  • With that pleasant memory on the brain, Rachel curls under the covers to get some sleep. She has to get up early in the morning, "to catch the train" (38.46). The end.

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