Study Guide

The Girl on the Train Chapter 7

By Paula Hawkins

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Chapter 7


  • Instead of going to London, Rachel is going to Witney, where Megan went missing, hoping to jog her memory.
  • She worries about Scott, the husband, because the police will naturally suspect him, but she assumes that no one knows about the secret boyfriend.
  • Rachel makes a list of possibilities, like "B[oyfriend] has harmed her" (7.14), "She has simply left her husband and gone to live elsewhere" (7.14), or "Neil Patrick Harris did it," though she is pretty sure Megan has run off with her secret boyfriend.
  • When she gets to the neighborhood and travels through the underpass, she has a flashback: "I could see myself a few metres in, slumped against the wall, my head in my hands, and both head and hands smeared with blood" (7.22). Whoa…
  • Rachel tries to piece together the memories—she remembers falling and the red-haired man.
  • Cathy calls to check on Rachel. She apologized earlier that day for evicting her, saying she could stay as long as she wants.
  • This time, though, she's not checking in just to be nice. She's checking in because the police are there and they want to talk to Rachel.
  • Rachel goes home to talk to the police, and by "talk" we mean "lie out of her butt."
  • Embarrassed about her blackout—and maybe afraid of what she may have done while out of it—she concocts a story for the police, saying she went to see Tom, decided it was a bad idea, and came back home.
  • Detective Inspector Gaskill says they knew Rachel was in the area because Anna, Tom's new wife, said she saw Rachel nearby, "acting strangely" (7.63).
  • D.I. Gaskill asks Rachel if she saw Megan but she says she doesn't remember.
  • The next morning, Rachel decides to go to the police and come clean.
  • It only makes things worse, though, and she gets on the bad side of Detective Sergeant Riley, a female officer who thinks Rachel is a mentally unstable stalker. (Um… she's kind of right.)
  • Rachel tells them she's only been pretending to go to work so that her roommate, Cathy, doesn't find out she was fired. Yeah, that's totally sane. #sarcasm
  • DS Riley brings up an incident from the past: Rachel kidnapped Anna's baby.
  • Whoa, what?
  • According to Rachel, she went to see Tom, but Anna was asleep and the baby was crying, so Rachel picked her up to quiet her.
  • While Rachel tells the cops this story, she thinks about her own fertility issues.
  • Unable to have a baby, Rachel got deeply depressed; that's when she started drinking and her marriage fell apart.
  • The police reveal that Anna and Megan knew each other since Megan babysat for them.
  • Rachel has a revelation of her own: Megan was having an affair.
  • She describes Megan's secret boyfriend, but the police don't really seem to believe her; they tell Rachel to stay the heck away from everyone involved in this case.
  • Rachel wants to do the opposite, though, and is convinced she can help: "I have a purpose," she says, "Or at least, I have a distraction" (7.190).
  • The next day, Rachel researches Megan's past, then she e-mails Scott, the husband, asking him to contact her: "I believe I have information that could help you" (7.204).
  • On the train that evening, Rachel bumps into the red-haired man.
  • She considers asking him what happened that fateful night, but she can't get up the nerve.
  • He gets off the train, and Rachel returns home feeling bad for herself.

The Girl on the Train Chapter 7 Study Group

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