24 April 2020

Review: Platform Seven by Louise Doughty

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty book cover
RRP $29.99AUD
Published September 2019
* Copy courtesy of Allen & Unwin *

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty has a premise that hooked my interest early on. In a train station on platform seven, a man has decided to commit suicide. He is watched by Lisa Evans and she knows what he plans to do because she did the same thing just 18 months earlier.

Lisa is our protagonist and she is a ghost in the afterlife, haunting Peterborough Railway Station with little memory of what happened or why she's there. Lisa enjoys watching the train station employees and the commuters come and go until the man's suicide triggers a series of events and the clearing of cobwebs in Lisa's memory.

The majority of the novel is Lisa recalling the lead up to her death and how she ended up in her current state. I don't tend to enjoy the amnesia trope on a good day and I found this part of the novel unconvincing.

Despite the creepy premise and terrifically spooky cover, Platform Seven reads more like a domestic noir novel and could easily have been marketed very differently.

The narration style put me in mind of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, as did the internal musings about life after death in general. I enjoyed Lisa's observations and feelings about some of the staff members however I was disappointed when the reader was denied one particular 'visit' I had been anticipating.

Platform Seven by Louise Doughty is a good domestic noir novel.

Carpe Librum!

My Rating:
★ ★

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh, I don't know... afterlife stuff? Not sure. Yes, there were some that I didn't mind (including Lovely Bones), but in general, I don't really care for the trope.

    1. It all depends on how it's done, doesn't it Davida? In the right hands, it can produce a marvellous narrative.

  2. This one was sent to me for review but it's not my usual fodder so it got pushed to the back. I'm glad for this review though, I'm not keen on domestic noir so good to know what you thought!

    1. Thanks Theresa, I wondered why not many people had reviewed it. You could also call it domestic thriller with a trigger warning for domestic/emotional abuse. (Although I have a 'thing' against trigger warnings).


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!