The Girl on the Train

by

Paula Hawkins

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Detective Inspector Gaskill Character Analysis

Detective Inspector Gaskill is a middle-aged male detective who is in charge of Megan’s case. Rachel first meets him when he turns up at the apartment she shares with Cathy to question her about her presence in Witney on the night of Megan’s disappearance. Anna and Tom, he says, reported that Rachel came to their street—the same street where Megan lives—drunk and itching for a fight. Gaskill is immediately suspicious of Rachel, yet there is not enough evidence to tie her to anything. Despite Gaskill’s warnings to Rachel to stay away from Blenheim Road—not just from Anna and Tom, but from Scott as well—Rachel continues visiting Scott and connecting with Tom and Anna. Gaskill soon realizes that Rachel isn’t a threat—and soon, his suspicions shift to Scott instead. Gaskill and Detective Sergeant Riley appear again toward the end of the novel, when they come to Anna and Tom’s house after Rachel kills Tom in self-defense. Satisfied with Rachel and Anna’s stories, the detectives let the women go and close Megan’s case, having pinned Tom as her murderer.
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Detective Inspector Gaskill Character Timeline in The Girl on the Train

The timeline below shows where the character Detective Inspector Gaskill appears in The Girl on the Train. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Rachel: Four
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...Rachel got home, she encountered two police officers: a man in his forties, Detective Inspector Gaskill, and a younger man whose name Rachel, in a state of panic, has since forgotten.... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...a picture of Megan and asked if she’d seen her. Rachel said that she hadn’t. Gaskill gave Rachel his card and urged her to call him with any further information. Before... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...thinks about what happened when she’d visited the police station. After asking to speak to Gaskill, Rachel was taken to a room where she met with Gaskill and a female officer,... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...should have changed some details to make it more believable—implying that it is a lie. Gaskill and Riley continued badgering Rachel about the story, insisting that she wanted to harm the... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Gaskill and Riley began to suggest that perhaps Rachel attacked Megan, believing that she was Anna—both... (full context)
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
As Gaskill and Riley continued to press Rachel about her physical injuries and the taxi accident in... (full context)
Rachel: Five
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...even though she’s increasingly anxious about not having heard back from Scott. This morning, however, Gaskill called to ask Rachel to come to the station to answer some questions. Rachel is... (full context)
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...in and buys a case of canned gin and tonics. Earlier, she met with Detective Gaskill, who showed her pictures of several men and asked her to identify the man she... (full context)
Rachel: Eight
Women and Society Theme Icon
Addiction, Dependency, and Abuse Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...opts for silence. After Cathy leaves, Rachel goes downstairs and watches a press conference featuring Gaskill and Scott as she eats breakfast. Rachel suddenly remembers calling Scott the day before. She... (full context)
Rachel: Eleven
Women and Society Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Motherhood, Duty, and Care Theme Icon
...about Megan’s first child broke. Detectives believe the deceased baby’s father may have killed Megan. Gaskill and Riley have questioned Scott about the story—but Scott knows very little about Megan’s past.... (full context)
Rachel: Nineteen
Women and Society Theme Icon
Gaslighting, Memory, Repression, and the Self  Theme Icon
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...called the ambulance that night—it arrived too late to save Tom. The police and detectives Gaskill and Riley showed up, and Anna answered all their initial questions as Rachel sat in... (full context)