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Night Train by Martin Amis

            "The building always seems to hear it coming, the night train, and braces itself as soon as it hears in the distance that desperate cry" (37). "Taking the night train" is a slang term used by policemen and women which refers to committing suicide. The typical person who commits suicide exhibits unhappiness in their life. Suicide victim Jennifer Rockwell was anything but stereotypical, yet everyone could relate to her pain. In Night Train by Martin Amis, Detective Mike Hoolihan discovered that one can acquire a new sense of self through the analysis of the lives of individuals who put on facades to hide inner pain.
             Jennifer Rockwell appeared picture perfect from the outside. She came from a prestigious family, her body was like that of a model's and she possessed great intelligence. Her friends and family described her as always cheerful and in good spirits; they admired her to a great extent for this. In her hypothetical picture perfect life, she displayed modesty in everything she did. "Dr. Tulkinghorn, what kind of patient was Jennifer Rockwell? She-she wasn't As far as I"m aware she never had a day's illness in her life" (90). No one could predict what this "flawless" girl would later do. She presented no warning of her suicide; she never let on that she was the least bit unhappy. It would seem as though her life was an outward show of lies.
             Not only was Jennifer seemingly perfect on the outside, but also the inside. Various internal conflicts drove Jennifer to carry out her suicide . Mike determined that Jennifer was taking drugs at the time of her death. This was hard for everyone, even the coroner, to believe and Colonel Tom hid this evidence because it was so shocking to him. The investigation illustrated too that Jennifer was having problems at work and with her love life. Her boss reported that Jennifer, an astrophysicist, began talking about loss of life in general right before her suicide.

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