Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn @AJFinnBooks @WmMorrowBooks

window
Book Title and Author: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Publication Date and Publisher: January 2, 2018 by William Morrow
Genre: Fiction, Psychological Suspense
Pages: 448 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: December 30, 2017 (e-ARC)
Goodreads

4.5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Anna Fox lives alone; a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble?and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious, and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

My Review:

After reading the book’s synopsis that said it “recalls the best of Hitchcock,” whose movies I adore and getting such a Rear Window vibe from it, I knew this was one book that I had to get my hands on as soon as possible. And am I so glad that I did! There is no wonder that there has already been so much buzz surrounding this book because in this case it is undoubtedly well deserved! The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is an utterly compulsive, addictive, exhilarating psychological suspense novel. It gave me several nights of lost sleep but believe me, I’m not complaining since it is masterfully written and just so impossible to put down! This is the second 2018 release that I’ve read and all I can say, is wow–if these are the caliber of books we have to look forward to this year, then readers and reviewers are in for an extraordinary reading year!

Readers are introduced to Dr. Anna Fox, a former child psychologist who hasn’t left her house for 10 months because she is suffering from severe agoraphobia. She rarely has contact with anyone besides seeing her psychiatrist and a physical therapist weekly, seeing her tenant Daniel on occasion, and speaking to her husband and daughter on the phone daily since they’ve moved out.

Immediately you’re drawn into Anna’s very lonely existence and state of mind that seems to alter back and forth from reality to unreality. It is very unsettling being inside Anna’s mind since she is a highly unreliable narrator. When she sees something unthinkable happen at her neighbors through the lens of her Nikon camera, you aren’t certain if it’s all in her head since she’s been heavily drinking bottles of Merlot and self-medicating with pills prescribed by her psychiatrist or if it really happened. No one believes her when she reports it to the police and tells the neighbors because of her medical history and wild, erratic behavior, and she even starts to doubt herself.  Finn has done an excellent job making the character of Anna come alive for the reader and showing you how she feels, which as you all know I love my books to have magnificent characterizations  and ones who leap off the page. He has not failed me here! She is brilliant.

The book has a tense and heavy, atmospheric feeling right from the beginning that only thickens and becomes more menacing as the story progresses and begins to unravel for some of the characters in ways that I completely did not anticipate. The story begins at a slow pace (I would call it a slow-burning suspense), but only so you can connect with the characters and become immersed in the plot. Then it quickly picks up speed to a crescendo of tension and danger much like the black and white thriller movies Anna watches religiously that are undoubtedly a metaphor for the situation unfolding across the street–and in her own home! The twisted ending was not one that I expected!

What I loved is that Finn’s debut is a pleasant change amongst the myriad suspense and thrillers that have been published lately and so often claim to be the next The Girl on The Train. Instead of relying heavily on formulaic, shocking, mind-blowing twists (many of which are now quite predictable if you read the amount of suspense and thrillers that I do) or graphic violence to tell the story, he is a brilliant writer who has cleverly crafted every detail of the plot perfectly and in such a way that it sweeps the reader along until they are completely immersed in the book. This is a true page-turner! I highly recommend it to reader’s who enjoy unreliable narrators, tension and menacing atmosphere, intelligent writing, a well-crafted plot, and slow-burning suspense. It’s one book that is definitely hard to put down! I can’t wait to read Finn’s next book, and I’m thrilled that The Woman in the Window is being made into a movie! It will be phenomenal!

**Thank you Edelweiss, William Morrow, and A.J. Finn for an ARC of the book in exchange for my fair and honest review. **

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26 thoughts on “Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn @AJFinnBooks @WmMorrowBooks

  1. I got my copy today….I’d been waiting forever (it felt like that, anyway!), as I was caught up in it from the moment I first read the blurb. I love stories about agoraphobic characters…and thrillers with a Hichcockian flair. I can’t wait to start reading it! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fantastic!! I’m a huge Hitchcock fan and movies like that…Gaslight, etc and I felt like I was reading a book with just that atmosphere, especially Gaslight, Rear Window, and Vertigo! I hope the movie captures that same noir essence like the book. And I hope you enjoy reading it! 😊

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  2. I. Need. To. Read. This. Book! It sounds sooooo good, Stephanie, and you did a fantastic job on your review!

    Hope the holidays were wonderful with you and your family. I’ve been thinking about you…I hope you and your daughter and feeling much better!

    Jo-Ann

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you do! It’s fabulous if you like slow burning suspense. And thank you! It took me hours and hours to write, ha!!

      They were, thanks!! Very laid back like you said yours were. We stayed home. No partying or entertaining. I don’t have the energy for that. Just brunch on Christmas morning and opened gifts. My parents came after Christmas, they’d been out of town, and took us to a nice dinner and we spent the evening with them and opened gifts again! School started back for the kids today, and she seems fine except not wanting to go! We go to the pediatrician tomorrow to have her throat reswabbed to make sure the strep is finally gone this time!!! Fingers crossed!! I’m still tired. My break hasn’t been that relaxing with being sick. Classes start on Mon, so I’m trying to take advantage of the kids being at school and being alone 😉😊 I slept till 11:30 today!! Bliss! I wish I had another week of rest though!! Mentally I’m not ready for mon 😓. Oh well! It’s my job, and I say that every semester! Hope you’re well!! Much love!! ❤❤😘🤗

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      1. Sounds like a lovely Christmas, Stephanie 🙂 I hope Kayley’s strep is finally gone for good! Fingers are crossed!

        It’s nice that you have some time to yourself. I hope you’ll be able to get some rest. 1130! That does sound like bliss! Good for you. You obviously needed the rest!

        I’m plugging along, feeling a bit better than I was in the fall, so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. I went to yoga last night! It was very relaxing though I can feel muscles today which is awesome 🙂

        I’ve been doing some writing and I even painted a bit today. Finally finished a painting that’s been hanging on my wall unfinished. People would ask me why those leaves are red and the others green lol It was a bit bizarre looking so I’m glad it’s finally finished.

        Take care, I hope you are resting and feeling less tired today. It takes time. Be patient with yourself ❤ 🙂

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      2. It really was! 😊 Yes! She tested strep free, yay! It’s just keeping her well that will be the thing…

        I had 1/2 day alone, lol! They closed schools 2 hrs early yesterday and they are closed today because it snowed. I’m sure it will be closed tomorrow too since NC just isn’t equipped to handle even 1/2 in snow, lol. It’s as if we’d had a blizzard. But I can’t say much since I refuse to drive in it 😂 It’s beautiful, but I stay in my house when it snows!! ❄☃❄

        I’m still resting. At least while they’re home I don’t have to get up early to get them ready for school and Kayley’s always been a late sleeper! I must have needed the sleep. I’ve been waking up around 4am for several nights lying awake with racing thoughts, so I guess it caught up with me.

        So glad you’re feeling better! Yoga does make you feel better. It’s been forever since I have done it, but I enjoyed it when I did.

        That sounds great! I’m glad you’re writing and painting again! 😊 It must feel wonderful to have finished a painting!

        I’m still tired, but I think that goes with the territory. It does take time. I’m terribly impatient but I’m trying! ❤❤❤ Take care! Much love! 😘❤

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    1. Thank you, Jenn! It really is! I’m doing ok! Going a bit crazy, lol! The kids went to school on Tues, but then it snowed 1 in…yes, 1 in on Wed, so they sent them home 2 hrs early when it started and they’ve have been out since…so long for my alone time before classes start Monday! We’ve had 0 degree temps,and NC isn’t equipped to handle the snow even if it is just a little, so I’m actually glad their home safe, but it’s changed my plans. I’ve got to have all my lessons for the 1st couple of weeks, syllabus, etc ready and loaded online by Saturday night, so I feel like I’m back to the grind. I need another week off because I’m not ready, lol. Hope you’re well too!! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m definitely trying to get into the swing of things. The 1st couple of weeks back into the semester are usually chaos just like the last couple (with finals) since you have to get adjusted to a new group of students. And I was offered a position to guest lecture an Interpreting Literature class at a different university, which I accepted since I was not going to be working on my doctorate this semester, but it’s a HUGE learning curve since I’ve not taught the works on the syllabus before and the university has a different online program. I’ll get a hang of it..ugh! Hope to catch up soon too! ❤

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  3. This sounds like such a great read. I have just received a copy of the book and can’t wait to get to it soon. It has everything that I look for in a good thriller, well apart from the slow pace lol. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diana! I’m really glad you have a copy!! It’s fantastic and it’s not really a slow pace but a slow build up of tension since the entire time the book is so tense and atmospheric. You just feel like you are in her mind so much that it’s almost scary! She’s a great character, and I know I’ll be rereading this one at some point!!

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    1. YES!! Rear Window is the best! I love that movie and that is why I had to have this book as an ARC! And have you seen Gaslight?? It was so much like Gaslight too, omg!! It was just so ominous and atmospheric in tone for Anna that I could not put it down! Just when I thought I had it figured out, I was so very wrong, haha, and I love that since it so very rarely happens when I read suspense! Thank you so much-this was one review that I loved writing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You really need to watch Gaslight, but I don’t think it is a Hitchcock movie; I think it is George Cukor. It has Ingrid Bergman in it though, and it is one of the very 1st “thrillers” that I ever saw. I was 7 and saw it at a drive in movie, and it freaked me out because it was pitch dark, lol. It’s really good…not scary just so tense and suspenseful. But to a 7 year old it was freaky!! If you like Rear Window, you will enjoy it!

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