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)
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.
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. **