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

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn
Publisher: William Morrow
Pub. Date: 01/02/2018
Pages: 448
Format: Electronic (Publisher)

Rating:
Goodreads Summary:

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, a mother, and their teenage 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.

Review:

THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is a first-rate thriller from debut author A.J. Finn. Finn, a pseudonym, worked in publishing for years. I recently listened to a Kirkus Review podcast of Finn being interviewed about the book. He discussed THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW and his own experiences with agoraphobia. What a great interview! I highly recommend it for writers and readers. Finn talked about his journey writing the novel, what inspired him to write it, and his love of classic films.

As for the novel…the protagonist is Anna Fox. She is a former child psychologist. After a traumatic incident, Anna has left her practice and has become a shut-in. She spends her time watching Alfred Hitchcock films and film noir. She also plays online chess, talks to fellow shut-ins via an online forum, drinks wine (often consuming it by the bottle) and is heavily medicated. Her boredom leads her to spy on her neighbors. One night she witnesses a murder.

One of Anna’s favorite movies is Rear Window. Jimmy Stewart’s character, a photographer who broke his leg, is confined to a wheelchair. Like him, Anna is trapped from going outside. But instead of an injury, she is confined within her own mind. Instead of using binoculars to spy on her neighbors, like Stewart’s character, Anna uses a camera. Clever twist! And say no more! You had me at Rear Window, one of my favorite Hitch films.

The secondary characters are just as interesting as the protagonist. I flew through this book and could NOT put it down. The plot and Anna’s struggle with her demons kept me on the edge-of-my-seat. I love how Anna also tries to help other people dealing with mental illness while she battles their own. A classic film buff myself, I got a kick out of how Finn intertwined film noir and Hitchcock films throughout the narrative —  it makes for a rich and enjoyable experience. The narrative is fast-paced and readers can quickly move through the novel in one sitting.

When I wasn’t reading the novel, I was thinking about it. While reading it, I felt like I had agoraphobia. THE WOMEN IN THE WINDOW is that good.

Have you read THE WOMEN IN THE WINDOW? If so, what did you think?

About the Author

A. J. Finn has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement (UK). A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years before returning to New York City.

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