Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Book Review: THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn

Author: A.J. Finn
HarperCollins Publishers Australia
December 2017
Expected publication: 25 January 2018
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Book Description:

What did she see?
It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

My musings:

There are three things I expect from a good psychological thriller: 1) it needs to mess with my mind; 2) it needs to mess with my mind; and 3) it needs to MESS WITH MY MIND! The Woman in the Window delivered that in spades, constantly making me question what was going on. Anna really is the perfect protagonist for a psychological thriller. Afflicted with a mental illness that makes her confined to her house, she is also taking a cocktail of heavy psychotropic drugs she washes down with copious amounts of alcohol. How could she possibly be a reliable narrator? I love nothing more than a protagonist I can sympathise with but one whose perception of reality I need to question constantly. Has Anna really witnessed a crime, or is she simply hallucinating? Truth or lie, reality or fabrication - the images swirled together in a crazy caleidoscope of unanswered questions that made me feel like I had indulged in a few of Anna's medications myself! At times the story drove me crazy with wanting to know if my hunches were right, and made me read until the early morning hours until I finally got my answers. Just a word of advice: pick up this book with plenty of time to spare, or you will suffer sleep deprivation!

Apart from an exquisitely unreliable narrator, there is the writing – oh, how I loved the writing! It is no accident that Anna is a lover of black and white Hitchcockian movies, because the story followed very much along those lines. Here we have a claustrophobic setting, a disturbed main protagonist and several suspects who might or might not pose a danger to Anna. The whole setting features a mere block of houses, and stars only a small cast of characters, but this story packs a punch! Have I mentioned that it messed with my mind? A few die-hard psychological thriller fans may guess some elements of the plot (as I did), but don't despair, there are plenty of other surprises in store. Also be aware that the book starts of slowly, cleverly setting the scene, which is essential for the plot to work. Soon you will be caught up like a spider in its web, suspecting each and every character, even Anna herself!

I am happy to end 2017 with a book that was one of the best psychological thrillers I have read in a long time. To say I loved it is an understatement. It was EXACTLY what I look for in a psychological thriller, containing all the right elements and presenting them in a way that was simply irresistible. Sometimes you know after a mere few pages that the book is going to work for you – the writing style, the voice, the characters. I am very happy I stumbled across this gem on Netgalley – what a fitting finale to my 2017 reading journey. 


I very much recommend The Woman in the Window to all lovers of the genre – let its black-and-white kaleidoscope of secrets seduce and confuse you. 

Image result for 5 stars
Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins Australia for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

If you liked this book, you may also like:

Her Every Fear Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

The Girl on the Train The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Before I Go to Sleep Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

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