Title: The Woman in the Window
Author: A. J. Finn
You guys! Why did I wait so long to read this one? The Woman in the window was my January Book of the Month pick and for some reason I just wasn’t in a thriller/mystery mood at the time, so I kept putting this one off; even after reading so many great reviews of it! Well, that’ll teach me. I should have known – this one was marketed as “for readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French”… that’s ME in a nutshell!
In The Woman in the Window we are plopped in the New York brownstone of Dr. Anna Fox, an ex-child psychologist who has crippling agoraphobia which means she stays within the confines of her house spending her time playing chess online, spying on her neighbors, chatting on agoraphobia websites and watching old thrillers, her favorites. Oh, and drink wine. Lots and LOTS of wine. She has lost her practice and her family and she has damn near hit rock bottom when she witnesses what she believes to have been a murder right across the street – so close but yet so far for someone who never goes outside. She wants to get justice for the victim and figure out who the murderer actually was but the trouble is, she can’t get anyone to take her seriously. I don’t think I can say much more without giving anything away.
Just when you thought you were SO OVER murder mysteries narrated by a questionable, traumatized, impaired and only somewhat likeable female… along comes The Woman in the Window!
First of all, I can’t believe this is a debut novel; addicting, sharp and oh so shocking, its clear to see why this was hailed as the years first big thriller earlier in 2018 and an amazing blockbuster of a debut. I definitely fell right in to this book and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I found it to be gripping, dark, full of twists and turns – some I saw coming, and some I did not – and enough wine to make me wonder if I was silently going crazy or if I had somehow absorbed the wine through the pages and was actually drunk myself. While I definitely had to see this one through I did get a little dizzy from all of the plot twists that felt like they started to become the sole point of the book and then the ending went on a little too long for my taste.
If you think you can deal with the mother of all unreliable narrators and enough twists to make you queasy then I’d recommend picking this one up! I’m so glad I finally read this one and got to check one off of my BOTM backlog. I continue to be impressed with their picks month over month.
Full disclosure: I did switch on and off between my physical book and the audio version of this one but I actually found I didn’t love the narration of this one, it was just too slow paced for a book that I found to be a page turner like this one. I’ve never been one of those people who listens to their audiobooks or podcasts on the 1.5x speed, but this book almost changed that.
Also, for funsies: Because what this book did more than anything was make me want to become a shut-in myself for a couple of days (or weeks, let’s be honest) and watch many of the old thriller, Hitchock-esque, movies of Old Hollywood with a glass of wine in hand… I did a little digging and found this list of all of the movies referenced, broken down by page on the NYPL blog! I’m currently showing restraint by only requesting three of these from my library at a time.
Have you read this one? What did you think? No spoilers in comments please…