Welcome to my review of The Woman in the Window. This is one of the must reads of 2018. There has been so much talk about this book and deservedly so. I predict a massive hit for A. J. Finn all across the world!
What is THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW all about?
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?
A bit about the author
A.J. Finn is the pen name of Dan Mallory, vice president and executive editor at William Morrow. Dan has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement. A native of New York, he lived in England for ten years before returning to New York City. He is an Oxford graduate, with a life-long love of the thriller noir genre, and a particular appreciation of Hitchcockian cinema.
I first heard about The Woman in the Window in the summer of 2017. I knew I had to read it. I had a feeling it was going to be one of the most talked about of books of 2018. I knew it would be a best seller. I predicted right. We are all talking about this book. When I came to read it, I loved it. The intensity. The claustrophobia. The simplicity. The cool nod to maestro Alfred Hitchcock.
The Woman in the Window is the story of a woman with severe agoraphobia. Anna Fox spends all of her days indoors. She cannot go outside or even cope with a window open, without experiencing debilitating panic attacks. Anna spends her days online counselling fellow sufferers, playing chess and spying on her neighbours. She is also a huge fan of black and white old movies. One day, Anna witnesses a murder from her window. The only problem is that no one believes her. She takes a cocktail of drugs for her medical condition and has been self medicating with alcohol. Anna is considered unreliable and unstable by the police. With no evidence and only gut instinct to go on, Anna sets about proving everybody wrong and trying to solve an impossible murder.
Anna is definitely the star of the show. We find out all about her background and what led her to this locked up life. Her voice is strong. We feel empathy for her. She is a former child psychologist, who suffered a breakdown and is now unable to leave her home. She has a husband and child, that live separately from her. She only has regular face to face contact with a few professionals, who are trying to support her. Her life is very narrow. We completely get a sense of Anna’s feelings of helplessness and self destructive loathing.
One of the highlights of the drama is the perfect pace and the believability of the plot. Slowly we understand Anna and her tortured psyche. It is very frustrating at times seeing Anna self medicate and get lost in drugs, instead of getting herself together and solving the crime. It is all very convincing and plausible. I absolutely adored links to the brilliant Alfred Hitchcock. The author expertly gives us an updated version of Rear Window, the 1954 Hitchcock classic. He quotes from various old movies, as the story progresses. Wonderful. I fully appreciated that. He has done a very fine job.
I loved it. An excellent and intelligent thriller, that will appeal to everyone.