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When No One Is Watching: A Thriller Paperback – September 1, 2020

4.1 out of 5 stars 3,591 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

"What would fall be without a fantastic and nerve-wracking thriller? Enter When No One Is Watching... A fantastic choice for fans of Get Out, this is a compulsive, entertaining, and thought-provoking novel." -- Shondaland (6 Best Books of September)

When No One is Watching is a thriller, Hitchcockian in its essence (those brownstones have plenty of windows, and a love story emerges as well), but with expert character development that demonstrates Cole’s ability to craft a story, it’s just as much about people as it is about place. The themes Cole explores throughout—racism, white greed, sickness, addiction, encroaching gentrification—are ones that are acutely aligned with the current social climate.” -- Parade

“To turn a knotty social and economic issue into a riveting psychological thriller is no easy task, but then again, should we really be surprised the extraordinary Alyssa Cole has done it? When No One Is Watching uproots the steady gentrification of Brooklyn and transforms it into an eerie horror story where 'revitalization' itself is the monster.” -- Elle (The 40 Best New Books Of Summer 2020)

"Suspense at its best... you aren’t going to be able to put it down until you finish it." -- Book Riot (Best Books We Read in June)

"This high-octane thriller hits right where it hurts, taking aim at gentrification and racism as conjoined forces of literary horror… Expect major palm sweat as the novel barrels toward its chilling and eye-opening conclusion.” -- Esquire (Best Books of Fall 2020 for Those Long, Chilly Nights)

"From the first page of WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING, I felt like I was right there in the gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood, filled with sharply etched characters and dialogue that zings. Then bam!  I was knocked over by the momentum of an intense psychological thriller that doesn’t let go until the final page. This is a terrific read." -- Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author

“Masterfully written suspense. Beneath a seemingly ordinary setting, Cole weaves layers of dread, all building toward a shocking and satisfying conclusion." -- Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author of City of the Lost 

“With a keen eye for details, Alyssa Cole deftly unspools a rich narrative with compelling characters who live and breathe against a vibrant backdrop. From the bold first line to the exquisitely subtle last, WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING is a top-notch page-turner!” -- Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times bestselling author

"Dread builds and mutates into near-horror... It was eye-opening, sad, shocking, gripping, I devoured it in one go. I recommend SO HIGHLY."  -- Marian Keyes, #1 bestselling author

"this outstanding thriller... builds to a credible finale. This stellar and unflinching look at racism and greed will have readers hooked til the end." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] searing indictment of the inseparable evils of racism and gentrification wrapped in an anxiety-inducing thriller with elements of romance and horror… Cole expertly layers plot twists, raising the stakes until the dramatic finale, and readers will cheer when the real heroes are revealed. Cole is a sure-bet suggestion for romance readers, and When No One Is Watching will expand her already enthusiastic audience.” -- Booklist (starred review)

"[T]his twisty tale tackles with a somber wit ongoing issues of race, class inequity, social injustice, and predatory housing practices... This sizzling summer thriller starts on low and heats up fast. Smart, sexy, and surprising, this suspenseful novel revealing the underbelly of urban gentrification will keep readers reading late into the night."  -- Library Journal (starred review)

Combining the voyeuristic paranoia of Rear Window with the searing social commentary of Get Out, this thriller from Alyssa Cole turns gentrification into fodder for a horror movie.” -- Entertainment Weekly (20 New Books Coming in September)

“When No One Is Watching is romance writer superstar Alyssa Cole’s debut thriller…It’s a really creepy, smart page-turner.” -- Buzzfeed

“Cole is known for romance, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she can’t genre-jump with ease. Her first thriller, When No One is Watching, is a triumph. Sydney Green is a well-crafted protagonist and her paranoia is justified in this poignant story, which has a lot to say about racism and gentrification in America... It’s page-turning and engrossing all the while giving a history lesson on racial disparities and inequality. A timely read, and an incredibly smart writer.” -- Crime Reads

“One of our fave romance writers is out with a psychological thriller. This buzzy fiction book follows a woman who's looking into the gentrification of her Brooklyn neighborhood. Turns out there's something a lot more sinister going on. Cue paranoia, suspense, and some ‘Get Out’ vibes.” -- theSkimm

When No One Is Watching is inspired by Cole’s own experiences, and examines gentrification via the erasure of Black people from Brooklyn’s history—with quite the suspenseful twist.” -- Refinery 29

The novel couldn’t be timelier, and it’s been praised as ‘Rear Window’ meets ‘Get Out.’ So yeah, you’re going to want to read it ASAP. No spoilers, but: holy plot twist.” -- Hello Giggles (11 Best Books to Read this September)

"The dangers of gentrification turn very literal in romance veteran Alyssa Cole’s unputdownable new thriller." -- Harper's Bazaar (43 Best Books to Read in 2020)

“…if “Rear Window” and “Get Out” got married and had a baby that was a book, it would indeed be “When No One Is Watching,” which takes place in contemporary Brooklyn and combines a page-turning thriller with shrewd social commentary on race, gentrification and greed.” -- Seattle Times

About the Author

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her contemporary rom-com A Princess in Theory was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018, and her books have received critical acclaim from Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can usually be found watching anime or wrangling her many pets.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow Paperbacks (September 1, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062982656
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062982650
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.5 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 0.83 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 3,591 ratings

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
3,591 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart...
By Sweet Red Reader on September 13, 2020
I don’t generally read thrillers, but I knew I had to read this one because it’s Alyssa Cole. It may very well be the last thriller I read because clearly I do not have the temperament to handle them. When I tell you I was anxiety-ridden and riled up for almost the ENTIRETY of the book it is not an exaggeration. I don’t enjoy feeling anxious, especially when (as in this situation) it’s based on the actions of fictitious people in fictitious situations that are not far enough a leap from reality to be preposterous. This book is not for the faint of heart. I wish that I could express myself better but I am still very much shooketh in the aftermath of reading the book. Perhaps I’ll return to this review once I’ve had time to process.
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42 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Naomi
4.0 out of 5 stars Important read, clearly not for prudes or the narrow-minded.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2020
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14 people found this helpful
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Vicki
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised to enjoy this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2020
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Lucy
4.0 out of 5 stars An original and very sinister thriller novel!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 22, 2021
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read-along-with-sue
3.0 out of 5 stars Publishers have marketed as thriller, it’s not
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 12, 2021
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Sam
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychological Thriller based on Gentrification
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Psychological Thriller based on Gentrification
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2021
The first 1/3 of this book was slow and could have probably packed a bit more punch. It was hard to keep going. However, once over 40% through it picks up and you really get into the story.
I really loved the way the relationship built between Theo and Sydney and felt myself rooting for them to become a couple. Beyond the love story you are invested into storyline that makes you turn the pages faster in order to find out if Theo is who he claims to be and if Sydney is going to get what she sets out to achieve.
The novel is based on Gentrification, This not something I have heard of so I was quite surprised to learn that a poor urban area is moved aside or even displaced to make space for businesses and wealthier habitants. Its quite disgusting really that we live in a world where this happens in real life, however Alyssa Cole really invests in putting across social injustices, such as racism and you really do start to believe whats happening does happen and you instantly fear for Sydneys life. She is messing with people that have wealth and worse they have power to do as they please. You turn every page as quickly as you can to reveal the twists and turns to be astounded each time another part of the plot unravels. Although the ending was rushed in comparison to the beginning it was a great read and would recommend if you enjoy psychological thrillers 💙
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