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The Woman in the Window: A Novel Hardcover – January 2, 2018
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An Amazon Best Book of January 2018: The Woman in the Window is a seductive and unpredictable novel, like the Hitchcock movies to which author A.J. Finn pays homage. Finn’s protagonist Anna Fox is a child psychologist who lives alone in a New York suburb with a case of agoraphobia so debilitating she hasn’t left the house in months. To occupy her time Anna watches film noir classics from her vast collection, interacts with people online, and sometimes spies on her neighbors. It’s all very innocuous until she sees a horrible crime take place in the house across the park, recently inhabited by a new family. Call the police and report it, right? Things are a little more complicated for Anna—exacerbated by her routine consumption of prescription drugs with a lot of wine. Author A.J. Finn throws curve balls where you least expect them; I gasped out loud and in public, twice, while reading this novel because I was so taken by surprise. In the gap of time since Gone Girland The Girl on the Train we’ve been asking ourselves, when will we find the next big must-read psychological thriller? I think A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window answers that question. —Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review
“Astounding. Thrilling. Lovely and amazing....Finn has created a noir for the new millennium, packed with mesmerizing characters, stunning twists, beautiful writing and a narrator with whom I’d love to split a bottle of pinot. Maybe two bottles—I’ve got a lot of questions for her.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Gillian Flynn)
“The Woman in the Window is one of those rare books that really is unputdownable. The writing is smooth and often remarkable. The way Finn plays off this totally original story against a background of film noir is both delightful and chilling.” (Stephen King)
“Twisted to the power of max. Hitchcockian suspense with a 21st century twist.” (Bestselling author Val McDermid)
“The Woman in the Window is a tour de force. A twisting, twisted odyssey inside one woman’s mind, her illusions, delusions, reality. It left my own mind reeling and my heart pounding. An absolutely gripping thriller.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny)
“Compelling, wrenching, and gasp-for-breath exciting―I was blown away.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill)
“A dark, twisty confection with an irresistible film noir premise. Hitchcock would have snapped up the rights in a heartbeat.” (New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ware)
“The Woman in the Window is the most riveting thriller I’ve read since Gone Girl. A. J. Finn is a bold new talent with the touch of a master.” (New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen)
“The rocket fuel propelling The Woman in the Window, the first stratosphere-ready mystery of 2018, is expertise. . . . Dear other books with unreliable narrators: This one will see you and raise you.” (New York Times Book Review)
“Finn’s debut lives up to the hype. . . . A riveting and mature first novel that stands out in a crowded genre.” (Library Journal [starred review])
“Gripping, compelling, and utterly intriguing.” (Liz Nugent, author of the 2017 BEA “Buzz Book” Unraveling Oliver)
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The reason this book ended up being 3.5 stars for me is because it is simply too long. The first 40% or so, I was completely enraptured, couldn’t put the book down and invested on the development. Then things sllllloooooowwwwwed waaaaaayyyyyy dooowwwwwwnnnnn. There was a lot in there, but this book could have easily been 100 pages less and still told the same story. The ending picked up and some of the twists definitely got me.
I can see why this book has generated such buzz and is already being talked about as the “It” read for 2018. But for me, it dragged too much for it to be a stand out thriller. This is the type of story that doesn’t need filler pages, you can just tell it from start to finish and give me the 1 – 2 punch.
I would recommend this book, as I mentioned, it is sure to be highly buzzed about, so I recommend you give it a go and see what you think. Maybe it is just me who thought it was too long
Anna is in her 40s, starting to look pretty ragged, and drinks way too much—not good with the meds she is on. Once a week, a psychiatrist, Dr. Fielding, visits and assesses her, and her physical therapist and friend visits at regular intervals. She drinks her red wine and watches old black and white thrillers from her collection. All her stimulation is from within the walls of her home.
This contemporary and Hitchcockian suspense thriller has all the moxie of old black and white film noirs while still retaining the modern world of social media and technology, but Finn does a superb job of shaping the language, tone, and rhythm as if it were a classy classic. Woven through the story are bits from the old movies that serve as threads to thought, action, and atmosphere. And it has plenty of moody atmosphere, yet is plucky, too.
I wouldn’t think to add any plot points; just go in cold like I did. If you love suspense, full-bodied character, psychological mystery, and old movies, (even if you are not a film buff, you’ll engage, as Finn brings it all home), then be careful, you may have as much fun as I did on this roller coaster, nail-biting ride. I wouldn’t call it literature, more like lighterature, but it is articulate and intelligent escapism.
I have no complaints, although, like the old movies it plays homage to, perhaps the journey is even better than the destination. There almost has to be a slight cheese factor to the denouement, but Finn keeps it legitimate with a palpable paranoia and a carnal undertone to the whole package. I hear every actress in Hollywood is clamoring to play the role of Dr. Anna Fox. A bona fide winning character you won’t soon forget.
I read thrillers regularly, and have read all of the classic mysteries (including every Agatha Christie novel, all of Sherlock Holmes, Dorothy Sayers, et al.), and I assure you that The Woman in the Window is a typical domestic thriller. The protagonist is unreliable, she’s a tortured soul, she’s an alcoholic downing buckets of Merlot and popping pills left and right, she’s a pathetic and dull basket case who can’t leave her sprawling home and spends all day on the internet, drinking, and spying on her neighbors. She thinks she witnesses a crime but can’t rely upon her sad, wine-soaked brain; hence no one buys her rantings about the neighbors trying to whack one another. Or not. Blah blah.
It bores me simply typing up the plot summary of this novel, which amounted to nothing more than a Rear Window/Girl on the Train copycat. I understand that unreliable female narrators sell, but please give readers some credit. We’re not total dupes. More importantly, we are sick of these women who can’t get their sh1t together and are always drunk and falling apart. Give us a female narrator with some grit, some backbone, some moxy, and drop her into a truly original and engaging story. It may not become a bestseller (God knows why not), but it will certainly earn 5 stars from this disillusioned reader. I’ve reached my limit of recent lame thrillers.