EXCERPT: With a tumbler in one hand and the Nikon in the other, I settle down in the corner of my study, cupped between the south and west windows, and survey the neighbourhood – inventory check, Ed likes to say. There’s Rita Miller, returning from yoga, bright with sweat, a cell phone stuck to one ear. I adjust the lens and zoom in: she’s smiling. I wonder if it’s her contractor on the other end. Or her husband. Or neither.
Next door, outside 214, Mrs Wasserman and her Henry pick their way down the front steps. Off to spread sweetness and light.
I swing my camera west: two pedestrians loiter outside the double-wide, one of them pointing at the shutters. ‘Good bones,’ I imagine him saying.
God. I’m inventing conversations now.
Cautiously, as though I don’t want to be caught – and indeed I don’t – I slide my sights across the park, over to the Russells’. The kitchen is dim and vacant, its blinds partly down, like half-shut eyes; but one floor up, in the parlour, captured neatly within the window, I spot Jane and Ethan on a candy-striped loveseat. She wears a butter yellow sweater that exposes a terse slit of cleavage; her locket dangles there, a mountaineer above a gorge.
I twist the lens; the image sharpens. She’s speaking quickly, teeth bared in a grin, her hands in a flurry. His eyes are on his lap,but that shy smile skews his lips.
I haven’t mentioned the Russells to Dr Fielding. I know what he’ll say; I can analyse myself: I’ve located in this nuclear unit – this mother, this father, their only child – an echo of my own. One house away, one door down, there’s the family I had, the life that was mine – a life thought lost, irretrievably, except there it is, right across the park. ‘So what?’ I think. Maybe I say it; these days I’m not sure. I sip my wine, wipe my lip, raise the Nikon again. Look through the lens.
She’s looking back at me.
I drop the camera in my lap.
No mistake: even with my naked eye, I can clearly see her level gaze, her parted lips.
She raises a hand, waves it.
I want to hide.
ABOUT ‘THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW’: Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother and their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
MY THOUGHTS: The Woman in the Window is everything a psychological thriller should be. It is gripping. It is unpredictable. Amazing. Riveting. Twisty. Compelling. Dark. Exciting. Creepy. This is my new benchmark for psychological thrillers. Every one I read from now on will be measured against The Woman in the Window.
I danced around the room more than once because I was just so excited at how good this book is. I found myself holding my breath, more than once. The writing is so good that I felt like I was in that house with Anna, her shadow, watching her as she watched everyone else. I loved the characters, every damned one of them. And the ending is brilliant!
If you haven’t read this yet, and I am only three years and twenty odd days behind the eight ball with this, read it. It lives up to all the hype. In fact, it far exceeded all my expectations.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (I need more stars!)
THE AUTHOR: A.J. Finn, pseudonym for Daniel Mallory, has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement (UK). A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years as a book editor before returning to New York City.
DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, published by Harper Collins. This is the second book I have read this year that is going on my ‘keep forever/save from fire’ shelf. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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