- Hardcover: 448 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (25 Jan. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008234159
- ISBN-13: 978-0008234157
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.9 x 24 cm
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?
The Woman in the Window seems to be a very popular choice at the moment, if book clubs on Facebook are anything to go by, and after finishing this book late last night I can see why. In the book industry it is being marketed as the next Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train; I don’t like these comparisons, it may be aimed encouraging readers, but it can also put people off and these books. In this case I think the hype is around The Woman in the Window is well deserved, I thought it was brilliant, in plot, writing and characters. It has an air of Hitchock about it, reminiscent of Rear Window; the same suspense throughout and has the flawed and troubled lead character; its no surprise that this has already been made into a film.
The plot centres around Dr Anna Fox, and agoraphobic, who medicates on pills and alcohol, and spends her time watching her neighbours through her camera. When she is witness to a violent act her life becomes complicated as there is no proof that she did see anything. Anna’s back story is drip fed through the book, and we are witness to her continued decline. The tension in this book kept my heart in my mouth, the twists, turns, kept coming, and this novel got darker as it went on. The fairly short chapters add to this gripping plot; I kept thinking one more chapter, one more chapter until the end.
Anna, as a character is obviously a damaged character, an addict to alcohol and her medication, and has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her medication mixed with alcohol can cause hallucinations, and she finds it difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is not. However, throughout this, she runs a Facebook group for other agoraphobics and tries to help them even if she can’t help herself. I found I did have a lot of sympathy for Anna and her situation, she is vulnerable, in pain and very lonely; a shadow of her form self when she was a Child Psychologist.
The Woman in the Window is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read in years; much better than The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, both of which I enjoyed. It is dark, compelling spine-tingler of a book that took my breath away in parts; a stunning debut from A J Finn.