Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Woman In The Window by AJ Finn

The Woman In The Window by AJ Finn
Release Date - January 2, 2018
Publisher Website - Harper Collins Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  427 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
The thriller genre is a strong and steady source of buzz worthy books. The Woman In The Window is one of the newest to capture a lot of interest so I was eager to dive in. It's an addictive, if at times predictable, read that I felt had a much stronger back half when compared to its beginning.

Anna is the queen of unreliable narrators. Her use of alcohol, medications, and her overall mental state make her version of events untrustworthy. This is something that we, as a reader, know about her almost immediately. The most important thing, with a story like this one, is that we connect with Anna. We need to want to follow her on her journey, and the novel succeeded. I felt invested enough in her that I wanted to keep reading. I did, at times, find myself jarred out of the story by decisions Anna would make that seemed out of character. I also, at times, felt like Anna was a female character written in the male gaze. It made it so that I wasn't able to fall completely into the story, but it something I predict many people will not even notice.

The use of old movies, especially older thrillers, is done masterfully. It's a natural fit for this genre, and this particular story. Read Window is so obviously an influence, but you can see the love for these classic films throughout the entire narrative. It will make you immediately want to have a movie marathon, and also ensures that this novel reads in a very cinematic way. It's all too easy to picture the movie that would be made out of the novel, and I think that is part of what makes it work. It is the literary equivalent of this big summer popcorn movies and that made the movie references work all the more.

As this novel feels familiar to those who are fans of this genre there are plenty of reveals and twists that are easy to see coming. I predicted a majority of them, but there was a moment that I did not see coming and that made the ending for me. I felt the ending was incredibly strong as a result. It's was a satisfying payoff to the story that felt like a nod to all the classic thrillers Ann was a fan of.

The mystery element is made all the more rich by having the dual mystery unravel at the same time. We have the events that lead to Anna's agoraphobia, but we also have the mystery of what Anna sees through the window. These truths are revealed in small chunks as the story progresses. The pacing of two compliment each other as it ensure that there is a sense of urgency in the reader, and I think it was smart to include the dual mysteries because they work together to hold up the novel.

Ultimately The Woman In The Window will feel similar to other books in the genre. If these books are akin to comfort food to you than The Woman In The Window will be exactly what you're looking for. It may not offer anything new or unique, but there is something to be said for getting exactly what you expect from a book. It's an enjoyable enough mystery that I predict will generate quite a bit of buzz. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!!!! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one! :)


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