The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. This was sent to me by Harper Collins Publishing in early December. I’m a little late to the party as the hardback hit the shelves back at the beginning of the year. However, I’m glad I finally got round to this, as although I had some quibbles with it, by the end it was a good read, and is out in paperback on 27th December 2018.
What is it about? Well, Anna lives in her big, expensive house all by herself, since her husband and daughter left her. She doesn’t leave the house, as she is agoraphobic, and going along the lines of becoming an alcoholic too. Anna spends her days looking out of her windows at her neighbours, spying on what they are doing, and generally living her life through them. One day, Anna sees something criminal happen in one of her neighbours houses and that’s when her life becomes embroiled in this slow-burn, suck-you-in-by-the-end thriller!
We’ve seen a swathe of books come through that have an unreliable woman witness to a crime, and the subsequent disbelief that comes from their families and the authorities. So I was slightly sceptical of this going in, as I wasn’t a fan of Gone Girl or Girl on a Train. This has been compared to them, and in fact Gillian Flynn called it ‘Astounding. Thrilling. Lovely and amazing…’
I read this over a week and must say that at the start I was finding it difficult to carry on. It was such a slow burner. I don’t think anything remotely interesting happened until about 40% of the way in. The story takes such a long time to get going. We learn about Anna and what she is doing, why she is stuck in her home – well, we aren’t told the exact reason until later on, but we get the agoraphobia detail. It goes through a week or two of descriptions of what she is seeing out of her windows. We learn that she is a bit of an alcoholic and that she doesn’t take her meds consistently. It all happens very fast at the end.
I didn’t like Anna from the start. She is annoying, she doesn’t help herself in any way. We do feel sorry for her, she’s had it rough, hence the mental issues. But I just didn’t connect with her. She’s lonely and sad, and misses her family terribly.
I might head down and switch on my own TV…. Or I might view it right here, on his set, through the lens. I decide to do that.
I felt like there was a lot of filler, before we go to anything good happening. But when it happened, it happened fast!
AJ Finn writes in short sharp chapters. This is good, it means we can read it and stop without feeling the drag of having a to finish a chapter first, because it’s only a couple of pages anyway.
I would recommend this to psychological thriller fans, just don’t expect an action packed thrill ride, it’s more of an in-your-head one that takes a long time to build and then ends with a bang 🙂
Thank you Harper Collins for our advance copy in exchange for an honest review.