This is a book that has been on my radar for a LONG time, but it slipped further down my wish-list with all the drama around the author last year. 2020 has so far been the year of playing catch up with book releases so it was finally time to put aside my preconceptions, and judge this story independently of who wrote it.
This novel revolves around one main character – Anna Fox, who lives in New York on her own and hasn’t been able to leave her home in ten months. The back story lets us know that she does have a family – a husband and daughter, but yet they don’t live with her anymore. Is it connected to her agoraphobia?
Anna is a child psychiatrist in the professional world but with no way of getting to her office, she’s keeping her days busy by helping others online who are also suffering from agoraphobia. There was a certain bittersweet irony to it all, with her encouraging others to leave their homes, but yet she couldn’t get further than down the four steps to her back garden before fear would flood through her and she’d be straight back inside.
Having been used to a busy life of work and family, her online support to others is not enough to keep her busy and she finds herself spying on her neighbours. She tracks their every day dalliances and becomes attuned to their habits, the secrets they keep from each other and their obvious opinions on other neighbours.
When a new family moves in, Anna senses something unusual about them. The more she watches them, the more concerned she becomes, something is definitely not right about them.
As she sips on her wine, she witnesses something that terrifies her.
But did she really see it?
Is she a reliable character?
As her back story unravels, we realise that Anna is holding back A LOT. Can we readers trust her? I loved the fogginess that Anna’s unreliability added to this plot, it made the journey to the ending feel uncertain, unclear and difficult to predict what might be around the corner – the perfect ingredients for a good thriller!
Finn’s writing style is calculated and uncanny, the complexity of this plot proved this! His exploration of his characters’ personalities, traits and histories provided such a solid backbone for this story and amplified the twists that came fast and furiously out of the final third of this story.
The detail packed within these pages makes it such a visually imaginative experience but the downside of this much detail is you can become lost in it, and it can slow you down from the glory of this thriller plot… which is why I found the middle of this book to be a little long.
There is no doubt about the skill that must have gone into creating such a twisty, deep and remarkably cunning plot. I can’t wait to see what a second book brings from this author.
The Woman in the Window is out now in paperback and eBook versions from Harper Collins.
Until next time, Chloé x