Just like a Hitchcock movie, The Woman in the Window is a subtle, slowly unfolding mystery that will send goosebumps down your arms.
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Anna Fox never leaves the house.While I also often don’t leave the house for days on end, the difference between me and her is that I have a choice. What Anna has is agoraphobia. Her days are filled with wine, anxiety pills, chatting online with fellow agoraphobics, old black & white movies and regular catch ups with her daughter and husband whom she has separated from not so long ago. To soothe her boredom, she often spies on her unsuspecting neighbours, and on occasion even makes up stories about them in her head.
The Russels are her favourite daytime entertainment, and after she sort of makes friends with one of them, she becomes completely obsessed with their lives. When a sudden scream shatters the peace one night, what Anna witnesses is so frightening, even she doesn’t want to believe it. The police of course follows the same sentiment, and write her off as a crazy drunk person who can’t tell reality and hallucination apart. Classic!
While the chapters are pretty short, A.J. Finn’s novel did not start out as a fast paced story, and it’s just as well. I’d be surprised if a housebound woman’s life was exciting and action packed, even with all the stalking of the neighbours. Nevertheless, all the hints and little drops of information made me stay up all night to find out just what the hell is going on. Well, fine, my insomnia too, but this book is freakin’ awesome.
Anna is a truly fascinating person and as a psychologist herself, she has quite a lot of insight into her own condition. She knows the side effects of her medication, but also knows she shouldn’t be drinking. The confusion is so tangible, it was not only the police wondering what was real and what was just Anna’s head.
As the story progressed, the pacing did pick up considerably, and the ending left me seriously huffing and puffing at 4. a.m. in the morning, because it was so well played, so vivid, to the point of being almost cinematic, and while I understand this kind of story might not appeal to everyone because of the slowish pace, and playing on the confusion and the mental state of someone, I can’t wait to see what A.J. Finn comes up with next.
Claustrophobic and suffocating, The Woman In the Window is the very thriller for readers who enjoy an old fashioned psychological thriller.