Review: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
This book always seems to be mentioned among the biggest bestsellers of mainstream thriller mysteries: The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl etc. And I can see why. Anna Fox lives alone in her house in New York City. She suffers from agoraphobia, an anxiety condition that results in her not being able to leave her home. She spends all of her time alone, playing chess online, medicating, drinking (when she shouldn't be, mixing with her pills) and spying on her neighbours. A new family moves in across the street that appear to be idyllic, until Anna sees something through her window she wishes she hadn't. Gillian Flynn blurbed this, the movie is supposed to be coming out soon - with a very impressive cast and spooky trailer - AND this book has an immense amount of popularity among fans of the thriller/mystery genre. I was ready to find myself a new favourite. I ended up slightly disappointed. The premise for this was a good one - who doesn't love a totally unreliable narrator who sees something which then has everyone, including herself, questioning her sanity? There were two twists in the book, the smaller one I found more shocking than the big one at the end. I hadn't predicted the twist, but I never ever try to. I want to give myself the best chance at being surprised. Despite me being caught off-guard with the grand reveal, it still fell somewhat flat. I wasn't gasping and saying "oh my God" out loud to myself as I did when reading Ruth Ware's The Turn of the Key or Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. Non-stop action is by no means a requirement, but there were undoubtedly lulls in the suspense building which resulted in a half-hearted ending. Considering the number of pages where not a huge amount was happening, the scenes weren't descriptive enough. This meant that when there were significant chilling moments, they never had the intended impact. There is no doubt that I would still recommend this book, especially to those that don't read much of this genre as it's an easy read and perfectly enjoyable. I need to learn once and for all that these books that sell a million copies are uncommonly 5 star books for me. Gone Girl was the magical exception and I need to move on and accept that.
Initial Prediction: 4.5 stars
Final Rating: 3.5 stars
Publication Date: 2 January 2018 (my edition: 17 December 2018)
Publisher: Harper Collins
# of Pages: 464