Monday, February 5, 2018

TLC Book Review: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Pub. Date: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 448

Genres: Contemporary Fiction / Thriller / Suspense


For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

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, 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.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

What Did I Think About the Story?

I feel like I've hit the mother load with the books I've read so far this year. I can't remember the last time I've had so many "best of the year" picks within the first two months. Whether it's historical fiction or mystery/thrillers they've all exceeded my expectations. The Woman in the Window, a dark, twisty, noir-style novel, fits right in within this wealth of literature I've been blessed to read so far this year.

Anna, the main character in The Woman in the Window,  is the epitome of an unreliable narrator. She's an alcoholic drug-abuser who bald-faced lies about her addictions and her...let's call them "unusual" daily habits. These daily habits include watching endless old black-and-white Hitchcock thrillers and spying on her neighbors through a high-powered camera, making up little stories that go along with their lives. She's stuck in her house due to severe agoraphobia, which was brought on by an unbelievably tragic set of circumstances that the reader doesn't fully learn about until about half way through. So, for much of the beginning, you just have to guess at what has caused her mental illness, which is even more perplexing given her previous career as a psychologist and her clearly being quite intelligent. She knows when she is being irrational, drinking too much, or not taking her many pills correctly, and yet...she keeps doing it. All this calls into question the experiences she relates to the reader and what she believes she sees and hears happening at the new neighbors, the Russells's, house. This confusion makes the story so delicious and also makes it hard to stop reading as you want to keep going to see what is really happening and what isn't real. And, I'm happy to say, there's enough of both occurrences to please any reader.

I've read a few reviews of The Woman in the Window that mention that the beginning of the story is somewhat slow going. I have to say that, for me, I didn't find this to be exactly the case. The beginning is setting up this closed-off, claustrophobic, and stuffy world that Anna lives within, one filled mostly with just Anna and her memories and her active mind...and her movies. She has a few visitors that come by and she has an online presence that keeps her somewhat connected to the outside world, but other than that it's just Anna. This over 400 page story takes place over less than a month but, for me, each page felt needed to build Anna's backstory and show her progression through sickness. I think in order to fully make this understood the story had to move along as it does...somewhat muted in the beginning and continuously building until the vicious and exhilarating end.

I can't say much else without giving the story away, but I will say that I loved how the story unfolded much like one of Anna's favorite movies, making this almost an homage to those classic, twisty thrillers. I have to admit that I had one key twist figured out pretty early on, but there were still plenty of turns that I didn't see coming. I also love that, even with all of Anna's bad habits and illogical actions, I came to care about her and worry about where her story would end up. I'm not about to say what happens, so you'll have to read the story to find out!

The Woman in the Window is an excellent thriller and I can see why it's getting so much positive hype. Between this and a few other thrillers I've read lately, any others coming up on my list have quite a bit to live up to!

What Did I Think About the Cover?

There isn't much to it, but I think it perfectly fits the story. It's got that sort of old-fashioned feel to it, which makes me think of the older movies Anna is obsessed with and the classic feel of the story itself.  The pulled down blinds obviously represent Anna's constant snooping on her neighbors out her windows, and the dark colors give it a feeling of ominous mystery. I love it for this story.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins for a free copy of The Woman in the Window in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone. Continue on below for more information about the book, it's author, and the rest of the blog tour!

Praise for The Woman in the Window

“Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing.” —Gillian Flynn

“Unputdownable.” —Stephen King

“A dark, twisty confection.” —Ruth Ware

“Absolutely gripping.” —Louise Penny

Buy the Book

About the Author

A. J. Finn has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement (UK). A native of New York, Finn lived in England for ten years before returning to New York City.

Follow Finn on Twitter and Facebook.

TLC Book Tour Schedule

Tuesday, January 2nd: Novel Gossip
Wednesday, January 10th: The Book Diva’s Reads
Monday, January 15th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, January 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, January 23rd: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, January 24th: Instagram: @jackiereadsbooks
Friday, January 26th: Write – Read – Life
Thursday, February 1st: Ms. Nose in a Book
Monday, February 5th: As I turn the pages and A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, February 6th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, February 13th: 5 Minutes For Books


  1. This one sounds like it would keep me riveted for sure!
    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    1. My pleasure, Heather, I hope you love it if you get the chance to read it!