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

woman in the windowEver since the breakout hit “Gone Girl” hit shelves, there has been no shortage of suspense novels with words like “girl” or “woman” in their titles, all looking to replicate the same level of success. A few have pulled it off in terms of popularity, and even fewer in terms of quality. The first such book to receive a good deal of hype in 2018 is A.J. Finn’s debut novel “The Woman in the Window”. Does it live up to it? I would have to say resoundingly yes. The story follows Anna Fox, who suffers from PTSD-induced agoraphobia and is unable to leave her large New York townhouse. Her husband and daughter no longer live with her and she spends her days on the internet, watching classic thrillers, and/or spying on her neighbors, while mixing her psychiatric medications with liberal doses of wine. Despite her pretty glaring character flaws, I still found myself liking Anna. She is a well fleshed out character who is easy to sympathize with, while trying to figure out what exactly happened to leave her trapped in her own home without her family. The plot kicks in when a new couple, the Russells, and their teenaged son move in across the park from her house, and after becoming acquainted with 2 of them, she witnesses the wife being murdered through the windows. Or did she? Mrs. Russell is still walking around, though she doesn’t look like the same Mrs. Russell that Anna had previously met. Could she have imagined the whole thing, including ever meeting her? And if she didn’t, who killed her, and who is that in her place? Everyone is a suspect in this book, including Anna herself, and the central mystery will leave you guessing most of the way along. Near the end the suspense becomes increasingly relentless, leading up to a thrilling finale. I did have a hunch who was ultimately the villain here, though I certainly didn’t piece every twist of the plot together, and at least one reveal absolutely stunned me. This very entertaining book is easy to recommend, and is one of the better examples of this type of book to come along in a while. ★★★★★ – Sean Farrell

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