The Woman in the Window by A J Finn
It took me over a month to read The Woman in the Window. I’m the type of reader who can only dedicate themselves to one book at a time, however due to going on holiday and wanting to have more baggage allowance for clothes I decided to take a smaller book with me, hence the month long read.
I like getting my hands on a hardback book because I feel like a proper reader with one.
I was a bit disappointed by The Woman in the Window, I’d heard great things and the fact it is being turned in a film I thought it was going to have that Gone Girl-esquire suspense and drama. However I felt it was a bit of a slow burner. The ending does have a spectacular twist and the main narrator proves to be ridiculously unreliable, keeping you guessing. In my eyes these were perhaps it’s saving qualities.
Anna lives in an apartment in New York. A former child psychologist, she is now petrified to leave her house and her drinking habits have spiralled out of control. She spends her days and nights watching her neighbours and marking their every move and offering advice on an online chat forum.
What I found was odd, was how her husband and daughter would phone her yet never visit her and what event caused her to not want to step outside her front door.
One night she sees new neighbours Alistair and Jane along with their son Ethan move into the apartment opposite. Not long after their move Jane knocks on her door and they have a fun evening together getting to know each other, playing games and drinking. Several weeks later when Anna sees what she believes to be Alistair murdering his wife and Jane covered in blood she calls the police. But when they question her, Jane appears with Alistair but it’s not the Jane she met previously.
It’s here we start to question Anna’s reliability. Anna finds pictures on her phone of her in her sleep leading her to think there has been an intruder in her home. The police refuse to believe her and it’s then we learn why. Her husband and daughter were actually killed in a car accident. Anna was driving the car and her and her husband had an argument when he found a message on Anna’s phone indicating she was having an affair. The car rolled down a bank into the snow and plunged into obscurity from the road her husband and daughter eventually froze to death.
Her visions of Jane’s apparent murder are put down to post traumatic stress.
The twist comes when Ethan visits Anna and admits he killed Jane, his birth mum, and plans to kill Anna. He admits he broke into her house and took pictures and also posed as people in need of help on the chat room. A tussle ensues and Ethan meets a grissley end.
It’s not the most compelling novel I’ve read but the twist at the end does save it.