Book Review: The Woman in the Window – AJ Finn
In February 2018, the book The woman in the window, a modern psychological thriller, was published by Cargo Publishers. The book is written by AJ Finn and tells the story of Anna, a woman who suffers from Agoraphobia (street fear). One night Anna thinks she sees through the window how the neighbor is being murdered. However, the police do not find any evidence. In May 2018, the book has already been published in 38 countries and it was announced that the book will be filmed by director Joe Wright.
Details of the book
- Release date: January 2018
- Genre: Thrillers & Suspense
- Number of pages: 416
- Publisher: Cargo
- SBN: 9789403103501, 9789403111100
About the writer
AJ Finn is the pseudonym of senior publisher / editor Daniel Mallory. He has worked for very renowned magazines, including: Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement. He was also an editor and reviewer for a well-known London publisher. He has worked with authors such as Karin Slaughter, JK Rowling and Nicci French. The woman in the window is his debut. In an interview with Libris, Daniel says he is a fan of classic films such as Hitchcock’s or film adaptations of Patricia Highsmith’s books. He thought it would be fantastic to give those stories their own twist and make the whole thing more modern. With as The woman in the window as result.
Anna Fox is in her late thirties and lives alone in a large New York mansion. Her husband and daughter have left. After a traumatic event, she no longer dares to leave her home. She fills her days with alcohol, black and white classics (Hitchcock) and her work as an online child psychologist. She also likes to keep an eye on her neighbors. One day she gets new neighbors: the Russell family. The family consists of a father, mother and their teenage son. Anne befriends the mother, Jane. One night she thinks she sees Jane being murdered. However, the police do not find any evidence that a murder has taken place. Since Anna is on medication and drinks a lot, her credibility is quickly questioned. The police therefore do not believe that Jane was murdered. Anna continues to persevere, because she knows for sure what she has seen.
The woman in the window will be filmed by Joe Wright. Joe is the director of Darkest Hour, the successful film about Winston Churchill. He has previously filmed books such as As Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. At the moment (May 2018) it is not yet known when the film will be released.
It is a book that you, especially in the initial phase, should be in terms of writing style
The story starts slowly, long sentences and difficult words are used. For the rest, not much happens in the first chapters of the book, you only get to know Anna and her daily activities. As the story progresses, it turns out that the writing style actually coincides well with the main character: confusing and illogical. It only starts to get interesting from the moment her neighbor stands at the door and dialogues are started. The cover of the book and the title have common ground with the book Girl on the train. The writer has never made it a secret that this book has served as inspiration. That also applies to the book Gone Girl from Gillian Flynn. The book consists of 100 short chapters. The story takes place in the space of a month. Since it is such a short timeframe, nothing exciting happens in every chapter. That is not necessary either, because the way of writing creates a good tension. The book reads like a kind of diary, as it were. As a reader you quickly empathize with the main character.
It is a compelling story, thrilling to the last pages
You have no idea which way the story is going. Did Anne imagine the murder of her neighbor or did it actually take place? Where in the beginning you are annoyed by the unstable Anna, you will later sympathize with her. AJ Finn keeps it exciting to the last pages and gives hints for several possible scenarios. The unexpected ending makes up for the initial phase. The Woman in the Window is AJ Finn’s strong debut. Recommended!