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The Woman In The Window
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on 17 March 2018
Dr Anna Fox is a doctor currently without a practice but there are always people, others like herself, whom she can still help even whilst confined to her New York home. Without her much loved husband and daughter, there are too many hours in the day that Anna finds she needs to fill with small human interactions, elsewise the pills and wine will step up and do that for her. There is the gorgeous downstairs lodger, the online forums where she counsels other agoraphobics, her physiotherapist, her ex business partner, the myriad of delivery people who bring her food and other supplies. It has been a very long time since Anna has been able to put foot outside her own door. But this does not mean that she does not observe life outside.

The mix of small common encounters that make up family life are all close by and on constant display for Anna to watch unseen from her own upper windows. These domestic vignettes, observed via her camera lens or at most times just by Anna’s naked eye are always absorbing, so it is especially interesting when a new family move in over the road. Meeting a new neighbour is a treat and the lovely Jane Russell kindly stays with Anna for the afternoon on a day that she especially needs the company. The days do tend to blur though when you spend your hours taking your medication incorrectly with alcohol. When Anna sees her neighbour stabbed and pleading for help from behind the glass of the townhouse opposite, it is not an easy task for Anna to get anyone to listen. Anna is a witness to a killing, but no one is taking her story seriously.

Reserve yourself a little time and settle in as this engaging novel will be a one or two sitting read. Anna, despite all she has experienced, is immensely relatable and a warm narrator to listen to. There is no shame, there is only the present and the need for Anna to get herself through one day and then through the next. It is very easy to see only a few pages in why THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW was a monster hit straight out of the gates. Immersive, introspective and warm, this read totally wraps you up in the four walls of Anna’s townhouse as her growing concerns about the neighbours become yours.

Brace yourself for the huge jump scare at chapter’s end in the final quarter of the novel - I promise you will be leaping out of your seat! (Tip: Do not read this book on public transport).

Author A.J. Finn (was quite surprised to find this was a male author) does an excellent job in building up both tension and our worries for Anna’s welfare, an obviously intelligent character who is coping the best way she can with loss and mental illness.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 2 February 2018
There are three things I expect from a good psychological thriller: 1) it needs to mess with my mind; 2) it needs to mess with my mind; and 3) it needs to MESS WITH MY MIND! The Woman in the Window delivered that in spades, constantly making me question what was going on. Anna really is the perfect protagonist for a psychological thriller. Afflicted with a mental illness that makes her confined to her house, she is also taking a cocktail of heavy psychotropic drugs she washes down with copious amounts of alcohol. How could she possibly be a reliable narrator? I love nothing more than a protagonist I can sympathise with but one whose perception of reality I need to question constantly. Has Anna really witnessed a crime, or is she simply hallucinating? Truth or lie, reality or fabrication - the images swirled together in a crazy caleidoscope of unanswered questions that made me feel like I had indulged in a few of Anna's medications myself! At times the story drove me crazy with wanting to know if my hunches were right, and made me read until the early morning hours until I finally got my answers. Just a word of advice: pick up this book with plenty of time to spare, or you will suffer sleep deprivation!

Apart from an exquisitely unreliable narrator, there is the writing – oh, how I loved the writing! It is no accident that Anna is a lover of black and white Hitchcockian movies, because the story followed very much along those lines. Here we have a claustrophobic setting, a disturbed main protagonist and several suspects who might or might not pose a danger to Anna. The whole setting features a mere block of houses, and stars only a small cast of characters, but this story packs a punch! Have I mentioned that it messed with my mind? A few die-hard psychological thriller fans may guess some elements of the plot (as I did), but don't despair, there are plenty of other surprises in store. Also be aware that the book starts of slowly, cleverly setting the scene, which is essential for the plot to work. Soon you will be caught up like a spider in its web, suspecting each and every character, even Anna herself!

I am happy to end 2017 with a book that was one of the best psychological thrillers I have read in a long time. To say I loved it is an understatement. It was EXACTLY what I look for in a psychological thriller, containing all the right elements and presenting them in a way that was simply irresistible. Sometimes you know after a mere few pages that the book is going to work for you – the writing style, the voice, the characters. I am very happy I stumbled across this gem – what a fitting finale to my 2017 reading journey.

I very much recommend The Woman in the Window to all lovers of the genre – let its black-and-white kaleidoscope of secrets seduce and confuse you.
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#1 REVIEWERon 3 February 2018
There was/is a lot of hype surrounding this book and it kept being recommended to me via Amazon and through my Facebook newsfeed so I felt I had to buy it., however I’ll be honest, I had little expectations... yet, I found that ‘The Woman in the Window’ is ‘The Girl on the Train’ meets ‘Rear Window’ - that well loved Hitchcock film based on a short story. Hence making this one of the best twisted psychological thrillers I've read in a long time.

A.J. Finn has created a captivating character in Dr. Anna Fox - our protagonist. She suffers from agoraphobia resulting from a devastating incident that has significantly damaged her. She mixes alcohol with her medication and spends her days looking out her windows at her neighbourhood.

Actually she spies on them, taking pictures with her camera. Making up names and backstories where she does not know the truth and keeping careful watch of what they all get up to. A new family moves in and Anna starts watching them as well.
One day, she hears a scream coming from the Russell's house, and she sees what she thinks could be a crime. But looks can be deceiving, especially if the watcher isn't exactly sober at the time, which is the police's attitude. Did Anna really see what she thought she saw and, if so, why are the Russell's lying?

This debut grabbed me from the first page, held me captive throughout. And if you love a book that is patient and slowly reveals itself to you before shocking you then you will love ‘The Woman in the Window’.
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on 21 January 2018
There is a lot of hype surrounding this book and it came up on my Facebook feed so many times. So when I received a copy from net galley I was so excited that I stopped the book I was reading to make this the priority! There were things that I liked about the story and others I didn't like as much.

One thing I did like was that I found The Woman in the Window so easy to get into that at first I couldn't put it down. The suspense was created well as the circumstances and events that were unfolding were so bizarre. There were also lots of twists that really messed around with where I thought things were heading. The main character, Anna, was so vulnerable and I think the nature of agoraphobia and what it is like to live with was portrayed quite well.

I felt that things started to fall apart for me after around 50%. I began to feel frustrated by the decisions Anna was making, but I guess they were the decisions of a scared, lonely and isolated person. I had a few issues with some of the dialogue as well, particularly where the two detectives were concerned. It just didn't flow or feel real/ natural. I also thought the storyline toward the end started to become a bit unbelievable.

Overall I am glad I read the book. I think it is getting more challenging for author's to write in this genre when there is so much hype and comparisons made to other similar books. Thank you net galley and the publisher for providing me with a copy to read and review.
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on 14 February 2018
When I started this book I thought, it was way to detailed in it’s descriptions, however, it started to really paint strong imagery in my mind. It was like watching a thriller on the edge of your seat, but I was actually in bed reading a book.

The story is strong, strange at first, but the more you read, the more sense things start to make.
I loved the way that the story starts early, describing things that actually relate to the twists and endings at the end of the book.

This book was probably one of the best for surprises I’ve read in a long time. I honestly didn’t pick anything (twists) until I read it.

You know how sometimes you can pick the twists in a book before they happen, so you kind of scan ahead of yourself just to see that your right? Well in this book, I didn’t do that at all because when the twists happened, I’d not expect it at all so I was not prepared! It’s brilliant!

I loved this book, great read! I don’t normally ever give 5 star reviews, because I always believe that everything can be better, but I was so happy with this book I’m giving it 5 stars! Loved it!

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 February 2018
This book seems to be following the current fashion to have unlovable women as main characters. Think of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. Anna is a mess. She is agoraphobic, has a bad drinking problem, swallows handfuls of prescription pills, has neglected her personal appearance, lies to everybody including her therapist and has been unfaithful to her husband. Even when later in the book we learn of the trauma that led to her agoraphobia we have sympathy for her but not empathy.

The plot is a variation of the thriller standard where no one will believe that the main character has seen a crime and so he/she tries to solve the crime themselves. In this case no one believes what Anna has seen because she was drunk and doped up at the time.
The book is written in the first person and it is a credit to the author that he has succeeded in keeping our interest in this difficult to write point-of-view. There are cliff hangers and story twists all the way through and of course a surprise ending.
It is an engaging read but not really a page-turner. The unappealing main character rather dulls interest.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 January 2018
Let me say that I was very excited to win this through a Goodreads giveaway and wasted no time to start. It didn’t disappoint me in any way.

For the last 10 months Anna Fox has become a recluse in her own home.
She has her food, medications and most importantly... wine delivered. She previously worked as a child psychologist but now she spends her days advising on an agoraphobia forum called ‘Agora’, playing online chess and watching old black and white movies.
Right from the beginning there are hints afloat. We know that Anna likes to watch her neighbours, she drinks a bit too much and mixes her medications. She also has a husband called Ed and daughter called Olivia.

I must admit for the first half of the book I really wasn’t sure of the direction the story was going to take me. Once Anna has witnessed the ‘incident’ with her neighbour Jane, the story just rocketed along. I silently cheered her on as she tried to grasp the idea of what she saw and work out what happened to Jane....or was she going mad.
With a time frame over 3 weeks, the short sharp chapters made for easy reading and especially a case of ‘one more chapter’ became evident for me. I really enjoyed this book and it certainly kept me guessing, right to the very end.
Thank you to Goodreads and the Publisher for a copy to read and review.
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on 11 February 2018
This is the first book in a long time that I absolutely could not put down. I loved the main character in this story and I really felt for what she was going through. I could not imagine not being able to leave my house. The authors style of writing was flawless and her descriptions so clear that I could imagine watching the events unfold as if I was there as a bystander. We find out just how much the main character has lost in her life and you can really empathise with her. The author cleverly lets you keep guessing whether the events in the book are really happening or just imagined. We have to wait until nearly the end of the book to find out who the bad guy is but its so worth waiting for and totally unexpected. If you want to read a good thriller until the wee hours of the morning then I thoroughly recommend you pick up this book. I have just finished reading and I'm going to read it again. I don't think I've ever done that with another book before. I cannot wait until this author writes more and I hope it's very much in the same style.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2018
This is easily one of the oddest but best books I have ever read. As I read, I was totally engrossed. I eventually tore myself away from it for much needed sleep. Go to work, come home and think about this book. Do I want to continue to read? It's weird. Maybe give up on it and try something else. Maybe not. Start reading again and within seconds, I'm addicted. Word after word after word. The author describes mental illness and alcoholism so well. The author is amazing. The twist at the end is something I never saw coming. The author writes like the entire book is a map. Full of highways, streets, roads and lanes. You think you know where you're going and then "boom" you end up somewhere else.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 19 February 2018
Is it just me or is there some kind of thriller sub-genre going on? All due to Gone Girl. That novel seems to have given way to The Woman in Cabin 10, The Girl on the Train, The Couple Next Door, and A Stranger in the House...these are all by women authors and publishing houses who seem to have influence on their titles for marketing purposes (they sound like a series). But I digress.

Finn's novel is a fun outing. It has all been done before (what hasn't) but she lays it out and packages it in a fresh way. It is a bit of a mashup of the films Rear Window and Copycat with some highly improbably but deeply entertaining plot twists. I enjoyed how Finn built suspense and then accelerated everything-and-the-kitchen-sink in the last fifty pages. A great beach or airplane read. I predict we will all be watching the movie on a plane in about 32 months.
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