Haley’s Pick of the Week: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Looking for the perfect winter escape? How about a crazy good psychological thriller that isn’t violent but super creepy?  The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is a buzz worthy page turner filled with twist and turns that will keep you reading well into the night.

Child psychologist Dr. Anna Fox, recently separated from her husband, is a mess. She drinks too much, is on a cocktail of strong meds that attempt to keep her paralyzing agoraphobia somewhat under control, and is obsessed with classical psychological film noir. She fills her days with online chess, virtual “patients” from her Agora support group, and indulging her voyeuristic tendencies by spying on her neighbors. She fills her evenings with triple features of films like Gaslight, Rear Window, and Rope, several bottles of wine, and a handful of pills.  One night deep into her movies and Merlot she hears a scream and is uncertain whether to believe what she heard is real.  When she witnesses an act of violence from her kitchen window she begins to spiral out of control as no one will believe her version of the event.

Central to the action are her brand new neighbors the Russell family. The lovely wife Jane who helps Anna when she is most vulnerable, the shy awkward son, Ethan, who reminds Anna of some of her tenderhearted patients, and the brooding and seemingly controlling husband and father Alistair.  The closer Anna becomes to Jane and Ethan the more threatening Alistair appears leaving the reader wondering is there something dark going on in that house or is Anna just a delusional shut in?

Finn’s taut thriller uses the expected literary tropes but with The Woman in the Window he manages to create something completely his own and the plot never feels stale. He had me flying through chapters piecing together Anna’s past and to find out what really happened that night in the Russell’s living room. The last 50 pages are a bullet train with one of the best one sentence reveals that I have read in a long time. Finn does an excellent job of drawing the reader into Anna’s fractured world, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty that will leave its readers guessing until the end. You won’t want to miss A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window.

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