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Quick take

A shut-in spends her days spying on her neighbors. One day she witnesses something terrifying ... Or does she?

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

Why I love it

Pretend you haven’t already read that the screen rights sold before it even hit bookstores, or that the author received a seven-figure advance. And ignore the comparisons—you knew they were coming—to Girl on the Train and Gone Girl. The Woman in the Window is a great psychological thriller that lives up to the months of hype it’s been getting.

Anna Fox, once a successful child psychologist, lives alone in her Harlem townhouse spying on her neighbors, mixing psychotropics with red wine, watching old films—Hitchcock’s Rear Window, which this book is loosely based on—and chatting on message boards. Early on we learn that Anna suffers from agoraphobia (fear of crowed spaces), brought on by a traumatic incident, rendering her unable to leave her home without having a panic attack.

When a new family moves in across the street from her front window, Anna begins watching them through her Nikon. Then, one night, she sees a terrifying crime occur in one of their bedrooms. But here’s the twist: Anna, who has been drinking and popping those aforementioned pills all night, can’t prove that what she saw really happened. And no one, not the police or her neighbors, believes her.

Debut author A.J. Finn is already an old pro at characterization. When Anna finally ventures outside and her mental state spirals out of control, we’re right in that terrifying spiral with her. It seems like every thriller these days features an unreliable narrator—and Anna Fox is one, too—but unlike many recent thrillers, The Woman in the Window’s plot twists are genuinely surprising, and not just shocking for shock’s sake. Film buffs, too, will love the references to Hitchcock and other classic films.

With each short chapter, Finn leaves you wanting more. I read this one in one sitting, then couldn’t help but draw shut the curtains in my apartment.

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Synopsis

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening ...

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

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Preview

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