Monday 5 February 2018

The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn @AJFinnBooks #BlogTour @fictionpubteam @emiliechambs #IKnowWhatISaw

What did she see?
It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.
But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn was published in hardback by Harper Collins on 25 January 2018 and is the author's debut novel. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take a place on this Blog Tour.

I'd heard a lot about The Woman in the Window prior to its publication, I think everyone had read about this author, and this book. There are a lot of comparisons to Gone Girl and Girl On A Train, and I have to be honest in saying that I wasn't a huge fan of either of those books. The writing is fabulous, but I felt a little bogged down by the darkness of the plots.

I found it a little difficult to settle into The Woman in the Window and I think that's because I've read so many fast-paced thrillers recently. My reading head needed to be adjusted to the pace, and eventually, after a few chapters, it began to flow nicely. In fact, so nicely, that by the middle of the book I could hardly put it down. This is classy writing with a lead character who is so unreliable, so brilliantly created, just so perfect for the plot.

Anna Fox stays at home, all day, every day. She drinks a lot of wine, usually Merlot and takes a lot of pills. She spends a lot of time looking out from her window. She sees things, she sees people and one day she sees something that is both shocking and terrifying. Anna has not left her home for ten months, she rarely speaks to people apart from her trainer and her psychiatrist. Who can she tell about what she saw, and who will believe her?

AJ Finn draws on his love of, and in-depth knowledge of film noir, Hitchcock and Christie during the telling of Anna's story, and there's a dark and brooding feeling throughout the story that often feels somewhat claustrophobic.  He also explores the human brain; it is clear that Anna is not just an addict who cannot leave her house, she is also deeply depressed, and whilst she is a trained child psychologist and often give advice to people in an online forum for people with agoraphobia, she doesn't take her own advice, at all.

Despite the bleakness of Anna's situation, this really is a suspense-filled thriller that will delight crime fiction fans. The multi-layered plot, with it's multitude of twists and turns keep the reader gripped throughout. It is pacy, well thought out and surprising.  Recommended from me.

A.J. Finn is the pen name of Dan Mallory, vice president and executive editor at William Morrow. 

Dan has written for numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Times Literary Supplement. 

A native of New York, he lived in England for ten years before returning to New York City. He is an Oxford graduate, with a life-long love of the thriller noir genre, and a particular appreciation of Hitchcockian cinema.

Follow him on Twitter @AJFinnBooks
Find him on Instagram @ajfinnbooks


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