The Woman in the Window is a thriller written by A.J. Finn about a woman suffering from agoraphobia after a major trauma. The story is told from the perspective from a woman named Anna Fox. Anna Fox has the rather troubling habit of viewing her neighbors through a high powered camera lens. She gets to know of new neighbors across a park in a New York neighborhood. Of course, Finn adds to the irony by having his main protagonist a psychologist. Anna Fox spends her days and nights in her house, watching old movies, drinking too much, and mixing the alcohol with her medication. She also tries to help others with her affliction through an online support group. Oh, and she plays chess online as well.
She has an encounter with someone she identifies as Jane Russell, who she believes is the wife in the new family across the street. Then she sees the woman get stabbed some time later. The belligerent husband shows up after the police are called with a wife who Anna doesn’t recognize as the woman with whom she spent an evening. She begins to doubt her sanity further as the ploy moves along. The police don’t believe her. Anna’s grip on reality slips more and more.
There is also a mysterious good-looking tenant in the house who has his own secrets.
Poor Anna has a lot going on for someone too afraid to leave the house.
My impression of this novel was a bit mixed. Fortunately I was quite interested to see how Finn would have this little caper resolved. Unfortunately, Finn relies on a lot of familiar tropes from the films or other books of this genre. The critics apparently hail this as some kind of modern masterpiece, which is I think is overstating things a bit when it comes to this particular novel. Fortunately, the very end of the novel actually does offer a payoff that is worth the time spent in its pages. I could predict some of the answers Anna was going to find, but Finn does offer a couple of curveballs in the story.
I may not entirely agree with the effusiveness others have expressed about this novel, but I would still recommend giving this one a read and perhaps keeping an eye out for whatever A.J. Finn comes up with next.
The next book to go under the reading lamp will be Max Seeck’s The Witch Hunter.