The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn Review

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is a compelling page turner which I pretty much inhaled in one day, thanks to the short, punchy chapters. I just kept reading ‘one more chapter’ and before I knew it I had finished the book. It’s another book with an unreliable narrator — these books are so popular these days — and was like a cross between Girl on the Train and Hitchcock’s Rear Window. I also thought there was a smattering of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in there in terms of the main character struggling with depression and trauma alongside other things.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, ISBN 9780008234164, 427pp, Pub Jan 2018

Without giving too much away, The Woman in the Window is narrated by Dr Anna Fox, a former children’s psychologist who suffered some trauma months ago and now has developed agoraphobia. She hasn’t been able to leave her New York house in ten months and exists on lots of prescription medication chased down with copious glasses of wine. Hence the whole unreliable narrator angle.

Watching her neighbours from her window is something of a past time. That and watching old black and white movies like Rear Window, Strangers on the Train and Vertigo.

You know from the book’s blurb that Anna is going to witness something bad, so part of the fun of this book is speculating about what is going to happen. You also have to figure out what happened to her in the past as, being an unreliable narrator, Anna’s narration skirts around the issue, all while dropping plenty of hints.

The Woman in the Window is very suspenseful, well-written and worthy of all the hype. Though Anna was a mess of a character psychologically and physically, I still liked her and wanted her to sort herself out and figure out what was going on. I guessed the twist about her past long before it was revealed as certain bits of plot didn’t add up and also the plot device used was unoriginal. In fact, I read another great page turner recently where a troubled character had the same revelation about a personal relationship. I would love to discuss this device at length but don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone that didn’t see it coming.

As for the bad stuff that happens…that was all carefully plotted and did surprise me but again I had an inkling it was coming. Though I wasn’t 100% certain. The author did a great job of keeping me on my toes. There were plenty of red herrings in the plot to distract and try to mislead the reader.

But aside from these small criticisms which come from me reading way too many psychological suspense thrillers, I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Woman in the Window. I even googled the author and found out that A.J. Finn is a pen name for a New York book editor named Dan Mallory. I was surprised as I assumed this book was written by a female author trying not to give their gender away. This book reads like an homage to film noir and took me back to my university days where I took some film history classes and watched a lot of Hitchcock and other film noir movies. And I’m sure this book will make a great movie some day.

But what I would like to read for a change is a psychological thriller with an unreliable male narrator who has substance issues, psychological trauma and is in a desperate situation. I just feel like all the books I read like this are always women with issues. They all have girl, woman or wife in the title.

Verdict: Read this if you’re after a thrilling page turner that you won’t be able to put down

What do you think about unreliable narrators in thrillers? Do you enjoy this plot device?

13 thoughts on “The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn Review

  1. thisisoneforthebooks March 1, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    Before I even got to the end of your post, I was thinking the same thing about how all the unreliable narrator’s with psychological trauma in thrillers are female! When I first got into the genre it was okay, but now I’m noticing it more and more and it’s getting over done (the fact that they’re all female). I want to see a male in this type of role too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Janereads March 1, 2018 / 12:43 pm

      Thank you for agreeing with me! I still like reading these type of books but like you said it is a bit overdone. I was wracking my brain trying to think of a book with a male protagonist with psychological trauma and I couldn’t think of a single one. There must be books like this out there. Somewhere …

      Liked by 1 person

      • thisisoneforthebooks March 1, 2018 / 1:37 pm

        Me too! It wouldn’t stop me from reading a book, but still it would be nice to see a male in that role. When you find one, let me know– I would love to read it too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fictionophile March 1, 2018 / 2:31 pm

    As always I waffle. Sometimes I love an unreliable narrator, sometimes not. It would depend on the skill of the author that I am reading. A great example of this plot device that I loved was “Under your skin” by Sabine Durrant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads March 1, 2018 / 2:45 pm

      You’re right it does depend on the skill of the author. They do drive me crazy at times but I think unreliable narrators are meant to. I haven’t read Under Your Skin. I will have to check it out. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashley @ Book Tales March 1, 2018 / 2:34 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this! It sounds like such an interesting read! I love reading books when you are so invested in the story, that you just want to finish it in one sitting! They’re the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads March 1, 2018 / 2:42 pm

      You’re right they are the best. It makes you remember why you love reading so much and they make up for every book that’s a struggle.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. shereekuwtp March 1, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    Ah, this one sounds right up my alley! I was actually just really glad to see a book in this vein released with a title that doesn’t infantalise the female protagonist (ever notice how all the “girls” are actually women? it’s a publishing trend that really disturbed me for a while there). But having read your review, it sounds like something I’d really enjoy reading! I love a good page-turner 🙂 Thank you for sharing, I’ll put it on my next list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads March 1, 2018 / 5:31 pm

      That’s right! At least she is a woman in the window and not a girl. You will have to read it and then come back and link to your review. It would be good to duscuss some of the plot twists.

      Like

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