Monday, 8 January 2018

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This is an ode to Hitchcock and the classic tale of suspense.

Anna's story is also indicative of the stigma and discrimination, which is prevalent in our society, that people with mental health issues have to deal with.

Regardless of your social status, professional background, age or gender, a mental health diagnosis brings an entire busload of baggage with it. Suddenly you are no longer considered competent enough to make decisions and are an unreliable source.

Anna finds herself going from respected professional to the lonely lady who lives in her bathrobe and survives on a few bottles of wine a day. Her perfect family is a thing of the past. Her husband and child no longer live under the same roof, and Anna holds on tightly to every phone call and every conversation she has with them.

Her agoraphobia holds her prisoner in her very large house. The only contact to the outside world is via internet forums, her lodger in the basement and the people she watches through her windows. The neighbours who don't know that she views them through her camera lens during the night, the day and any time she needs to feel a connection to the outside world.

The Hitchcockian aspect of the story starts when Anna meets one of her neighbours and later witnesses something horrific during one of her spying episodes, thereby starting a cycle of terror and mistrust. Suddenly everyone around her doubts each word she says and every action she takes. Anne becomes the crazy lady, who is scared to leave her own home.

The Woman in the Window is a story of grief, desperation, self-doubt and in the end of self-preservation. It's also about momentary lapses in judgement and choices that can destroy lives. I can understand why it has been picked up to be developed into a film.

Finn has infused the story with fear of self and the unknown, and given it an air of nostalgia. Fans of classic films will perhaps recognise certain scenarios or films that are mentioned throughout the story.

It's compelling and full of suspense, and Finn is definitely an author I look forward to hearing more from.

Buy The Woman in the Window at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @AJFinnBooks @HarperCollinsUK @KillerReads

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