The Woman at the Window by A.J. Finn - Book Review

The Woman at the Window

The Woman at the Window by A.J. Finn - Book Review

The Woman at the Window, written by A.J. Finn, is a good psychological thriller. Whether if it’s really best-seller material or not is something you’ll have to judge for yourself.

The synopsis of the plot has similarities to the old classic movie, Rear Window, directed by the one and only Alfred Hitchcock, mixed with a little bit of the 2016 best-seller, The Girl on the Train.

So basically, we have a booze drinking, pill gobbling woman, Anna Fox, who not only enjoys watching black and white movies but also enjoys watching her neighbors from the widow; and taking pictures of them. She spends all her time at home because she also suffers from agoraphobia.   

Dr. Anna Fox, a therapist and child psychologist, lives alone, separated from her husband. She is a mother to a young girl who also doesn’t live with her and Anna narrates the story in the first person. She used to be successful, then something happened and her life went off track.

Back to the main plot, one day as she’s looking across at her neighbor’s window, she witnesses a crime; or at least a crime after the fact; she sees her neighbor and one of her only acquaintances, Jane Russel, with a knife sticking out of her chest.

But she’s convinced it was a murder and that Alistair, Jane’s husband, is the murderer. Jane is also the mother of Ethan, a teenage boy. 

When the police get involved, we find out that Jane Russel isn’t the Jane Russel that Anna knows and claims she has met in her home.  Alister and Ethan say that Jane is alive and well and bring her to talk to the police. When Anna sees her, she tells everyone that the woman is an imposter and not Jane Russel. 

Because of all her weak points; an alcoholic who mixes booze with medication has a severe fear of the outside world and is unstable when she reports what she saw, no one believes her; especially the police. Anna herself begins to doubt herself and what she saw.  

One of the good aspects of the book is the writing style. However, it can be confusing at times as to who is talking during dialogues. Some twists were not surprising, but others were hard to anticipate. Yet, there are portions of the book that just seem to go on and on describing tedious things.  

The main character, Anna, is pretty much a train wreck and is your typical unreliable witness. She spends her time basically drinking. One would think she should be claimed an official alcoholic who needs help, but that doesn’t seem to be part of the problem of Anna. You can sympathize with her in some aspects of her life, but you might have some difficulty cheering her on. Readers might feel sorry for her but maybe not like her all that much. 

Another element of the book that took away some of the suspense is that there aren’t that many characters. A thriller that involves a murder would need a couple of more characters that could be considered suspects. 

You might have to go through about 100 pages of the 400+ pages of the book before it picks up. The lack of ingenuity of the plot takes it down a couple of notches. It’s not a horrible book by any means, especially considering that it is Finn’s debut novel.

What it might lack besides an unoriginal plotline that mystery readers have read before is that there is no character that is really likable.  

The book is scheduled to be turned into a movie this year. Perhaps it will make a good movie with a few changes.

Book Details

Title: The Woman at the Window
Format: Paperback
Author: A.J. Finn
Language : English
Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 0062678426

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Updated 3 years ago