Day after day, Dr. Anna Fox sits alone in her large house drinking too much wine, popping too many pills, binge watching old thrillers and spying on her neighbors. In this novel reminiscent of Rear Window, Anna is confined to her house by a PTSD- induced case of agoraphobia. She hasn’t been outside of her home in ten months.
Anna is pretty shameless about spying on her neighbors with the zoom lens on her camera (strangely, the homeowners on this crowded city block don’t use their blinds often). She knows what book her one neighbor is reading for the book club she hosts. She knows that another neighbor is cheating on her husband. She learns people’s schedules. What she can’t know from observation, she finds out by stalking the neighbors on social media.
A new family moves in next to Anna and she begins observing them, as well. But this time it’s different. The son visits and then the mother visits. She starts to get to know them. To a very isolated Anna, this means something. Her husband and child are elsewhere and her face-to-face contacts are limited to about three people. She welcomes these new people in her life.
But then things go terribly wrong. While looking through her neighbors’ window, Anna witnesses a murder. Or did she? Her story just doesn’t check out with the police. And the fact she washes down too many pills with a couple of bottles of merlot every day makes her judgment suspect. The police believe she hallucinated the incident. And soon the reader begins to believe the same thing, too.
This is a psychological thriller that has a lot of satisfying twists. The choppy writing style, written with a first person perspective, perfectly represents a woman who is struggling (and sometimes not really struggling very hard) to hold it together. The author reveals important information with precision timing so that the reader begins to doubt Anna as events unfold. Good writing and a well-executed plot make “The Woman in the Window” an excellent read.
Thanks for the recommendation, Mark!