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

Hello, my name is Judith! Welcome to my blog, ReadandReview.

The Woman in the Window is a suspense / psychological thriller novel by A.J. Finn,  a pseudonym for Dan Mallory, similar in style and plot to other books like The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

The Woman in the Window is about Anna Fox, an alcoholic recluse who is terrified to leave her own home. She spends her time drinking and observing (or spying) on her neighbours until, one night, Anna sees something terrible happen. Or did she imagine it? Why don’t the police believe her?

For a debut novel, The Woman in the Window is pretty good.

There are a lot of twists and turns which genuinely stumped me and left me unable to work out what has happened, why it has happened, and what the consequences will be. Everything I thought I knew changed constantly. The novel is fast-paced, as each chapter represents a day in Anna’s life, meaning some chapters are incredibly short, whereas others are much longer, which made the book an easy page-turner.

However, let’s talk about Anna.

Her character development only goes so far; she is alcoholic, agoraphobic, and separated from her husband. The book never fails to remind you of these 3 “character traits”, but does fail to add any other descriptions of her. I tried to figure out what else I knew about Anna’s personality and couldn’t think of anything.

On the one hand, Anna is a sympathetic character. She’s clearly lonely, frightened, and struggling with her mental health. On the other hand, she is irresponsible and irritatingly arrogant. Anna is / was a psychologist. Apparently, this then gives her the liberty to coach other people’s mental health problems over the internet, whilst refusing to deal with her own. Her medical background also gives her license to self-medicate, and so Anna constantly skips her medication altogether or mixes it with copious amounts of alcohol.* This is completely dangerous and irresponsible.

* Whilst it may make the narrator unreliable, why do so many thrillers feature female protagonists who do nothing but drink glass after glass of wine? 

I was completely engaged by the plot of The Woman in the Window and I couldn’t wait to figure out where the story was going. However, the character of Anna was incredibly frustrating, which put me at risk of disliking the book altogether.

Star Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Have you read this book? What did you think? 

– Judith


This post was last updated in January 2020.

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