What a debut for A.J. Finn with The Woman in the Window. It’s kind of a new twist on Rear Window, but enough of it own story to satisfy. I did like that the author is aware of this and brings up both films Rear Window and Disturbia. Where Rear Window it was a broken leg that kept him inside and Disturbia it was house arrest that kept him inside, in this agoraphobia is what keeps Anna Fox, or Doctor Fox. Agoraphobia is the fear of crowds, the outside, basically a fear of anywhere but in her home, she can’t even venture into her own backyard. This novel brings up a lot of films, A. J. Finn must be a cinephile, but for the most part the films are noir, which if I had to define this book, that definitely would be the way to describe it. This book is kind of an amalgam of a lot of noir plots, but with it’s own twist.
I was just announced that Amy Adams is attached to lead, Gary Oldman is in talks, I would guess for Alister.
The Plot is: Anna Fox is a child psychiatrist, she not practicing at the moment, she has not left her house for the last 10 months, due to severe agoraphobia. She stays drugged up and drunk most days. Her family is husband Ed and daughter Olivia who live elsewhere because of separation. She recently rented out a basement room to David who is a quiet loner, he does the outdoor chores for Dr.Fox. Anna is a people watcher due to here condition, and an amateur photographer, she used to travel the world and take pictures, now she take pictures of her neighbors. Anna’s life get interesting when a couple of new neighbors move in across from her. The Russell’s are Alister, Jane and their teenage son Ethan. Ethan visits Dr. Fox and brings a candle from his mother being nice and neighborly. Later she meets Jane Russell who she has a pleasant conversation with, Then She meet Alister who is very hostile and wants to know everything about their visit Anna covers for the woman. Later she See’s Jane Russell murdered. But the police find nothing wrong at the Russell’s Jane is fine only the woman she saw murdered is not the Jane Russell that the family knows. This is a really clever psychological with many twist and turns.
What I liked: This book is really easy to read, the chapter’s are short like a James Patterson Novel, but it’s written better than that. The perspective of Anna was really interesting, reminded me of Rachel from The Girl on a Train, because she’s so untrustworthy as a narrator thanks to the pills and all the wine she consumes. The final twist was good I guessed it a couple chapters before but was still excited by the outcome. This novel relies on the unspoken tension, then leading the audience through teases, there’s a couple, but the way it’s written you get a lot of knowledge and feeling from knowing something is not right, and I found this really powerful. All the film knowledge, and classic film talk, I actually went out and bought Hitchcock’s Vertigo because this novel does such a good job talking about the film. I liked the character’s of Dr. Fox, Ethan, Little, and Ed Fox.
What I disliked: The plot was just too close to Rear Window, it such put i’s own twist on it and I was still surprised at times, but one storyline is the exact same. One twist was very obvious to me I called it really early, And it took too long to reveal, I did like the backstory of the twist.
I recommend this novel to fan’s of Mystery and Noir. Film fans will get a kick out of this novel and how the films are discussed. Some of the films mentioned are, Vertigo, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rebecca, Strangers on the Train, Gaslight, Laura, Whirlpool, and Double Indemnity, as well as films I’m forgetting. I rated this 4.2 out of 5 stars.