shades of hitchcock

The Woman in the WIndow by A.J. Finn is a twisty modern retelling of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. A woman, trapped in her home by agoraphobia, witnesses a murder.

Or does she?

Anna Fox, former child psychologist, is a broken woman. Trapped by anxiety, swimming in a morass of prescription pills and wine, she spends her days rewatching old movies, dreading the visits of her trainer, and trying to help other agoraphobics in an online forum. And spying on her neighbors. Separated from her husband and daughter, she struggles with her inner demons by keeping the world at arm’s length.

But then the world, or really just the new neighbors, knock on her door. When she opens the door to let them in, she exposes herself to a danger she couldn’t have imagined. But as the day slip by, as the drugs and alcohol mix badly in her system, she’s no longer certain of what is real and what isn’t. Did she see a woman get murdered? Or did she just get really mixed up?

A.J. Finn’s thriller is a seesaw of emotions as secrets are revealed and truths come to light. Finn’s smooth writing style and the slow unfolding of the true story kept me turning pages until the end. I loved the references to old movies and the red herrings that threatened to take me down so many wrong paths.

I read this during a time when I was having trouble focusing on words on the page, so I tried the audiobook. It’s narrated beautifully by Ann Marie Lee, but I found the audiobook to be paced a little slow for me. I listened to about a third of it and then gave up and just read the rest. By that point, I was too deep into the story to be diverted. So I highly recommend the book, and recommend the audiobook with reservations (like, if you like a slow narration or have no problem speeding it up to listen).

This is a book that’s gotten a lot of hype. I say it’s worth it. I look forward to seeing the movie they’ll be making of it.

Galleys for The Woman in the Window were provided by HarperCollins thanks to Edelweiss; the audio version I bought myself thanks to Audible.