Welcome back, BOOKDRAGONS! It’s time for another murder mystery! Today I want to talk to you about The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. The book was published in January this year and after some of the booktubers that I follow have spoken about it, I decided to pick it up myself. Plus I was in the mood for a good murder.
This review is full of spoilers so if you are reading this you probably already know the plot of the book but I’m going to put a quick summary just in case.
The book lets us in the mind of Anna Fox – a psychologist, who experienced a mysterious for the reader trauma that caused her agoraphobia. She cannot leave her house. She has no friends or family around. All she has is a camera and neighbors to watch. And don’t forget the wine and the collection of old movies.
I had some knowledge of the plot before starting this book so I wasn’t surprised that 80% of it was Anna’s thoughts and internal struggles. For the most part, it was interesting to get inside her head and try to understand her life. However, there were moments when I was hoping the action will kick in and something is going to happen in the outside, in the world around her.
Another thing I should point out is that this book most certainly is not appropriate for those who struggle with alcohol addiction. The amount of wine this woman drank! I found myself craving for a glass every time I opened the book.
The other theme throughout The Woman in the Window was Anna’s passion for old movies and the hundreds of references. I haven’t seen any of the mentioned movies so I skipped a lot of lines. That definitely was not a plus because I felt excluded.
On a more positive note, the book is full of mysteries – we don’t know what had happened to Anna, we don’t know what really happened the night she thinks she saw a murder, we don’t know why the Russels act so hostile and what’s the deal with David. So the author did a good job of keeping the reader in the dark but without feeling lost within the story.
How about the ending? To tell you the truth I did not see that one coming and it is probably because I didn’t want it to happen. In my head, I thought it a great ending if Jane, or the woman pretending to be Jane, had simply turned out alive at the end. I thought – a miserable woman with an aggressive husband befriends the stalk-y neighbor so she could witness her supposed death. After her husband takes the fault, she could grab her son and leave to live happily ever after.
Instead, we have Ethan, the son, who killed his birth mother and is now obsessed with Anna. Don’t get me wrong – the fact that there was something very wrong with him was obvious to me from the beginning and I cannot deny that the psychopathic characteristics were described very well. But as I was reading the final chapters, I couldn’t help but think that everything fits way to perfectly way to fast. We spend the whole book in the mind of Anna with little to no action and we are given information piece by piece by piece and then all of a sudden BAM! Murder, animal cruelty, child negligence, stalking, lust – all at once! The only thing missing from the perfect trifecta was the bedwetting.
And I don’t really know what the connection is but do you guys remember Castle? Well, there was an episode where he has broken his leg and has to stay home for days. Out of his mind with boredom, he spies on his new neighbors and witness a murder but cannot prove it. So you can imagine that I was thinking about that story the whole time while I was reading the book.
The hype was very high on this one and though I did enjoy some moments it was disappointing in the end. Reading the final chapters, I wanted to scream: “YOU’VE PROMISED ME SOMETHING INTRIGUING AND THRILLING AND INSTEAD I FELT LIKE IN A VERY BAD EPISODE OF CRIMINAL MINDS!”
HOW MANY DRAGONS?
I gave the book 4 DRAGONS because I didn’t like the ending, I felt unsatisfied with the character of Ethan and frankly I didn’t like the fact that Anna didn’t even notice that her cat had a broken limp. How can that be?! She treated the poor thing as nothing better than an old mop!
That being said, I’ve heard that this is A.J. Finn’s debut and because I liked some of the directions he took with this book I hope that I might like his future projects.
Let me know what you thought of the book and do you agree with my review.