Every year hundred’s of debut novels are published and most of them sink like stones at the bottom of the ocean. A.J. Finn’s The Woman In The Window is among a handful of authors to receive a favourable welcome. The story is beautifully written and brilliantly plotted. A tale of love loss and madness.
Anna Fox is in her late 30’s and lives alone in an expensive house in uptown Manhattan. She is agoraphobic and it has been almost a year since she last left home, but she delights in spying on her neighbours. Most of the time Anna drinks a lot of wine and watches black and white Hollywood classical films. Her husband has left her and taken her eight year old son too. She talks to them on the phone almost daily and begs them to return. By profession she is a child psychologist and advises a few patients by email. She also has a cat and a handsome tenant who is a carpenter.
Anna befriends the Russell family especially their teenage son Ethan who lives across the street. The Russell’s are a troubled family. The father is a violent man. Anna uses her camera lens to learn more and one day sees what she believes is an act of violence. She calls the police to investigate. They think Anna’s wine consumption along with many prescription drugs she consumes, have impaired her judgement. She continues to spy on the Russells and dark deeds soon unfold.
After reading the novel I wanted to know more about the author A.J. Finn. Turns out Finn is a pseudonym of Daniel Mallory. Mallory himself writes that he has struggled with depression for years, hence his traumatised heroine. In his debut novel he has not only captured the life of a depressed person, but has also written a riveting thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.