Another what’s-the-fuss-about book. I liked this book, and there is a certain point (I won’t reveal so I don’t spoil) where I thought I’d rate this higher, but in the end, I ranked it 7. (I know. I know. Better authors than me are heralding. Still, I won’t be swayed. I like a lot, it’s just not one of my favorites.)
This will be a wishy-washy review. I’m not totally sure how I felt about it. When I find a novel that does very well with ratings but isn’t my cup of tea, I research the author’s education, expecting to see Ivy League connections. I believe their education affords them greater chances with major agents and authors. And sure enough, A. J. Finn (Dan Mallory is his real name), graduated in English from Duke. (You might consider reading a bit about him before you read this. I wish I had. There’s some controversy.)
10% Yeah, I did skip a bit.
Who should read:
Avid readers who read a minimum of a book a week will love. Why? It’s better than most. They’ll have fun trying to figure this one out.
But, if you are the type who reads a book every other month? I’d go with page-turners like Defending Jacob by William Landay, Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, or Absolute Power by David Baldacci.
Summary: This is the story of a woman who is confined to her apartment building, stares out the window at her neighbors, and believes she’s witnessed a murder. This is nearly a remaking of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window where Jimmy Stuart is wheelchair-bound. Instead of a physical disability, Anna Fox has an emotional disability. She fears going outside. Additionally, her wheelchair, of sorts, is alcohol. In that sense, her character reminded me much of Rachel from Girl on the Train. (That’s almost enough right there for you to decide if you would like or not.)
Characters: This is another novel where I did not feel a connection with any of the characters:
Anna Fox – An alcoholic who no longer lives with her husband and daughter, the ending of her marriage unfolds throughout the book in several chapters. I didn’t like this character. I didn’t like her more than I didn’t like Rachel from Girl on the Train. In Girl on the Train, I at least routed for Rachel to stop drinking. With Anna? I didn’t care.
The Russells – The Russell family lives across the street, and Anna eventually meets the entire family. The only character I liked was the quirky Jane who appeared mostly in the beginning.
The tenant – There was a male tenant downstairs and at the risk of spoiling the story, I’ll simply say I neither liked nor disliked him. (I can’t remember his name, which says something.)
Other characters – I liked one police officer/detective who showed compass, not the other who didn’t. And through phone calls by the husband and daughter, of course, I liked what little I saw/heard of them. I neither liked nor disliked her counselors, doctors, or the people she spoke with online.
Storyline: Despite everything I’ve said above, the storyline is fairly good. Is it believable? In the end, yes, maybe it was. The author inspires the reader to guess who the killer is or if there is a killer.
Writing style: The writing is good. An easy, interesting read.
Read this author again: Would definitely depend on the storyline, not the ratings.
CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, a psychological thriller, and Dream Wide Awake and Project Dream, two thrillers that carry a paranormal element. These last two novels were inspired by Zahner’s own experiences. See the video of her own paranormal experience, a premonition of 9/11 here. Download her Beyond Reality Radio podcast here. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, BookBub, or LinkedIn. Purchase her books on Amazon.