Roman Clodia's Reviews > The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
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it was ok

** Possible mild spoilers **

Yet another super-hyped 'psychological thriller' which seems to think readers are innocents new to the genre... it's starting to feel like each new author just selects from a pack of established set pieces and gives them a bit of a shake hoping for something original.

Here we have the traumatised, agoraphobic woman on a self-destructive binge of booze and pills keeping watch over her new neighbours and spotting a murder which the police claim never happened. Alongside that we have a menacing intruder in her house, online friends who may not be quite what they seem, a weird sexual encounter (what was that all about?), and the cliched climax where the insane psychopath confesses everything for no good reason other than to bring the book to an end. And how many times have we now seen the protagonist's traumatic secret used in other books? I'm afraid I spotted every twist and with so few characters it's not hard to guess the psychopath.

It's a shame as Finn writes fluently, but, honestly, I was bored senseless with the agoraphobic narrator and her endless witterings about old films and how many bottles of wine she's drunk each day with her pills. If you read regularly in the genre, this is a hokey tale that you'll have seen before. I wish I'd resisted the hype.
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Reading Progress

December 18, 2017 – Started Reading
December 18, 2017 – Shelved
December 18, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)

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message 1: by Canadian (new)

Canadian At least it generated a comedic review, R.C. Thanks for the laugh!

Roman Clodia Definitely one to avoid! :))

Rachel Hall Excellent review and my problem with Copycat by Alex Lake. Regular readers of the genre know the formula inside out and most scenarios have already been done and done better. Was relatively hopeful for this one, shame -enjoyed the critique! xx

Roman Clodia Shame, indeed, Rachel - I, too, was hopeful with the cover quote from Gillian Flynn (what was she thinking?) and all the 5* reviews. But it's just the same old secrets and twists - yawn - with added red wine and pills! 😵 xx

Rachel Hall Was only saying to Miriam how I would like to hold the fellow authors that bestow cover slogan quotes to account for the ridiculously OTT praise! xx

message 6: by Canadian (new)

Canadian The Gillian Flynn recommendation would have put me off entirely anyway. I absolutely loathed Gone Girl! and I mean loathed! Hundreds of pages for what? It was so tiresome. . . rather in the manner of R.L. Stine for grownups. I woke up and it was all a dream etc. etc.

Roman Clodia Funny, I loved Gone Girl and read the other Flynns on the back of it. I like the way she challenges conventional ideas of femininity, motherhood etc. All the same, no excuse for talking up this wholly average thriller...😊

message 8: by Canadian (new)

Canadian Yes, she does do that. I see your point,

message 9: by Sid (new)

Sid Nuncius OK - I'm outta here! Thanks for the warning and witty review, RC.

Elyse Walters Where are the hypes? I must be missing something. I enjoyed this book .... but other than reading a movie was being made..
where DO these hypes come from?
I’ve seen MANY mixed reviews... and I knew NOTHING about it when I received it and started reading?
Do the hypes come from readers? Or publishers? Or who? I’m sincerely curious...
Thanks. And hope you’re enjoying your next book ... and a very happy holiday season!

Roman Clodia The hype for this certainly starts with the publisher who called this 'the most exciting debut thriller of the year' and then supported that claim with these puff quotes from established authors:

Get ready for the biggest thriller of 2018!
‘Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing’ Gillian Flynn
‘One of those rare books that really is unputdownable’ Stephen King
'Twisted to the power of max' Val McDermid
‘A dark, twisty confection’ Ruth Ware

I'm glad you enjoyed it more than me, Elyse - happy holidays! 🌞

message 12: by Mary (new) - rated it 1 star

Mary Peterson spot on review. I got bored and gave up.

message 13: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Grothaus I am glad that I am not the only one not impressed. I wish I had counted how many times the word "Merlot" is used. I got bored and skipped to the end.

message 14: by Leonie (new) - added it

Leonie Marais Yes same old same old one star. It is such a copy..😕😣

Louise My thoughts exactly!

Sheri The repetition was killing me killing me!! Spot on review.

message 17: by Alex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Alex Ohhhhh I could not agree more! Waste of many hours.

Superbunny you're right, this whole book has been done before, it's called girl on a train - there was even a movie made out of it starring emily blunt.

Brandy Granny Lizzy was the worst.

Carolina In the audiobook, conversations between Granny Lizzy and The doctor is in the room were excruciating! This is because every time the narrator would have to read their names before reading their dialog.

Eleanor Stoffo Halfway through the book I was sick of Anna, she was an idiot .

Haidee Nightingale Yes! I was so bored with this character, she drivelled about everything and I guessed her family were dead well before they revealed it. Very predicatable, was not a fan.

Michelle Only Wants to Read Very similar ideas about this book. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who found it obnoxious and stale. On spot review.

Kathy I'm with all of you on this - and I'm only halfway done. I've already figured out that her family is dead (gee, maybe within the first 20 pages).

Phyllis Wow so much negativity. You should all write your own books. Pretentious boring and judgmental 👎

message 26: by Greg (new) - rated it 1 star

Greg Roman, just one explanation: there are two versions of this book. You and I read the bad one.

message 27: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim Hated it.

Tanya Artz Spot on review, everything I wanted to say with my 2 star rating. Also, what kind of Psychologist would miss that? A really bad one.

Vidya Vittal I wish I had read this review before I picked up the book. This was such waste of time. I could figure out that her daughter and husband were dead within first few pages. And ofcourse, she spots the murder from her window and police discredit her since she is a drunkard.(how original!)

message 30: by Sergia (new)

Sergia Hernandez I just started reading it last night and I'm already skimming pages. I thought I picked up an old movies review book, actually had to check the cover to make sure I had the right book.. **bored** about to return it and get my money back

message 31: by Greg (last edited Oct 08, 2018 10:31PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Greg Sergia wrote: "I just started reading it last night and I'm already skimming pages. I thought I picked up an old movies review book, actually had to check the cover to make sure I had the right book.. **bored** a..."

Sergia, all. In the 1940s, this exact same story appeared, and then Hitchcock make a movie of it. This book is a 99% copy of that book/film. The name of that book/film? My keyboard can't type the letter that comes after v, so I'll use v: "Rear Vindov" by Cornell Voolrich. Exact same story. I say plagarism. Or just plain lazy vork. Either vay, shame on the publishers for paying a 7 figure advance for a plagarized story.

message 32: by Greg (new) - rated it 1 star

Greg Leonie wrote: "Yes same old same old one star. It is such a copy..😕😣"

ABsolultey a copy. See my above post.

message 33: by Greg (new) - rated it 1 star

Greg Since people can get a 7 -figure advance for plagarizing an old book, question is, I need to decide a book to copy. I'm thinking the title might be "Gone Girl on a Train in a Vindov." (One key on my keyboard doesn't vork.) Unfortunately, Agatha Christie did all three of the referenced books in "Mrs. McGillicudy" anyvay.

Roman Clodia Haha, and yes, Christie did it far better!

message 35: by Greg (new) - rated it 1 star

Greg Roman Clodia wrote: "Haha, and yes, Christie did it far better!"

Roman, yes, she did, and for several reasons, but the big reason is that, having read "Mrs. McGillicuddy" 3 times, I never can figure it out, so each time I'm surprise again. Gone Girl: one single element (tone change in diary) tells us everything and no reader can be surprised again. Finn's "Vindov" (the letter after v is out on my keyboard) has the same issue: one element (for me it vas the son undressing in the vindov on purpose) told me everything and no reader can be surprised again. Of course, the greatest trick in all of crime fiction, Christie's "Akroyd", is remembered. That said, its vorth re-reading to understand hov she did it! I don't care about critics thoughts on Akroyd: it's a literary masterpiece, as is Christie's brilliantly complicated "Murder on the Orient Express" in vhich there are at least a dozen major tricks and tons of red herrings, it is so dense, so complicated, I can imagine she must have had a room covered in notes taped to the valls of her house. She's the best selling author of novels in the vorld, you knov, but did you knov that title vent to Erle Stanley Gardner vvhen he passed in the 1960s? And did you knov that Mickey Spillane's first seven novels (1950s) vere at one point 7 of the top ten best selling books in the history of America? If you haven't read Spillane's "I. the Jury", it's sensational!

Roman Clodia Yes, I've been a mad Christie fan since I was about 10, and am currently re-reading the Poirot books with a reading group. Orient Express is one of my least favourites, though, not sure why... Roger Ackroyd, as you say, is so clever. I think Christie is underrated as a writer, with her sly humour and mischievous pen portraits.

I haven't read Spillane or Gardener - and loved Gone Girl which also has things to say about gender expectations amidst all the grippiness and twists.

Victoria Completely agree with you. Tired of counting all the wine bottles. How is she even alive with all the pills and alcohol that she's mixing?
Loved the dead husband and daughter twist. Although I guessed it at some point before she revealed it. The rest of it was predictable.

message 38: by Ali (new) - added it

Ali advocate nice very nice book and its topics thanku for this book

Marla McQuay I had high hopes but I think the author tried to throw in too many issues for this poor stuck in the house agoraphobic. Booze, Pills, weird tenant, family that doesn’t exist, psychopath, etc. it was too much!!! Also send for the lead character to be a PHD in psychology the author had her behaving like she was brainless!! I kept yelling at the book lol!

Beverley So pleased to read your review and find that it echoes my exact thoughts! I couldn't believe all the hype for something so utterly predictable and mundane.

Lilibet I agree with you. Check out The New Yorker story on this author, possible real name is Dan Mallory. Then consider Ewan’s revelations in the ending of this book. Seriously scary.

Tamia Yes, the ending was painfully cliche.

message 43: by Lily (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lily Reading about the narrator's drinking problem and drug abuse over and over again made me want to drink.

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