Julie Christine's Reviews > The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
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bookshelves: best-of-2018, mystery-crime-thriller, read-2018

UPDATE: This controversy over Dan Mallory, the author's real name, is leaving me queasy. Not so much that he's proving to be a pathological liar- hell, as a fiction writer myself, this is what we all do- WE MAKE SHIT UP- it's that he likely stole another author's story. I've removed my rating, though I will leave my review as is. And adding Sarah A. Denzil, “Saving April" to my To-Read List.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/bo...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...

I have a sneaking suspicion that I blocked any awareness of this book when the hype began to build this time last year. I'm sure it would have struck me as one more notch in the Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, The Good Girl, Girl blahblahblah publisher bedpost (although, Thank Pete, at least the GIRL was allowed to become a WOMAN). And indeed, Woman features an unreliable narrator (made so by an enviably expensive and seemingly inexhaustible supply of merlot) who witnesses a terrible crime, just like that girl on that train.

So, it could be that I just refused to pay attention. Whatever the case, when a friend mentioned this in passing last week while we both queued for coffee, and I saw it on the recommended-by-staff shelf at the library the next day, I added it my stack with a shrug of the shoulder. I'd never heard of it, but a quick glance at the jacket copy and it sounded like fun ride. I needed something to get me through the odd blend of Thanksgiving stress and sonambulism.

I LOVE being surprised by a book. I loved this book. Anna's voice and her vulnerability rang true, even if her obsession with noir film was just so utterly contrived (can anyone say 'made for the big screen film deal', which apparently happened before this book even hit the shelves. Now starring the adorable, admirable, and yes, I'm crazy for her, Amy Adams), but also very, very smart.

That's what I so appreciated about The Woman in the Window- its intelligence. Anna Fox is in on the secret- that she's a mess, an unreliable narrator. Finn, nom de plume for mystery fiction editor Dan Mallory — obviously a keen student of his clients' craft — conveniently assigns his protagonist the career of child psychologist, so Anna is able turns her professional insights on herself. But don't mistake my glibness for, well, glibness. It works. All these contrivances in this novel that is an homage to delicious, compulsively readable and watchable noir, they just work. The suffocating tension of a narrative overseen by an agoraphobe, the heartrending flashbacks, the controlled release of clues, the deliciously frustrating red herrings... For sure there were things I had completely figured out before the pre-pre-denouement, but that did not take away from the emotion when my worst fears were confirmed.

I tip my hat. This was a careful study of what makes a great thriller and it is a GREAT thriller.

What I really want to know now is exactly which merlot Anna is drinking. That still gnaws at me. Devil's in the details, you know.
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Reading Progress

November 24, 2018 – Started Reading
November 24, 2018 – Shelved
November 25, 2018 – Shelved as: best-of-2018
November 25, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery-crime-thriller
November 25, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
November 25, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Dianne Yay! I really liked this one, too.


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I want to read it but I know a young woman named Anna Fox and that kind of freaks me out.


Julie Christine Jessica wrote: "I want to read it but I know a young woman named Anna Fox and that kind of freaks me out." LOL. I get it!


Julie Christine Dianne wrote: "Yay! I really liked this one, too." Exactly what I needed when I needed it!


Joan Great review! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough...plus, now want to re-watch all the old Hitchcock films


Julie Christine Joan wrote: "Great review! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough...plus, now want to re-watch all the old Hitchcock films" Thank you, Joan! I know- - some rainy Saturday I'm going to queue up my favorite noir films and while away the day!


Diana Oh my! That is something I did not expect. The popularity of The Woman in the Window is huge. I definitely now want to read Saving April - I love comparing books. And only to think that the movie The Woman in the Window in the full swing in terms of production. That's embarrassing.


Julie Christine Diana wrote: "Oh my! That is something I did not expect. The popularity of The Woman in the Window is huge. I definitely now want to read Saving April - I love comparing books. And only to think that the movie T..."

The publishing industry should be ashamed for falling for this idiot's narcissistic shenanigans time and time again, but they have, and he's cleaning up as a result. I wish Amy Adams would step up and shut the movie project down. Mallory is creeptastic.


message 9: by Susu (new)

Susu Wow! That is truly the astonishing. His story sounds like a book itself! I own the book but have not read it and I won’t after reading all the scandal. I will be looking for Saving April, however. I hope justice is served.


Cynthia Paschen Thank you for the heads up. I will update my review.


Julie Christine Susu wrote: "Wow! That is truly the astonishing. His story sounds like a book itself! I own the book but have not read it and I won’t after reading all the scandal. I will be looking for Saving April, however. ..."

It's pretty incredible, Susu. He's created an elaborate web of lies and somehow managed to get away with it for decades. I'm sure he'll find his way to a memoir contract... ugh.


Julie Christine Cynthia wrote: "Thank you for the heads up. I will update my review."

Awesome, Cynthia. Thank you!


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