As I began to read The Woman in the Window, the thought ran through my mind that I would drive Anna Fox nuts. You see, I lived next door to a Peeping Tom as I was growing up, so I learned at a very early age to close the curtains once the sun goes down. You want to see something interesting? Move along down the street because you're not going to find it at this house!
As I read a little further, another thought crossed my mind. Why am I reading this book when Anna Fox is the type of character I don't like? I have few hot buttons when it comes to reading, but characters who drink to excess is one of them. Anna literally spends her days swilling wine and gobbling pills-- most of which her doctor has told her expressly not to take with alcohol. But I couldn't stop reading. In fact, I found myself reading faster, and I think I know why.
A.J. Finn made Anna Fox a compelling, sympathetic, "train wreck" of a character. The sort of character that you know something bad is going to happen to, and you just have to keep reading to find out what that bad thing is and if she's going to survive it.
The second thing that had my eyeballs glued to the page was the way the story unfolded. Finn does an absolutely marvelous job of weaving old movies like "Gaslight" and references to such luminaries as Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie into his story. Moreover, he does it in such a way that the end result's not a slavish imitation but something that keeps the gears whirring in your head while you smile, snuggle down deeper into your chair, and keep on reading.
There are two big secrets in The Woman in the Window. How did I do in uncovering them? I figured out one and could kick myself for not deducing the other. If you're in the mood for a story that has more twists and turns than San Francisco's Lombard Street, you really should get your hands on a copy of A.J. Finn's book. It's a good'un.
This book had a slow start and it was not until midway that it finally picked up but it really went gangbusters after that. It is a quick read because of the writing style. Most of the book is written like a screen play dialogue. The main character is unlikeable and flawed. At times you get frustrated with her and at other times you feel sorry for her when nobody believes her story. The plot was very interesting and kept the pages turning. The twists towards the end were great and I was very much surprised a the ending. I liked the all the old-time noir crime thrillers that were mentioned throughout as the main character was also a movie buff. I would highly recommend this book to those who like psychological thrillers.
Gosh, maybe it is because I am 63 and have read a lot of books and seen a lot of movies that I am not so easily impressed, but this book was just not good to me. Maybe all the good reviews are coming from the 18 to 25 year group who are still gaining life experiences. It seems to me that so many of the new popular books are just flat, boring, forgettable and disappointing. I find myself reading older books over again to get my reading enjoyment. It took me three weeks of laying this down and picking it back up and quite a bit of skimming to get to the finish. I felt I had read this same story many times before and seen this plot as a movie at least a dozen times before. I did not think the writing was good at all. Sometimes beautiful writing can carry a weaker book, but this was just a mess to me and nothing new.