I stayed away from this thriller for a while. It had a lot of hype and that scared me right away; this is what happened with so many other books in this genre and they all disappointed me. I really didn’t want this one to not meet my expectations so I tried to avoid it … but then the temptation to see if it was worth all the hype was too great. Here is my review:
Summary (Goodreads): Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
Review: Unfortunately, this novel failed to impress me. It didn’t live up to the hype. But it wasn’t a bad thriller, either.
We have this character, Anna, who is agoraphobic. That in itself has me intrigued. Agoraphobia is quite common and there are many therapeutic and pharmaceutical approaches for it. But then the author decides to also make Anna drunk. And that straight-up reminded me of Girl on the Train. As if the story wasn’t similar enough in terms of the idea of a woman who spies on others through a window! I really didn’t like that the author added the drinking element to the story because it wasn’t necessary; Anna was already an unreliable narrator because of her agoraphobia and the medications she was on. It just seemed like overkill to me.
I also found that the plot was a bit predictable. While I hadn’t completely pegged the ending, I had my suspicions, and a lot of the revelations were ones I had already guessed. I wish Anna had been a little quicker in coming to certain conclusions, but I will be fair and give her the benefit of the doubt; after all, she was drunk so maybe that’s why it took her longer to put the clues together.
A lot of people on Goodreads have been calling this a “popcorn” book and I have to agree. The story is interesting enough that it keeps you flipping the pages and you’re entertained. However, it wasn’t the best thriller I had ever read, and it was too predictable for me. I’m giving this a 2.5/5 stars, rounded to 3, because I liked the pacing and writing style and think it is a decent job for a debut author in a genre where it’s hard to stand out.