Rating: 3 Stars
The Woman in The Window by A.J. Finn was my most anticipated read this year. I had been trying to get my hands on it for months, but something always went wrong and I ended up not buying it. So, when I did manage to get it finally, I couldn’t wait to read it.
I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed, but I wasn’t blown away by it either. It was a good read, but nothing out of the ordinary in my opinion. The story was predictable with many clichés thrown in, and the setting was reminiscent of almost all domestic thrillers. What set it apart, for me at least, was the main character.
Anna Fox is a complex and well written character, and as I read, I became invested in this complicated, flawed, grieving woman. I think the writer wanted us to think of her as an unreliable narrator. Unfortunately, Anna, or Dr. Fox, as she likes to be addressed, is too strong and believable a character for the reader to doubt. Her struggles with agoraphobia and alcohol, and her separation from her husband and daughter, all seem too real and painful. And this vivid, almost real, character is also the weakness that makes this book lose points in my eyes.
The problem is the rest of the characters in the book. When you see a strong protagonist who makes you interested in what is happening in her life, you also want the other people around her to be as real and interesting. Sadly, none of the others could make any such impact on me. All of them seem like caricatures of the usual run-of-the-mill domestic thriller characters.
There were some things that I managed to work out early on in the book; like the reason Anna is separated from her family, or what part will David inevitably play in her life. The rest of it I guessed around the halfway mark, and it was disappointing to find that I had been right about almost all of it!
I realize that too much hype leads to too many expectations, which are very rarely met, but I have also read many books that have stood up to the challenge of rave reviews and a lot of hype. The Woman in The Window failed to meet my expectations, and apart from the one character, I couldn’t find anything that would make this book stand apart from other run-of-the-mill thrillers.