Thursday, October 8, 2020

I Spy: "Woman in the Window" by A. J. Finn

Anna Fox lives alone in a large house in a NY Harlem neighborhood with a small park that separates her from the neighbors across the way. She likes a glass of wine, or a few bottles of wine, and spends her days watching classic black and white noir mystery films and spying on her neighbors through a long camera lens. Very "Rear Window". Though instead of a broken leg keeping her housebound, she suffers from crippling agoraphobia.

A former child psychologist, she keeps in touch with her therapist mentor and has home visits from a  a physical therapist who is helping her recover from a mysterious accident and who has become a confidant. She does have a tenant who lives in her basement apartment, and he comes and goes and once in a while helps her out. Other than him and her cat, she really doesn't see anyone else. Her husband and daughter seem to stay in touch only by phone, so when a young teenage boy knocks at her door  with a gift from his mother, she is surprised but intrigued by his precociousness and interest in the movies she watches. After all, she specialized in damaged children, and there seemed to be something this boy was hiding.  He mentioned a strict father. Abuse perhaps?  And then, one afternoon, his mother pays her a visit. They get along and even play chess... and then, she seems to disappear.  Or did she. What did  Anna see through her camera lens? Something so horrible, it couldn't be real, could it? This is a thriller that will keep you up late reading (or listening) as you wonder if Anna is hallucinating or a witness to a crime.

This was another book I listened to while illustrating a book and it kept me listening even after my work for the day was finished. The audio is narrated by Ann Marie Lee who does a great job of bringing these characters to life and keeping the mystery alive to the very end. I have to say, as a long time fan of the movies Mr. Finn describes, he knows his genre! If you haven't seen the movies Ms. Fox watches over and over, you'll be searching for ways to stream them after you finish the book!

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