The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
Published by Harper Collins
What did she see?
It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.
Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.
But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence, and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?
This book reminded me of the film The Bedroom Window, the one where Steve Guttenburg's girlfriend sees a woman getting murdered but no one else believes them. Here we start with an unreliable narrator, Anna, an agoraphobic who also drinks, a lot. She spends a lot of time looking out of her apartment windows and photographing her neighbours in their houses opposite. She befriends the wife and son of her new neighbours, the Russells and one evening she hears a scream and thinks she sees the demise of Mrs Russell before her very eyes. However when she reports the incident, it appears that Mrs Russell is in fact, very much alive and well, and not the woman that Anna met only days before.
Anna is convinced that what she saw really happened but vast amounts of alcohol plus a strong combination of medication means that her story is doubted by everyone around her, apart from her estranged husband and daughter whom she talks to on the telephone. As Anna's story as to why she is house-bound is revealed, we soon begin to question whether she did see a woman in the window or not. And if she did, is Anna truly safe in her own home?
This book has lots of twists and turns and a whole host of characters with dubious qualities - anyone of them could be a potential killer. This book is a little like that of the recent bestseller The Girl on a Train but in many ways I preferred this tale.
Miss Chapters x