The Woman in the Window is a stone cold blockbuster. Even Mr Sir Stephen King has been singing its praises. In Library Land, holds/reserves are a good indicator of how popular a book is. 164 people are waiting to read the book, and 27 are waiting for the eBook. That is POPULAR.
I don’t read many thrillers or crime books, but this had me glued to the couch with nowt but copious cups of teas and Easter eggs to sustain me. Here are five things that make it cool.
It is Classic Noir
The story of The Woman in the Window is classic film noir. Anna is a child psychologist suffering from agoraphobia, and she takes photos of her neighbours and noseys at them. So far, so Hitchcock. But it isn’t just the premise that is noir-ish. Old movies are part of the story, and Anna is often watching one, remembering previous viewings, or encouraging other people to enjoy them.
Incidentally, there is a 1944 movie called The Woman in the Window, directed by Fritz Lang.
It has a believable female lead
A recent thread on Twitter asked women to ‘Describe yourself like a male author would’. I doubt you will see A.J. Finn quoted in this thread, because he has managed that rare thing – made a convincing female lead character. Anna Fox is a compelling, nuanced character. You don’t hear much about her looks, because women don’t tend to go around thinking about how big their boobs are, or lustrous their locks. Oh, and she is a woman. Not a girl.
It has oodles of atmosphere
Anna Fox’s world is a lonely one. She is stuck in her apartment, dosed up on medication, and drinks a lot of wine. This creates a sense of woozy uncertainty which plays with your mind, like it does with Anna’s.
So many. So good. This is the Nürburgring of thrillers! More twists than you find in a pack of Twisties!
There is a New Zealand Connection!
“I absolutely love Ngaio Marsh!” he says. “She’s probably my favourite golden age doyenne, which is taking nothing away from Agatha Christie.
More about A.J. Finn
- AJ Finn: editor turns best-selling thriller writer RNZ Sunday Morning
- The Kiwi that inspired Daniel Mallory’s The Woman in the Window Stephen Jewell, Stuff
- The Woman in the Window: Is Daniel Mallory’s debut novel the new Gone Girl? Celia Walden, Stuff
The Woman in the Window
By A.J. Finn
Published by HarperCollins New Zealand