The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn -*no spoilers, just general opinion*
With endorsements from Gillian Flynn, Stephen King, and Ruth Ware – a reader would expect the novel to live up to those credits and the specific statement on the cover: “for readers of Gillian Flynn”. It certainly was interesting, but I would not compare it to the dark twisted imaginations of Gillian Flynn or Stephen King… at all.
One could designate it as a suspenseful murder mystery with the promised plot confusing reality with mental instability…. but not so far as a “chilling thriller”.
There were a few small surprises along the way but overall it started to become a more predictable whodunit the farther into the web of characters. Almost as if the author threw unnecessary variables as a crass attempt to raise the level of complexity which was still not surprising at the end.
Also, it was a tad bit long. A chunk of the repetitive main character’s thoughts and fumbling around fluff could have been cut out of the middle to speed up the suspense/flow. The author dives into the character’s past which is certainly required for this crazy setup but there were still chapters that could have been heavily edited out.
I can see why it gained popularity through book clubs though – it’s a solid mystery to discuss mental instability, family dynamics, and communities without fully reaching the darkness of other thrillers (by Gillian Flynn) or grotesque imagery of murders (by Patricia Cornwell). I do recognize that I prefer more extreme darkness than most people – since clearly reviews considered this a crazy thriller!
Overall it was still an enjoyable, well-written, worth-the-read mystery. Everyone is reading it due to the heavy marketing so the book can be a great conversation starter – I simply expected something much creepier based on the hype!