A.J. Finn’s Hitchcockian thriller THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW has taken the book world by storm, debuting at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and earning rave reviews from critics and readers across the country - and this week, I had the chance to sit down with A.J. himself and talk crime writing, psychological thrillers, Hitchcock films, and a whole lot more! This was an incredible opportunity to learn about one of the hottest crime books in the world right now directly from its author, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you today. Many thanks to A.J. for answering my questions so thoughtfully, and to his publisher for facilitating this interview!
In this blog post, you’ll find:
- More details on THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
- A link to my “Buzzworthy 2018 Books” post on this title
- A video of my interview with A.J. Finn
- And a few quick thoughts on my favorite things I learned during our conversation!
Plot Details: THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.
CBTB’s “Buzzworthy 2018 Books” Post - Excerpt:
THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn is a masterful, immersive psychological suspense novel that will recall Hitchcock and Rear Window for its readers. At first glance, the plot of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW feels quite familiar: a reclusive woman spends her days observing her neighbors from the windows of her home - a hobby that seems harmless, until she sees something she shouldn’t.
Does this sound a bit too much like THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN at first glance? It did to me, too. But just trust me - what begins with a familiar premise quickly diverges. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW in many ways marks a very welcome return to the basics of crime fiction storytelling - and I mean this in the best possible sense. Rather than a shock-value, twisty-turny psychological thriller, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW proves that plotting and character development will always be the ultimate mark of a strong crime novel. Masterfully plotted and vividly told, THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW draws readers into the maze-like mind of a very solitary woman, and unravels the external circumstances that have made her who she is. Entrancing, immersive, and unsettling.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW
I had such a fantastic time chatting with A.J. about his outstanding debut - and wanted to highlight for you a few of my personal favorite things learned during this conversation!
- Not only was THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW Finn’s debut novel, but it was the first idea for a book he ever had. There’s not even much more I can say about this aside from… wow. That’s pretty darn incredible!
- Yes, he absolutely intended for this story to feel "Hitchcockian" - if this book reminded you of Rear Window, you're spot on. I’ve heard from many of you who were so curious to find out if this similarity was purposeful on his part, and he gave this question a resounding yes. He’s a huge fan of Hitchcock’s work, and this inspiration was totally intentional! In our interview, he also shares his favorite Hitchcock film - and it’s safe to say I’ve added it to my personal to-watch list!
- He was very intentional about creating a female protagonist who is not preoccupied with a love interest or relationship. Anna Fox must be one of the most fleshed-out, well-developed, complex characters I’ve read in ages, and it’s absolutely true: all her complexity and intensity has nothing to do with an unfaithful spouse or a romantic rejection. Her challenges and obstacles are entirely her own; she's an independent (if troubled) woman, and I loved hearing Finn discuss just why developing this character was important to him as a writer.
- And last but certainly not least - in our discussion, Finn touched on something that is one of my personal favorite qualities of crime fiction: the genre's ability to explore challenging topics in an accessible - and often quite entertaining - way. My favorite crime reads are most often those that explore something bigger through their work, whether that's an exploration of mental health, personal traumas, or larger social issues—and Finn expresses so eloquently in our conversation just how this quality of crime fiction makes the genre even more great.
Many thanks to each and every one of you who tuned in to this interview when it aired live on my Instagram - I have absolutely loved receiving your enthusiastic messages about this conversation. And, of course, many thanks to A.J. Finn for answering my questions so thoughtfully! THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW is on sale now from William Morrow - book details below!
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (January 2, 2018)
Crime by the Book is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way affects my opinion of the above book.