Writing a thriller that triggers the psychological stance of people today is regarded as an accomplishment. These days, most of the people are entertained by movies and fictions of edgy crime. Since most people are cynics, we automatically assume that for tales of suspense to have the highest level of sales, they have to be contrived. Novelist A. J. Finn has, however, come up with a twisty plot; a stunning twist and a breathless novel that intelligently creates its basis on scenarios that are familiar and comes up with references that are “Hitchcock” in nature. The protagonist, Anna Fox is a clever woman who is unable to walk outside her house. Due to her condition, she can barely make two steps away from her door. According to Grady (2018), she has gone through great lengths of suffering which include her agoraphobia since her husband took their daughter and left with her. Grady’s review contradicts the novel in that her husband and daughter were both deceased, and not estranged. Nevertheless, online reviews showed that Anna talks to them on a regular basis and most of the time medicates herself with pills and merlot. Most reviews failed to indicate that the dialog between Anna and her family involved her imagination. The reviews depicted the conversations as phone calls.
Moreover, the reviews analyzed the author’s creativity by applying movie analogies (Somers, 2018). Anna watches suspense films; mostly Rare Window by Alfred Hitchcock. These movies are used by Anna to make references from time to time; especially when she mixes alcohol and her medication. This combination creates a hallucinogenic effect on Anna. This makes her have a perception of a fake world that intrudes into the real-world aspects. This can be attributed to all the movies and films she watches. She even remembers a dialogue in one of the films. A character named Becall is asked by Bogey, “Don’t you get lonely up there?” Becall replies and gives the answer, “I was born lonely.” She then mutters to herself that unlike Becall, was born lonely she was made lonely by the absence of her family.
In the opening line of the book, ‘her husband’s almost home. He’ll catch her this time’, Anna’s voyeurism is established by her interior monologue. Here she talks about the Millers, who live on the other side of the street. There is also a new family from Boston; an adolescent boy, mother and the father who just moved in, the Russells. Anna does not leave them out in her spying activities. One day as she is doing her routine spying, she sees her neighbor fall over after she is stabbed by a sharp shiny object. She, however, does not see who stabbed Jane. Anna believes that Alistair, who is abusive, is responsible for Jane’s death. Conversely, when the police get to the scene, they say that Jane is not dead but alive (February, 2018). This is in contrast to the novel where the author shows that the detectives had informed Anna that Jane was alive in the hospital and not at the scene.
Just like most thrillers which are highly rated there is always a risk of this sort of narrative devolving into nonsense or losing coherence as a consequence of becoming so wrapped up with the depiction of altered mental states (Grady, 2018). The editor of this book has done a very good job of ensuring that the plot of this novel is almost airtight. For all the effects used in its narration, there is no loss of touch by the author as he continuously gives insight of a woman who is overwhelmed with fear, insecurity and has experienced a great loss. This woman feels like she has been abandoned and left alone by people in the world.
The plot of the story is further complicated when a new tenant, described as particularly handsome, moves into Anna’s building’s basement. Just like the Russells, the new tenant also comes from Massachusetts. By stating that David and Alistair were both new to Anna’s neighborhood and from the same town, the reviews support the novelist’s depiction of a collusion between both characters in killing Jane.
Moreover, there are short chapters in the novel that have dateline headers. Finn gives deep insights into what the reader gets to know about Anna. The author hints at her infidelity by describing Anna’s trip in a storm of snow alongside her family that ends in trauma. He also depicts Anna’s capacity to tell lies to those she interacts with. When asked by her friends whether she drinks alcohol she denies it. Just as the novel, the reviews show that Anna was an alcoholic- a habit she liked to hide from Dr. Fielding.
Delayed information by Finn misleads the readers ingeniously (Morrow, 2018). This creates suspense in the novel that makes the readers want to find out more. Finn is a little more inventive in coming up with metaphors for Anna’s state of hallucination and depression. These serve to limit the point of view of the readers to that of Anna’s. Despite this, the reader may start to realize what is happening in the novel. For instance, a good analysis of the book indicates that Anna’s conversation with Ed and Olivia were unreal. Good readers would presume that Ed and Olivia were deceased before the author highlights their deaths in later chapters. At the end of the novel the reader may start to detect some flaws in the characterization and the plot, otherwise, it is such a smooth ride throughout the novel (Somers, 2018). The flaws that the review claims are not well stipulated and can be argued to be absent in the novel.
The author’s depiction of Anna’s mannerisms shows a blunt sense of humor in giving notable commentary on the external environment in the novel (Morrow, 2018). For instance, when she says, ‘he takes better care of his shoes than his face’ as she sees a certain neighbor walk towards his house. This is true because the author shows that Rita was too beautiful for her husband (Finn, 2018). This makes Rita to have an affair with a contractor. This novel also includes hidden motives that make the novel appear mystical. For instance, a young handsome guy renting an apartment in Anna’s basement when she longed for affection and Ethan’s repeated motives. The novel shows that Ethan had occasionally visited Anna because he was attracted to her. The author makes the readers to be anxious as they analyze these motives. This appeals to the readers since it is not a novel that you can easily put down once you start reading.
The mystical depiction of the conflict in the novel makes the readers presume how the plot may eventually end. Conversely, as the narration slowly builds up the author twists the plot n an unexpected manner. The murderer is a character that the audience would hardly have expected. The online reviews are justified in giving the novel the high ratings. Moreover, the analyses of the protagonist are point on. Anna goes through severe depression. She is self-destructive and self-absorbed. Through online reviews, we get to know how deep she has fallen into her depressed state, the vulnerability of her condition and its extent. Her vulnerability creates a notion of an omen that may eventually happen to her, and we as the readers are clearly aware of that (Lee, 2018). The concept of impending danger for the protagonist as highlighted by the reviews is depicted in the novel. Ethan threatens to murder her (Finn, 2018).
The protagonist in this novel is not the average woman in jeopardy. More often than not in the genre of fiction, women are represented as helplessly dependent on male characters (Baum, 2018). They rely on men and constantly fret them. The author represents Anna as a bold female character. She is relentless in fighting for justice. Despite facing the threat of Ethan, she emerges unscathed. The author’s representation of Anna promotes women empowerment. Anna is neither controlling nor crusading as the male characters. Nonetheless, as the plot of the novel develops, she gets to unravel a mystery and defeats the antagonist after a confrontation with him. This is well highlighted by the novelist.
In conclusion, although the story of Anna might not be sparkly and witty, it promotes critical thinking and analysis among readers. Anna’s mysterious ordeal comes out in a chilling and horrifying manner as set in the novel. The predictability of the plot is uncanny; the narration of the book is well-executed.