Anna Fox is afraid to leave her house. It's been ten months since she's stepped outside for more than a few steps and is, frankly, OK with that. Her former career as a psychologist gives her a name for her condition, agoraphobia, and it allows her to help fellow sufferers on an online message board. It does not help her treat her own condition. Her only outside connections are with her reclusive tenant, her physical therapist, her own psychologist and phone calls with her estranged husband and daughter. The rest of her time is spent watching old films, drinking, and watching the neighbors while drinking.
When new neighbors move into the house next door, Anna treats them as characters in her drunken melodrama, feeling out their personalities and relationships by what she observes. When a chance encounter breaks her self-imposed fourth wall, Anna realizes she has to find out the truth of what she saw and confront her own past.
A.J. Finn's <i>The Woman in the Window</i> is a love letter to noir cinema - especially Hitchcock's classics. It's the best re-imagining of 'Rear Window' I've ever read or seen. Films like the <i>Third Man</i>, <i>Laura</i>, and <i>Shadow of a Doubt</i> layer the already unreliable narrator's tale with rich atmosphere. Finn is a top-notch plotter and he avoids the pitfalls of most thrillers by refusing to wrap everything up in a tidy bow by the end.