In true #readingontherun fashion, while in the mood to spend a few hours with new characters and a competent storyline, I picked up this novel at the airport in a hurry. The soft cover jacket boasted a quote from Stephen King, the New York Time Best Seller seal and described an unreliable main character...sold!
The main character, Anna Fox suffers from Agoraphobia due to past traumas leaving her unable to leave her home in New York City. She passes the time by spying on her neighbors, playing chess online and helping others suffering from the same disorder via an internet chatroom. All of these conditions set a perfect scene for entertaining suspense, right?! This novel is expected to make its big screen debut featuring Amy Adams in October 2020.
Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives their environment to be unsafe with no easy way to escape. These situations can include open spaces, public transit, shopping centers, or simply being outside their home. -Wikipedia
The author, A.J. Finn, drops a murder right in the middle of all these shenanigans which takes the readers (us!) on a whirlwind of surprise plots with mildly developed supporting characters. There are very few subplots here though. Finn spends most of the book helping us get to know Anna, an unreliable main character, perfect for a typical "who dun it" plot. She drinks heavily while on multiple prescribed medications, so when she witnesses her neighbor get murdered while peeping through the window, we begin to question if any of Anna's experiences are actually true. We get to know Anna really well. Finn does a wonderful job getting us close to Anna's feelings of anger, joy, sadness, confusion and hope. However, I found myself wanting get to know some of the other characters a bit more.
There are a few surprises, one of which caught me off-guard. Overall this was a good read I am sure you'll want to see through to the end.
Next, we'll patiently wait to see if the movie does Finn's writing any justice. Of course, us true book lovers know that the movie is never as good as the book.
Until next time, keep reading my friends!