The Woman in the Window: A.J. Finn's reclusive psychological thriller
If your New Year's resolutions included fewer tweets and more books, the new thriller from debut novelist A.J. Finn is so packed with twists and turns, you might even forget to look at your phone for a while.
With a title and a premise that pays homage to a Hitchcock classic, "The Woman in the Window" tells the story of Anna Fox, an agoraphobic child psychologist who witnesses a shocking crime in the home of the neighbors she's been spying on. But given Anna's fragile mental state — and her fondness for self-medicating — even she isn't sure about what she saw.
"I like that she's struggling with mental health issues of her own," Finn — who drew upon his own experiences with bipolar II and its treatment
for inspiration — told Mary Elizabeth Williams during a recent "Salon Talks." "I feel this makes her rounded and relatable . . . Drawing on that not only helped engage me with the action, but I like to think helps readers connect to this story. I wanted to write a book that has more on its brain and in its heart than your average psychological thriller."
Although the book is being published in dozens of countries and is already in film development, it was hardly an overnight success. Finn wrote the book while still holding down his job at a major publishing house. "To anyone curious about pursuing some artistic endeavor, I would advise them to budget their time accordingly," he said, adding that "It probably will not be nonstop fun. Most things that turn out well are not easy."