Anna Fox is a former child psychiatrist who is now an agoraphobic who can't leave her house without passing out. If you know nothing about agoraphobia it is the fear of open spaces, or spaces you can't control and is often brought on by trauma or anxiety. Her and her husband, Ed, and daughter, Olivia, have separated, possibly due to the agoraphobia, possibly due to other reasons. When the Russell's move in across the street Anna finds herself drawn to the family, especially the teenage son, Ethan, and the wife, Jane. However, nothing is as it seems with the family, and once Anna hears a scream and believes that she sees Jane murdered things go sideways. Anna finds that no one believes her, and due to her condition and her reliance on both alcohol and prescription drugs she starts to not believe herself.
The story has two twists in it. One did surprise me and I was a little shocked, because I should have seen it coming, the other was foreshadowed and I could have guessed if I wasn't so into the story. The story itself was slow at times, and the pacing could have been a little faster. There were times when I felt so bogged down in Anna's feelings and life that I wanted to skip it and get to the story. I also wish that the author had focused a little more on the other characters on the street that Anna watched.
My biggest issue with this novel was with Anna herself. She continually repeated in the novel that she knew she shouldn't be drinking while she was taking her prescription meds, but she continually did just that. I would have liked a character who wasn't drunk all of the time, and I feel that she could have been seen as unstable just with her misuse of the prescription drugs that she was prescribed for her agoraphobia issues. I feel that the alcoholic female lead who isn't going to be believed has been a little over done at this point. There are other ways to create a believable unstable character without the use of booze or meds.
My other issue was with the character of Alister Russell. He was portrayed as a hard ass man who was overprotective of his family, but neither he nor Jane were developed enough to really add to the story. When you have important main characters in a novel they need to serve a purpose, and I feel that neither Jane, who we see little of, and Alister, who we see only when he is angry, aren't used to their full advantages.
I do recommend this, it wasn't bad, and I didn't hate it as much as I did Gone Girl, nor did I dislike it as much as I did The Woman on the Train. Plus, it looks as if a movie is coming and I find it is always a good idea to read the book before watching the movie.