Review: When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (audio)


Title: When No One Is Watching
Author: Alyssa Cole
Narrator: Susan Dalian, Jay Aaseng
Published: September 2020, Harper Audio / William Morrow Paperbacks
Length: 8 hours 30 minutes / 368 pages
Source: Audio –  ALC via / Print – Paperback via Publisher via TLC Booktours

Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems
to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR
SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all
her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and
present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds
an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the
block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into
history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their
neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to
revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when
gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or
themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?


My thoughts: I have never read anything by Alyssa Cole before, but if she continues to write in the thriller genre, I will be the first to line up for her books. This book was nothing short of amazing!

I loved everything about this book. I loved the pacing, I loved the way it was structured, I loved how unsettling it was, I loved how scarily relevant it was. This book is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. You will find characters that you want to cheer for as well as those you instantly take an immediate dislike to – don’t we all love those kind of characters? 

Told from alternating view points, I loved that there was always that hint of suspicion in the back of my mind as to whether I could fully trust either character, even though I really liked both. And both Sydney and Theo were extremely complex characters, too, which makes them so much more interesting. Is Sydney suffering from paranoia due to all that is going on in her life and her not getting enough sleep? Should we be trusting Theo based on what has just happened to him? These were just some of the questions running through my mind as I was reading this book.  

I loved that I had no idea where this book was heading. While it starts off slow, there are things happening in the beginning part of the book that are really crucial to the latter part, so don’t discount what is going on, if that makes any sense. This really is a twisty psychological thriller that gets under your skin in more ways that you realize.

This book is one that I know I won’t be forgetting anytime soon and will most definitely be rereading. While it is a work of fiction, at times it did feel as if I was reading something that could be happening in real life. This book would definitely make a great book for book clubs and I am so glad I am participating in a buddy read for it – I cannot wait for the discussion that is happening at the end of the month! 

Audio thoughts: This is the first time I’ve listened to either narrator and I found myself completely captivated by the way they narrated this book. Both did such a great job with the voices and their pacing and intonation were spot on. I was completely immersed in this story and found I could not put it down. Great audio book!


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