Not-So-Horrific Halloween Read: “The Woman in the Window” by A.J. Finn

woman in the window

If you’re the type who likes to curl up with a twisty, suspenseful Hitchcock flick on Halloween, here’s a novel you should try!

Anna Fox lives as a recluse in her New York City home.  She spends most of her time watching Hitchcock movies, drinking, and spying on her neighbors.  Then one night she thinks she witnesses a murder in the house across the street.  From there it’s a downward spiral into trying to decide what’s real and what isn’t, who’s lying, and what Anna actually saw that night.

Anna isn’t very likeable, nor is she very reliable, but she’s compelling to read about.  The Woman in the Window is a page-turner of a thriller, with quite elegant writing and an absorbing narrative voice.  The twists and turns and reveals of the book are a slow build, and there’s a constant air of uncertainty and menace as events unfold.

The references to Hitchcock movies and other thriller/film noir pieces abound, and the book really does have the feel of a black and white psychological suspense film.  Perfect for unsettling you on a Halloween night!


Marie’s Reading: “Batman: The Long Halloween” by Jeph Loeb, illustrated by Tim Sale, with color by Gregory Wright

Batman_thelonghalloweenJust popping by to tell you about a comic book I read recently: Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb, illustrated by Tim Sale.

A gangster story with more than a few nods to The Godfather, The Long Halloween explores an episode very early in Batman’s career.  A serial killer nicknamed Holiday (because he or she commits murders on major holidays), is taking out members of one of Gotham City’s big crime families.  At the same time, Batman, Captain Gordon, and District Attorney Harvey Dent have joined together to both find Holiday and to bring down the organized crime controlling the city.

Many of the big hitters from Batman’s Rogues Gallery make appearances.  Catwoman plays a large role here, with Batman and the reader unsure of her motivations and alliances.  Two-Face’s origin is a big part of the plot as well.

The artwork, with its dark shadows and creative framing, suits the story perfectly.  The action sequences and fight scenes are very well paced.  As I said, this story is a big homage to The Godfather, so expect some familiar shots.

It’s a good murder mystery, a good graphic novel, a good character piece, and a good Batman story.

I can tell you from personal experience that this is a good introduction to Batman if you’re Bat-curious and what you know about the Caped Crusader comes largely from cultural osmosis.  If you enjoy police procedurals and/or old-timey gangster movies, you might find a lot to like here.