When No One is Watching


I’m very conflicted on rating and reviewing this book. I really enjoyed the story of Sydney and adding Theo into the mix really gave the book some depth & different perspectives. BUTTT, I just don’t think this is a thriller, and I think you do a disservice to the book when you go in looking for a thriller, which I was! Because of the thriller classification, I found myself impatiently waiting for the ‘foot to drop’ for 90% of the book, since the thriller aspect doesn’t really hit til then. If this had be labeled as more of a contemporary fiction, then I think I would have enjoyed this book more honestly.

The other big item for me was in the synopsis, we are told that people are going missing from Sydney’s Brooklyn neighborhood. This is a key point of the story but I felt that is was downplayed for too much of the story, and instead the focus was on Sydney ‘losing her mind’. Even though these characters are talked about and the neighborhood finds it strange they went on vacation, or are not answering their door, I never really felt the anxiety that comes through when you read about missing people. Mainly, because I wrote them off as on vacation or the likes!

The best thing about this book, is Cole’s depictions of gentrification and racism. Honestly, I know this is suppose to be a thriller, and that the ending is suppose to be far-fetched, however I didn’t find the gentrification pieces to be far fetched at all. The scary fact is, it would probably be hella easy to clear out a poorer neighborhood simply by raising taxes.

Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases the economic value of a neighborhood, but the resulting demographic change is frequently a cause of controversy. Gentrification often shifts a neighborhood’s racial/ethnic composition and average household income by developing new, more expensive housing and businesses in a gentrified architectural style and improving resources.

-Wikipedia because why not

Ultimately this fell to ★★★ for me. If I would have gone in with the expectation that this was more of a contemporary mystery than this would have been a higher rating for me. However, it’s marketed as a thriller and it didn’t give me what I wanted from a thriller aspect. I would still say give this book a try, just go in with the correct expectation. This book is out now, get it here!

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on When No One Is Watching. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books. 

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