When No One is Watching

Finished When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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…

Sydney 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.

When 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?”

I knew that I wanted to read this when it was billed as Get Out meets Rear Window. (Those are two amazing movies, and this seemed like it was actually perfect for me.)

It may not be what most people would consider traditional horror, but it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever read, because it’s all very plausible. (Alyssa Cole has a list of further reading to do if you don’t find this book realistic.)

This is very timely but I feel like it would be just as timely in any era of this country’s history. I felt actual dread as I was reading this, and for most of it, everything happening was very insidious. There were so many parts where I was like, “Wait. Did I just read that?” (I did. I always DID just read that.)

We can always find the capital r Racists, the people who are in the Klan and who drop racial slurs and are very obviously about it. This is about the regular people who are just as awful but who hide it really well. And the things they’re planning are awful.

This is an intense book and, while I know that this isn’t what Alyssa Cole usually writes, I’m definitely planning to read more of her books because this one is flat out amazing. Highly recommended.

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