When No One Is Watching
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?

When No One Is Watching Details

TitleWhen No One Is Watching
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 1st, 2020
PublisherWilliam Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN-139780062982650
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller, Contemporary, Adult, Suspense, Adult Fiction, Horror, New York

When No One Is Watching Review

  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher via EdelweissReviews you should check out: Bee's, Jazmen's, Carole's I have adored everything Alyssa Cole has written, so when I heard about this new mystery thriller I knew it would make my most anticipated releases of the year list! I enjoyed this immensely and I hope people read this and fall in love with this thriller, but I hope they also realize how deeply rooted racism and systems built on racism are still thriving because of racism. When No One Is Watching s ARC provided by the publisher via EdelweissReviews you should check out: Bee's, Jazmen's, Carole's I have adored everything Alyssa Cole has written, so when I heard about this new mystery thriller I knew it would make my most anticipated releases of the year list! I enjoyed this immensely and I hope people read this and fall in love with this thriller, but I hope they also realize how deeply rooted racism and systems built on racism are still thriving because of racism. When No One Is Watching switches back and forth between Sydney and Theo's POV. Sydney is Black, recently divorced, and recently moved back to NY to help her mother who is ill. They have a brownstone in Brooklyn and the neighborhood and the neighbors mean a lot to her. Theo is white and recently moved into Sydney's neighborhood and is currently living with his abusive ex-girlfriend while they try to renovate this home Sydney is trying to put together a more extensive compilation of the Black history from her neighborhood so she can do a tour, and Theo volunteers to help her. Meanwhile, more and more Black people in the community are going missing, and more and more white people are moving in acting as if they have always owned the neighborhood.It is never a Black authors job to educate you, but Alyssa Cole truly and unapologetically talks about the privilege that white and non BIPOCs have. From gentrification and the many systems that are stealing land, and buildings, and lives still in 2020, to police brutality and who they are willing to protect and who they are willing take everything from, to the vast different microaggressions they are forced to endure every single day. This book does not shy away from anything, and I hope it makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and I hope they sit in that uncomfortably and begin to check their privileges. This book has a lot of scary parts, but the scariest part of all is how this country really is still running on racism and slavery, just a different (more well hidden) kind of racism and slavery. From prison systems, to the police forces, to huge corporations and all their different investments. It's not even well hidden, people just don't want to see, because they don't want to be uncomfortable, and they don't want to change a system that is working in their favor too. But friendly reminder that you can't be compliant with racism and racist systems and not be racist. :] Overall, I really loved 80% of this book, but the ending was way too rushed for me. I just felt a bit unsatisfied with how a few storylines and character's stories went (and I wanted to know so much more)! But I still think this was such a powerful read, and a shining star in 2020 literature. Alyssa Cole is a gift to this world (and all the genres) and I hope you all pick this one up! Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | TwitchTrigger and Content Warnings: gentrification, racism, so many microaggressions, talk of slavery, loss of a loved one, a lot of talk of financial debt, (medical) debt harassment, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, talk of cheating in the past (not the main characters), talk of domestic abuse in the past, themes of abuse and cycles of abuse, talk of institutionalization, murder, attempted abduction, brief mention of animal abuse, brief mention of suicide, forced medical experimentation, talk of drug addiction, threats of calling ICE and the police, and police brutality.Buddy read with Maëlys & Penny! ❤
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  • Roxane
    January 1, 1970
    Hmmm. I understand what the author was going for here, a gentrification based take on "Get Out," but the pacing is off. The ending happens all at once and is so wild and then it's the end. This had a lot of potential. Great premise. Lots of interesting Brooklyn/NY history. Missteps in execution.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "People bury the parts of history they don't like, pave it over like African cemeteries beneath Manhattan skyscrapers. Nothing stays buried in this city, though."When No One Is Watching is an expertly crafted thriller that is as informative as it is entertaining. It's not easy for an author to unpack a large amount of American history in a thriller, but that's precisely what Cole has done here. What begins as a slow burning mystery eventually converts to a heart-pounding reveal, and while I thin "People bury the parts of history they don't like, pave it over like African cemeteries beneath Manhattan skyscrapers. Nothing stays buried in this city, though."When No One Is Watching is an expertly crafted thriller that is as informative as it is entertaining. It's not easy for an author to unpack a large amount of American history in a thriller, but that's precisely what Cole has done here. What begins as a slow burning mystery eventually converts to a heart-pounding reveal, and while I think this story was incredibly creative and necessary, my only complaint was that the pacing felt off, and the ending felt as if there was so much packed in that might have been served better spread out a bit more across the length of the story. Knowing that Ms. Cole is a romance novel, I was pleased to see a bit of love story included in the narrative here, and found it to be such a welcome and positive inclusion which broadened the credibility of the characters. Highly recommended for those who have all but given up on the thriller genre, because this one is a must read that will renew your faith in a stale genre. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
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  • myo 🍒 (myonna reads)
    January 1, 1970
    The craziest thing about this book? Is that this shit could actually happen. Usually when i read thrillers i’m like “okay this could happen” but like it’ll have to be like the craziest thing ever but this book? This shit DOES happen. I enjoyed this book because it brought out the right kind of anger, frustration and fear. There were points where the characters were mircoaggressive and I wanted to put it down so bad but I literally could not put this book down. I think the pacing was really slow The craziest thing about this book? Is that this shit could actually happen. Usually when i read thrillers i’m like “okay this could happen” but like it’ll have to be like the craziest thing ever but this book? This shit DOES happen. I enjoyed this book because it brought out the right kind of anger, frustration and fear. There were points where the characters were mircoaggressive and I wanted to put it down so bad but I literally could not put this book down. I think the pacing was really slow at the beginning but i was enjoying the characters and their dynamic so i didn’t mind all too much, i think if it was maybe 50 pages less it would fix the pacing? but honestly i didn’t care all that much because once you get to the part where the plot twist at the end kicked in the pacing got so much better! I really liked the main character, Sydney. I don’t think she was boring or useless like most main characters in thrillers. Maybe it’s because i got to read her use AAVE which added to her character. Which, the AAVE is another thing U enjoyed. Maybe it’s because I don’t read many books let alone thrillers where the characters look like me and tsk me. Also enjoyed her dynamic with Theo, ugh I just love a pathetic loser white man, you know? I kind of guessed one of the plot twists but I didn’t mind, I like how it played out and I was still spooked. A lot of this book was scary but in the way that this could actually happen to me, like the uber scene? I take ubers very frequently and I get so scared when they take the wrong turn even when i can see that their gps told them to go that route. I really enjoyed this book and it was actually the very first thriller i’ve ever given 5 stars. I love that Alyssa Cole branches out a lot with her genre’s and i could see her being the ‘Jordan Peele’ of thriller’s. I hope she rights more thrillers in the future.
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  • Jessica Kafka
    January 1, 1970
    When No One is Watching was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Alyssa Cole really surprised me with this book. I read her Reluctant Royals series and really enjoyed it, but I didn’t know what to expect with her writing a thriller. Alyssa Cole included all of her best writing qualities in this book and an important issue. When No One is Watching is releasing at the perfect time with the importance of race issues in 2020.When No One is Watching is about gentrification. A medical resea When No One is Watching was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Alyssa Cole really surprised me with this book. I read her Reluctant Royals series and really enjoyed it, but I didn’t know what to expect with her writing a thriller. Alyssa Cole included all of her best writing qualities in this book and an important issue. When No One is Watching is releasing at the perfect time with the importance of race issues in 2020.When No One is Watching is about gentrification. A medical research center is being built in Syndey’s neighborhood in Brooklyn. Sydney’s neighbors start moving to the suburbs. Sydney is planning a walking tour of her neighborhood to showcase the black residents and the wrongs have faced in the past. One of the new neighbors, Theo becomes Sydney’s research assistant. More and more weird stuff keeps happening and more neighbors are moving out without saying goodbye. Sydney starts getting suspicious and starts wondering can she learn what’s happening right now based on what happened in the past. What is actually going on? Is Sydney rightfully concerned or making up something out of nothing? Who can Sydney trust? Can she figure out what is going on?When No One is Watching is the perfect combination of serious issues and suspense. This was my first book about gentrification and I am so glad I read it. I felt like I learned a lot more than I have from reading newspaper articles which was my only previous experience with gentrification. I definitely have a lot more to learn. I had strong feelings towards all of the characters and was very invested in the story since the beginning. Sydney was the perfect protagonist. I felt like how she reacted to everything was very realistic and her personality really made her feel like a real person.I highly recommend When No One is Watching to thriller fans that are interested in reading about serious issues like gentrification.Thank you Harper Collins/William Morrow Paperbacks and Edelweiss for When No One Is Watching.Publication Date: September 1Available now
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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    EDITED TO ADD: To everyone, but especially white folks - if you are looking for a good book to read about what's going on in our country now with race and white violence, this is an excellent read. Though it takes the form of a suspense novel, and is extremely fun to read, it also does a fantastic job of letting white readers know what it is like for people of color to be targeted and to feel constantly unsafe. In addition to being a great thriller read, this book is educational and I learned a EDITED TO ADD: To everyone, but especially white folks - if you are looking for a good book to read about what's going on in our country now with race and white violence, this is an excellent read. Though it takes the form of a suspense novel, and is extremely fun to read, it also does a fantastic job of letting white readers know what it is like for people of color to be targeted and to feel constantly unsafe. In addition to being a great thriller read, this book is educational and I learned a lot about redlining in Brooklyn, among other things, while enjoying a very good read. Read on for my original review.This is an awesome book, and I have a lot to say about it, so buckle up!This book is Get Out meets Rear Window meets The Stepford Wives, if the Stepford Wives wore Lululemon. As a past resident of Brooklyn very near where this books take place, I can tell you all her statements about gentrification are right on the nose. And not just in Brooklyn - this is happening all over the country. I WISH the “OurHood” posts weren’t so similar to NextDoor posts I see every day here in California. I loved the multiple perspectives, all of which the author nailed, and I especially loved Sydney.I don’t agree with a previous reviewer that this book should flag that it’s about “social justice” issues for the reader. This book is about racism, which is a fact. It’s also about historical events like redlining, which are also facts. This is history and stuff white people should be reading more about. The book will draw readers in. No "racism warning” necessary. (And anyway the blurbs also mention Get Out, so the reader will know what she’s in for.) Like Get Out, this is a scary story with awesome symbolism and a lot of laughs. It does a great job contrasting the irrational fears of some white people with the very real fears of black people. it’s also just a great book to let anyone blow off steam about the annoying crazy neighbors we all see posting on NextDoor, and what they might really be up to. To sum up, pleasee read this book. It’s fun, funny, scary, has something important to say, and you’ll probably learn a few things along the way. The ending is wild, but it works. I love this author’s voice and sense of humor and she will be on my list of must-reads in the future.Thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins and Alyssa Cole for a preview of this great book which I think people will definitely be talking about.
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    There are many things I loved about this book even though it fell a little short in the thriller department. I was impressed how the author incorporated relevant issues into the story. I also appreciated how the story featured a Black female lead character as non-white characters are underrepresented in the thriller/mystery/suspense genres. (Definitely the case in other genres as well, but in my opinion the genres I mentioned have the worst record for diverse reads.)Sydney Green has spent most o There are many things I loved about this book even though it fell a little short in the thriller department. I was impressed how the author incorporated relevant issues into the story. I also appreciated how the story featured a Black female lead character as non-white characters are underrepresented in the thriller/mystery/suspense genres. (Definitely the case in other genres as well, but in my opinion the genres I mentioned have the worst record for diverse reads.)Sydney Green has spent most of her life in the same Brooklyn neighborhood. But due to gentrification so many of her long-time neighbors have left and the new people moving in have drastically changed the look and vibe of the neighborhood. Sydney wants to preserve the history by giving guided walking tours of the area. Theo, one of her new neighbors, offers to help Sydney with her research. As they dig for info, let's just say things get weird and perhaps they should proceed with caution. The story alternates between the perspectives of Sydney and Theo.I read books in this genre all the time, and I really feel like the author brought something new to the table. To take a topic like gentrification and to build a story around it was a brilliant move in my opinion. This wasn't a typical mindless read as it was definitely thought provoking. And the reason you feel uneasy, tense, and even angry while reading is because it feels so darn realistic. The pace unfortunately is very slow for so much of the story but then the ending feels rushed. It doesn't hit all high marks for specific things I like in a thriller but the depth the author brought to the story and Sydney really outshines everything. Highly recommend giving this book a chance.Thank you to William Morrow for sending me an advance copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think there's ever been a more timely thriller novel. Alyssa Cole wrote THE BOOK of the moment, and I'm living for her and her newest release, When No One Is Watching . In a fictional neighborhood in Brooklyn, Sydney Green has been noticing the intense gentrification of her once predominately Black neighborhood. White people have been moving in at an alarming rate, and the neighborhood's property taxes have been exponentially growing in return for its gentrification and newly populari I don't think there's ever been a more timely thriller novel. Alyssa Cole wrote THE BOOK of the moment, and I'm living for her and her newest release, When No One Is Watching . In a fictional neighborhood in Brooklyn, Sydney Green has been noticing the intense gentrification of her once predominately Black neighborhood. White people have been moving in at an alarming rate, and the neighborhood's property taxes have been exponentially growing in return for its gentrification and newly popularized area. This situation is all too true in many neighborhoods in New York City, including Long Island City, Crown Heights, Bushwick, and Bed-Stuy, for example. I see it daily changing and losing its culture due to gentrifiers moving in for the cheaper rent and prime location. Sydney befriends new neighbor Theo and the two begin a project of their own—coming up with a tour of the neighborhood that highlights Black history and culture. While the two dive into this project, Sydney is unsure whether she trusts Theo—he's a gentrifier himself, but he seems to want to understand her point of view. As they get deeper into the history of the neighborhood, they start noticing the push the gentrification narrative is a bit more complex than they thought. What is actually going on behind the scenes? Well Sydney and Theo will aim to figure it all out. Holy mother of Karen, this book was good. In fact, all Karen's should be required to read this book. Living in New York City, I feel a personal connection, responsibility, and guilt to possibly being part of the gentrification of this amazing city. I hope books like When No One Is Watching continue to open eyes, while also aiming to entertain thriller readers, about topics that need to continue to be in the forefront.
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  • Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 STARS⁣Thank you so much to William Morrow for the gifted copy ✨ To all my thriller + horror lovers out there, this is it. This is the one 🙌🏼 When No One is Watching is out 9/1 so make sure to preorder a copy because trust me; it’s worth it! ⁣⁣This book is SO incredibly unique + it’s guaranteed to be unlike any other thrillers you’ve read. It is more of a slow burn rather than a thriller, but I loved how although it is slower paced, there is an underlying sense of eeriness to it that keeps yo 4.5 STARS⁣Thank you so much to William Morrow for the gifted copy ✨ To all my thriller + horror lovers out there, this is it. This is the one 🙌🏼 When No One is Watching is out 9/1 so make sure to preorder a copy because trust me; it’s worth it! ⁣⁣This book is SO incredibly unique + it’s guaranteed to be unlike any other thrillers you’ve read. It is more of a slow burn rather than a thriller, but I loved how although it is slower paced, there is an underlying sense of eeriness to it that keeps you on your toes. I absolutely loved Sydney’s character right from the beginning + she was such a strong female character, which I always love to see in thrillers.⁣⁣The main reason why I loved this book as much as I did is because it had SO MUCH important information + social commentary about racism + gentrification. This information was woven in so flawlessly + it’s not often that a thriller actually teaches you something, so this book gets major props for that. You can tell that the author put so much time + effort in to this book and it absolutely paid off 🙌🏼⁣⁣The only very minor issue I had with this book was that the pacing towards the end felt off. The ending is jam packed with all the action + it felt like it wrapped up too quickly, but that could just be because I wanted more of the scariness 😝🔪 Other than that, this was a fantastic thriller with some horror elements + fans of these genres (+ the movie Get Out 😱) will LOVE this one. I really hope Alyssa Cole writes more thrillers in the future because she absolutely nailed it with this book!⁣⁣CW: racism, depression, anxiety, suicide⁣
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  • DeAnn
    January 1, 1970
    4 Gentrification StarsI went into this one thinking it was a typical thriller, but that was an assumption and this book is so much more! The book focuses on Sydney who has returned home to Brooklyn and is horrified about what is happening to her neighborhood. Many of the neighbors that she grew up with have moved away and new upscale white neighbors are moving in. It all seems to be tied to the deal to renovate the medical center and now “revitalize” the neighborhood.Strange things seem to be ha 4 Gentrification StarsI went into this one thinking it was a typical thriller, but that was an assumption and this book is so much more! The book focuses on Sydney who has returned home to Brooklyn and is horrified about what is happening to her neighborhood. Many of the neighbors that she grew up with have moved away and new upscale white neighbors are moving in. It all seems to be tied to the deal to renovate the medical center and now “revitalize” the neighborhood.Strange things seem to be happening and Sydney can’t decide if she’s being paranoid or if there is more going on. Is everyone out to get her? She can’t decide if she can trust her new neighbor Theo or if he’s part of the problem. She’s frustrated trying to take care of her mom’s plot in the community garden and her burgeoning plans to run a real historic tour of the neighborhood are struggling to take off. Sydney and Theo have been doing research into the history of this part of Brooklyn and the many phases and ethnic makeup that it has had over the years.Powerful forces are at work in this one and the age-old rule of “he who has the gold makes the rules” and redlining is in force here. There is a strong sense of community though and strong roots to this Brooklyn area.This one was a surprise read to me and helped educate me on this issue. This is a very timeline read for the events going on in our world today.Thank you to William Morrow/Scene of the Crime Early Read program for the copy of this one to read.
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  • daph_pink
    January 1, 1970
    Happy Publication Day✌Excited to start with this one ( hopefully today!!)The synopsis is crazy and I want this book to turn out good crazy!I am craving for one!Highly anticipated!!
  • Lily Herman
    January 1, 1970
    Obviously I had to take a gander at Alyssa Cole's first thriller, and When No One Is Watching is...a ride.Cole's research of anti-Blackness and white supremacy in Brooklyn and also New York City at large was excellent. Those mentions alone have caused me to go down a rabbit hole of googling and searching for other books on those topics. (As if I need more books in my TBR...) Plus a gentrification-centered Get Out-esque thriller is an interesting—and incredibly relevant—concept.I think my issues Obviously I had to take a gander at Alyssa Cole's first thriller, and When No One Is Watching is...a ride.Cole's research of anti-Blackness and white supremacy in Brooklyn and also New York City at large was excellent. Those mentions alone have caused me to go down a rabbit hole of googling and searching for other books on those topics. (As if I need more books in my TBR...) Plus a gentrification-centered Get Out-esque thriller is an interesting—and incredibly relevant—concept.I think my issues with this book boil down to two execution errors. First, the pacing was a bit wacky; absolutely nothing happened for the first 25-30% of When No One Is Watching, then things got going at uneven intervals, and we didn't get the brunt of all the action until the last 20% or so of the novel. And then everything ended super abruptly. I just never got a handle on the book's rhythm.Second, because of the pacing problems, the bulk of the reveals took place in such a short span of time, and they seemed increasingly ridiculous and even a bit absurd because there was no time to really digest and absorb all of the new information and have that guide Sydney and Theo through their next obstacle.Some genre readers are going to potentially take issue with the fact that there's a heavy romantic plot essentially dropped into the middle of this thriller, but I personally expected that given that Cole is first and foremost a romance author.While When No One Is Watching wasn't my favorite, Cole's concepts and ideas were really good, and I'm interested to see what she does next with thrillers. I'll read whatever she writes—regardless of genre.
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  • Mara
    January 1, 1970
    It was so delightful to read a new Alyssa Cole in a new-to-her genre... and unsurprisingly (given the quality of her existing oeuvre), this was a pretty successful first outing. I will say that I think folks would have better genre expectations going into this one thinking of it as a horror novel rather than a thriller. This is very slow burn (a smidge too much for the overall pacing, which is what kept me from fully loving it), and I really enjoyed how deeply we're emerged in the mindset of the It was so delightful to read a new Alyssa Cole in a new-to-her genre... and unsurprisingly (given the quality of her existing oeuvre), this was a pretty successful first outing. I will say that I think folks would have better genre expectations going into this one thinking of it as a horror novel rather than a thriller. This is very slow burn (a smidge too much for the overall pacing, which is what kept me from fully loving it), and I really enjoyed how deeply we're emerged in the mindset of the characters. Learning more about the history of Brooklyn was also super interesting. All in all, this is an incredibly relevant book thematically that has a few bumps in the road that I would attribute to this being Cole's genre debut-- I think if you go in expecting a slow build up, you'll enjoy this one. Excited to see what she does next!
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    This book punched me in the face and I loved it. What a tornado of a book! The thriller space is not ready. It's essentially a social thriller--Get Out meets gentrification in Brooklyn. In fact, the Get Out comp is most apropos--I'd say if you like or love that movie, this book will work for you. This book was developed off the Get Out premise/tone (it's IP, which I hope means we'll get a movie soon b/c I need it!) and does a lot of what that movie did, particularly with "good white people"-type This book punched me in the face and I loved it. What a tornado of a book! The thriller space is not ready. It's essentially a social thriller--Get Out meets gentrification in Brooklyn. In fact, the Get Out comp is most apropos--I'd say if you like or love that movie, this book will work for you. This book was developed off the Get Out premise/tone (it's IP, which I hope means we'll get a movie soon b/c I need it!) and does a lot of what that movie did, particularly with "good white people"-type characters doing villain turns. Given how aggressively white the adult thriller space is, I see this book ruffling the feathers of some readers who are not accustomed to their thrillers existing in Black spaces with Black characters as heroes. The white reader is the outsider here and you have to sit in that discomfort.Though, to that end, this book does and will have massive crossover appeal beyond the borders of commercial thriller fans--it has a fantastic romance plot (b/c Alyssa Cole is an amazing romance writer), and the social thriller aspects make it incredibly topical and accessible. People need to read this book and sit in the everyday horrors the Black characters face.The book is dual POV, with an "insider" and "outsider" character who end up teaming up to solve the mystery, such as it is. The book is a slowwwwww build of consistent creepiness answering the question of 'what is going on in the neighborhood?" rather than solving one specific disappearance or murder. Slow not in a pacing way--I was glued to the pages. But the book doesn't smack you in the face with a plot twist at 30% like a lot of traditional thrillers. Sydney is a lifelong resident of Gifford Place, a historically Black neighborhood in Brooklyn that is facing the threat of aggressive gentrification. A pharma giant just got approval for a new headquarters in the neighborhood and a predatory real estate business is pushing Black residents out of their homes (possibly by shady means) and wealthy white families are moving in, including Kim and Theo, into the house across the street from Sydney. Kim's iced Theo out of their relationship and he's regretting co-buying a house with her. He's unemployed and fascinated by Sydney across the street, who is dealing with her own heavy burdens, including a very sick mother. Sydney ends up recruiting Theo to help her research a historical neighborhood tour she's putting together, and together they dig into the history of Black neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and cycles of gentrification.I was hooked immediately by the characters. It was actually really difficult for me in moments to read Sydney's POV b/c I related to her so deeply and painfully--the only daughter of a single mother suffering the end days of an illness? It hit me right in the gut. One of the things Cole does beautifully and almost too effectively in the book is write Sydney's anxiety and panic about all the things piling up--bills, debt, things spiraling out of control in the neighborhood. I had moments of my own panic, re: my mother's estate and the to-dos. The suspense and anxiety thread in Sydney's chapters is just exquisite. It's a tense read. Theo's chapters have their own dense tension--Kim is a nightmare human and the tenseness in their failing relationship was palpable. If you've ever had a really awkward roommate situation or bad breakup... Theo is a good complement to Sydney since he's white and attached to his rich girlfriend insomuch as that's how he ended up in the story, but he's from a lower class background and has secrets in his past... he's defensive in many moments, re: race but is a character who is able to experience a growth arc over the course of the story. He's a very good example of a well-meaning white person who still fails consistently to "do the right thing"--but comes to grow. That said, the book doesn't offer easy answers especially in light of the world we're in, so don't look to it for any neat solutions, re: racism. The book is raw and real and as such you can't wrap the story's ending up in a nice bow. That said wow the third act and ending are BANGERS. I was on the edge of my seat, kept gasping aloud, practically cheering at some parts, but then just HORRIFIED and worried for the characters, re: how would they get out of things as the third act escalates. It has as much of a "feel good" ending as the book can possibly have, but it still leaves you unsettled in the best way. I ended up at 1 in the morning with no one to talk to about this book and that made me sad haha. Highly recommend! This should be on EVERYONE'S TBR for fall.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, NetGalley, Alyssa Cole, and William Morrow Paperbacks for the opportunity to read this book!When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole is a thriller that channels “Get Out.” The book focuses on gentrification in a neighborhood in Brooklyn. The book follows the points of view of Sydney and Theo. Sydney has lived in her neighborhood most of her life with the same neighbors who have become family. However, a big company is coming in with the promise of jobs–with this comes gentrification. Th Thank you, NetGalley, Alyssa Cole, and William Morrow Paperbacks for the opportunity to read this book!When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole is a thriller that channels “Get Out.” The book focuses on gentrification in a neighborhood in Brooklyn. The book follows the points of view of Sydney and Theo. Sydney has lived in her neighborhood most of her life with the same neighbors who have become family. However, a big company is coming in with the promise of jobs–with this comes gentrification. Theo is one of the new white neighbors to move in, along with his girlfriend Kim. Kim and Theo are struggling in their relationship when he meets Sydney from across the street. She is making a tour of the neighborhood for the big block party and Theo has offered to help with the research. Their research leads them to discover historical patterns of racism. Meanwhile, people are disappearing and new people are moving in. The problem is these neighbors wouldn’t up and leave, especially without saying goodbye. Now it seems like someone is targeting Sydney. Are Theo and Sydney just paranoid? Or is there something more sinister at work?HOLY SHIT! This book had me on edge the entire time! It has all the twists and turns. Right when you think you know what will happen—BAM–another twist! There are so many intense themes throughout the book. Gentrification is the main theme. A company is systematically pushing black people and people of color out of the neighborhood so it can make the new white people comfortable. Then there are examples of racism and “white tears.” The pacing moves along fairly well, but it REALLY picks up at the final half of the book. There are psychological aspects like paranoia and anxiety. THEN there is the dystopian plot line–that completely blindsided me. However, it never felt unrealistic. These are real fears that black people deal with throughout their entire lives. It is absolutely gut-punching.The characters are fantastic. I knew from the very first line that I was going to love Sydney. Theo is great too but not as badass as Sydney. Then on top of it all, there is an intense amount of research about the Bronx and New York. I learned so much and now plan to find some more books on the topic because it is definitely eye-opening. For me, this book is fantastic from beginning to end and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. This book gets 5 out of 5 stars!This book is set to release on September 1st, so be sure to add it to your wishlist!
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  • Ari
    January 1, 1970
    BLOG | Instagram | TwitterThank you NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. "Baby, if you wanna keep what's yours,you gotta hold onto it better than that.Someone is always waiting to snatch what you got..." When No One Is Watching will not be a simple book to read, and it is not supposed to be. It made me uncomfortable at times, it made me upset, it broke my heart on more than one occasion, but it made its point. This isn't just your average th BLOG | Instagram | TwitterThank you NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine. "Baby, if you wanna keep what's yours,you gotta hold onto it better than that.Someone is always waiting to snatch what you got..." When No One Is Watching will not be a simple book to read, and it is not supposed to be. It made me uncomfortable at times, it made me upset, it broke my heart on more than one occasion, but it made its point. This isn't just your average thriller—this one is going to tug deep and make you connect.As far as pacing goes, this novel does take its time. But while it may seem as if it drags at first, it really just gives itself the freedom to develop at the rate necessary to give the reader the full picture before events begin to spiral out of control. And while Sydney drives the biggest chunk of the story, Theo is the guide through which we open our eyes to what is happening behind the facade of Gifford Place. They're both complicated characters that begin to work on their individual issues once they get together to labor toward a common goal.While the book centers around Gifford Place, the overall descriptive quality of it is so well done that it was incredibly easy to place oneself in this setting. Especially for someone—such as myself—who has never visited New York, it was like stepping into the pages every time. The author pulls no punches in giving this neighborhood and its people their unique personalities and quirks. And it truly does give one the ability to see what it must be like to live here.Alyssa Cole uses no filter in portraying the racism around which the plot revolves, nor should she. This is a topic that travels well past this novel. The moments of discrimination start subtle and indirect, yet eventually build toward a blatant and outrageous degree that is seen often and brushed aside by some. And by the time that Sydney and Theo take matters into their own hands to stop what has begun to too easily take over this central neighborhood, it is impossible to ignore the damage that misappropriated power does to those unjustly believed to be inferior.If there's one thing that I felt to be slightly weak in delivery was the ending. It was satisfying in its own right but felt off beat. After their confrontation at the closed down hospital, having Theo and Sydney be attacked and held against their will, only to be freed again with barely any struggle, was anticlimactic and pointless. There's a nice close that promises some momentary relief if not a complete conclusion, due to the reality that what this cast goes through is also going on further out of New York. It's an awareness lent to the reader that this is an issue that will simply not stop anytime soon. At least not without further battle.
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  • Jazmen
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't sure what to expect, but I can honestly say I think it was less about the thrill of the scare and more about the fright of the story the book is telling. When I came back to NYC to finish my undergraduate degree, I saw the effects of gentrification. I wrote a paper for a journalism class on the subject of gentrification because the effects it had on black and brown neighborhoods overwhelmed me. For example in, Harlem, where I was born and spent a lot of my free time. Instead of seeing t I wasn't sure what to expect, but I can honestly say I think it was less about the thrill of the scare and more about the fright of the story the book is telling. When I came back to NYC to finish my undergraduate degree, I saw the effects of gentrification. I wrote a paper for a journalism class on the subject of gentrification because the effects it had on black and brown neighborhoods overwhelmed me. For example in, Harlem, where I was born and spent a lot of my free time. Instead of seeing the small mom and pop stores where I would buy my most fly gear, those same stores were replaced with stores I would typically have to go further downtown to find. It was like watching a train wreck that I couldn't stop or turn away from. When No One is Watching tells that very story in an eerily, realistic, thrilling way.Sydney was relatable. She practically leaped off the pages, and she set the tone for the entire story. Everything that happened around her felt disheartening yet ominous. I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety reading the story, all the while worrying about what would and did wind up happening to Sydney. That was the thrill. Not the blood and gore, not the whodunit, but watching everything happen in painstaking realistic, racist detail.Considering Cole isn't a thriller writer, her foray into the genre is well done. It had the makings of a thriller, but with the romantic elements, we expect from the author. The "romance" in the story played into and furthered the plot. The twists were unexpected and made for a more exciting story. I had a good time with this despite the moments of anger I felt towards what I'll call the "villains" of the story.The writing is beautiful, and the story was exciting. As a debut thriller writer, I was pleased and would be eager to see Cole do more in this genre. I loved the premise and the execution of the concept. When No One is Watching is a gripping, exhilarating tale that shines a light on the painful effects of racism on housing and in general.
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  • Jamie Canaves
    January 1, 1970
    Suspense at its best. And hopefully the start to the next massive boom in crime novels being social thrillers. I’d first like to say that this is best read knowing nothing—think of it like the movie goers that got to see The Sixth Sense with no clue and those who followed after there was either “hype” or comps or “OMG you won’t see it coming!” This is not comparable at all to that film, but you get what I mean and this way I spoil nothing. Anyhoo, this is a suspense novel about a young woman, Sy Suspense at its best. And hopefully the start to the next massive boom in crime novels being social thrillers. I’d first like to say that this is best read knowing nothing—think of it like the movie goers that got to see The Sixth Sense with no clue and those who followed after there was either “hype” or comps or “OMG you won’t see it coming!” This is not comparable at all to that film, but you get what I mean and this way I spoil nothing. Anyhoo, this is a suspense novel about a young woman, Sydney Green, in Brooklyn doing her best to get her life in order, dealing with an ill mother, and trying to keep her neighborhood together. But her research into the neighborhood, her past, and strange occurrences starts playing with her mind and soon she can’t tell what is real, what’s a conspiracy thought, and what might actually be danger…GET THIS BOOK THE SECOND IT RELEASES AND READ IT. Sorry, to yell but you know, it’s that good—you aren’t going to be able to put it down until you finish it, and then have fun staring at a wall thinking about it.https://bookriot.com/riot-roundup-the...-----------Alyssa Cole’s upcoming social thriller When No One Is Watching is so freaking good! I may have asked on my work Slack for a note to spend the day finishing it instead of working (super professional)–I ended up getting all of my work done first and then read the second half in one sitting because it’s the kind of intense and suspenseful read that you can’t put down, and when you do put it down you can’t stop thinking about it.(TW mentions past domestic violence/ panic attacks/ past suicide mentioned, detail)--from Book Riot's Unusual Suspects newsletter: https://link.bookriot.com/view/56a820...
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  • Julie Zantopoulos
    January 1, 1970
    full thoughts in an upcoming vlog. Review and rating will follow it's publication. :)
  • Maëlys
    January 1, 1970
    ☆ 4 / 5 ☆ “People bury the parts of history they don’t like, pave it over like African cemeteries beneath Manhattan skyscrapers. Nothing stays buried in this city, though.” I haven’t read a thriller in a long long time but I really enjoyed this book. It was compelling, very hard to put down, and tackled some very real issues. I wasn’t completely in love with the ending but Alyssa Cole did so much with this story. This book follows two perspectives: Sydney who has moved back to her childhood’s ☆ 4 / 5 ☆ “People bury the parts of history they don’t like, pave it over like African cemeteries beneath Manhattan skyscrapers. Nothing stays buried in this city, though.” I haven’t read a thriller in a long long time but I really enjoyed this book. It was compelling, very hard to put down, and tackled some very real issues. I wasn’t completely in love with the ending but Alyssa Cole did so much with this story. This book follows two perspectives: Sydney who has moved back to her childhood’s neighbourhood after a divorce, and Theo who has just moved in with his now ex-girlfriend in a house they bought when things were fine. Sydney is getting worried about the fast gentrification of the neighbourhood she calls home and she knows something is not right. Theo ends up helping her out on a tour she wants to conduct around the neighbourhood and together they find out what could be happening.I really loved Sydney’s character and reading from her perspective. Alyssa Cole did an amazing job of writing in thriller elements that felt real. Every time Sydney felt panicked, I felt it too, and what makes it the scariest is that a lot of these things could happen in real life. This was truly one of the strongest points of this book, everything that happened (at least for 70% of this book) felt anchored in reality. “They just put on a different suit. Things didn’t change that much. They were still controlling all the money, and in a way they were still controlling the people the didn’t own anymore.” More than a spooky story, this is a wonderful commentary on the many layers of gentrification. Gentrification is more than white people moving into neighbourhoods, driving out the POC who have lived there for generations. It’s about the constant and systemic racism, theft and exploitation of POC, and particularly Black people, rampant in society. Even “small” acts are not so small but play a part in an oppressive system. Alyssa Cole truly goes into depth with the manier ways racism still prevails and makes a point that it is detrimental no matter at what level or in which capacity it is expressed.My only issue with this book was the ending. The last maybe 30% unfolded in a way that felt very disjointed when compared to the rest of the story. Everything ended up in a wild climax that to me didn’t match up with what we’d seen so far in terms of the tone (the thematics were still very much in line) and pacing. The resolution did not feel very satisfying and the cohesion of some plot points were lost to the overwhelming ending. Overall I still highly recommend this book as it is definitely written to make people aware, and uncomfortable, to make people think and ask questions and seek out more knowledge. The story is one that is easy to feel immersed and invested in and it was definitely a very enjoyable read. Youtube ☆ TwitterBuddy read with Melanie ♡
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  • Alafair Burke
    January 1, 1970
    From the first page of WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING, I felt like I was right there in the gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood, filled with sharply etched characters and dialogue that zings. Then bam! I was knocked over by the momentum of an intense psychological thriller that doesn’t let go until the final page. This is a terrific read.
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  • Ludwig Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I would describe When No One Is Watching as a contemporary novel with a mystery element, which I think is important to acknowledge before diving in. This one is definitely a slow-burn; the first half is devoid of suspense or thrilling moments (that is only reserved for the final chapters), but the second half accumulates more depth as it ventures more into the mystery of this neighborhood where residents seem to have disappeared so suddenly.On the other hand, the plot also helps the reader under I would describe When No One Is Watching as a contemporary novel with a mystery element, which I think is important to acknowledge before diving in. This one is definitely a slow-burn; the first half is devoid of suspense or thrilling moments (that is only reserved for the final chapters), but the second half accumulates more depth as it ventures more into the mystery of this neighborhood where residents seem to have disappeared so suddenly.On the other hand, the plot also helps the reader understand the injustices that the Black community has to endure; I think the author offered incredibly helpful insights regarding this aspect. To conclude, this was definitely a book that focuses more on the “contemporary” part rather than on suspense, which - as a thriller reader - left me with mixed feelings as that’s what the synopsis promises, especially once I got to the ending, which started then ended rather quickly! But what captivated me was the splendid writing. Alyssa Cole is such a talented author, I would definitely love to read another book by her.
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    When I was sent the pitch for this book, I absolutely snapped it up. The gorgeous cover and creepy sounding synopsis did it for me. I really liked Sydney. She’s smart and loyal and easy to root for. Theo was also interesting. He initially comes across as a bit of a slacker and the juxtaposition of his life was something else. Both Sydney and Theo’s pasts are doled out in small portions and it kept me second guessing everything. There are a good amount of secondary characters, but nothing overwhe When I was sent the pitch for this book, I absolutely snapped it up. The gorgeous cover and creepy sounding synopsis did it for me. I really liked Sydney. She’s smart and loyal and easy to root for. Theo was also interesting. He initially comes across as a bit of a slacker and the juxtaposition of his life was something else. Both Sydney and Theo’s pasts are doled out in small portions and it kept me second guessing everything. There are a good amount of secondary characters, but nothing overwhelming. Plot wise, it was a bit of a slow build up, but also had a slice of unreliable narrator in it. Sydney isn’t sleeping well and as things really started happening, I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t. There’s a good amount of horrible history shared and I really appreciated how the emotion and education were conveyed without the density of an info dump. It’s also so relevant with what’s happening in the world. Overall, the tag line of “Rear Window meets Get Out felt really accurate for me and I hope Alyssa Cole continues to write thrillers, because I’m definitely here for them. **Huge thanks to William Morrow for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Jamie Rosenblit
    January 1, 1970
    Smart, relevant and heart-pounding thrill ride from start to finish. This is the first book of Cole's that I've read (can't wait to check out some of her romance backlist now as well!) and I couldn't believe this was her first foray into thrillers. When No One is Watching deals with a mysterious company that moves into a Brooklyn neighborhood and some of its residents who are hoping to plan a "rejuvenation" of sorts. When No One is Watching centers on racism, class issues, opioid crisis and more Smart, relevant and heart-pounding thrill ride from start to finish. This is the first book of Cole's that I've read (can't wait to check out some of her romance backlist now as well!) and I couldn't believe this was her first foray into thrillers. When No One is Watching deals with a mysterious company that moves into a Brooklyn neighborhood and some of its residents who are hoping to plan a "rejuvenation" of sorts. When No One is Watching centers on racism, class issues, opioid crisis and more while taking the reader on quite a thrilling journey in the process. Thank you to William Morrow for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Kellye
    January 1, 1970
    Super excited that Alyssa Cole is back with a new thriller five years (I think) after her last one. The comparisons to Get Out are very accurate, especially in the third act when things really ramped up. I also love the dual POV and historical tidbits about Brooklyn. And of course I loved the hints of romance between Sydney and Theo. Hopefully the author won't make us wait so long for her next crime fiction novel.
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  • Carole V Bell
    January 1, 1970
    I had the privilege of doing a Q and A with Alyssa Cole about When No One Is Watching and also reviewing the book for BookPage. In the interview she talks about her inspirations for the novel and much more.Interview: https://bookpage.com/interviews/25401...Review: https://bookpage.com/reviews/25507-al...A Thriller Grows in BrooklynA squeaky clean honors student gets arrested for selling drugs. A gregarious old man vanishes in the middle of the night, leaving his beloved dog and his belongings be I had the privilege of doing a Q and A with Alyssa Cole about When No One Is Watching and also reviewing the book for BookPage. In the interview she talks about her inspirations for the novel and much more.Interview: https://bookpage.com/interviews/25401...Review: https://bookpage.com/reviews/25507-al...A Thriller Grows in BrooklynA squeaky clean honors student gets arrested for selling drugs. A gregarious old man vanishes in the middle of the night, leaving his beloved dog and his belongings behind. Longtime Black residents are disappearing from Gifford Place, and wealthy White people are moving in. Something is definitely wrong with this picture, and it’s worse than run of the mill gentrification. By now, many will have seen When No One Is Watching (William Morrow, $16.99, 9780062982650) described as Rear Window meets Get Out. Those comparisons are shockingly apt. Cole’s latest triumph incorporates elements of both psychological thriller and social horror, its finale is a bit macabre, much like Get Out, and there is a romantic subplot as well, just as there was in Hitchcock’s masterpiece. But Cole's story is also highly original. She is drawing directly from the turbulent social currents and grim realities of today, crafting a nightmare from everyday terrors, both large and small. The protagonist, Sydney, is beautifully imperfect, but, as in Tana French’s Dublin Murder series and The Witch Elm, it’s those imperfections, the dark sense of humor and the human frailties, that really make the story work. Through the story of one woman defending her home and her neighborhood, Cole dramatizes the economic displacement of racialized capitalism as well as the petty skirmishes that take place between the new settlers and old, and between Black and White on a daily basis in places like Fort Greene and Bed Stuy. There’s simply no one better equipped to distill the racial politics of this moment into intriguing and terrifying entertainment. Perhaps the best evidence of Cole’s skill in this regard is the remarkable correspondence between a fictional event in the book and a real life incident that occurred just miles away from where the book is set. In May, a White woman was walking her dog off-leash in Central Park (in violation of the rules). When a concerned Black birdwatcher asked her to leash her dog, she falsely accused him of threatening her and reported him to the police. The incident occurred many months after Cole finished her manuscript, and yet the two confrontations strike frighteningly similar chords. Before calling 9-1-1, Cooper warned the man: “I’m gonna tell them there’s an African American man threatening my life.” He stood his ground. A similar standoff occurs between the protagonist, Sydney, an African American woman who is a longtime resident and owner of a brownstone on Gifford Place, and Kim, a “high-ponytailed LuluLemon” wearing newcomer, who is white. Viewers of the Central Park video saw that Amy Cooper was the aggressor, and that she was explicitly using her racial identity and his to claim authority. Readers will find the same is true with Kim and Sydney. It’s all about social control. Kim has done something wrong, and tries to get out of it by accusing Sydney of “making me feel unsafe” and, again just like Amy Cooper, saying “I’ll call the police.” As Cole explained, “ it’s not because I’m prescient, it’s because this kind of power play happens all the time, in ways small and large, often from white people who don’t think they’re racist.” Here Cole actually exercises restraint. Though thrillers tend to present heightened versions of reality, just as in Get Out, until the grisly denouement, the tensions that Cole brings to life on the page are hardly exaggerated. The petty insults and indignities that occur on Gifford Place happen every day in shops and corners throughout America. The book also includes snippets of discussions from a neighborhood forum called “OurHood” which seems to be modeled on NextDoor. Having seen some of those discussions, let’s just say the book lets the new neighbors off easy. The ending is a bit rushed and if they’re like me, some readers will question the need for some of the violence as the protagonist takes some of the villains out in a blaze of fury. Overall, though, this is a brilliant first foray into the genre—Cole leverages her strengths to great effect, incorporating history, biting social observation and even some romance along the way, though Sydney's love interest is far from a hero. The unusual, complex romantic subplot is one of the most surprising elements in already pretty shocking thriller. Cole is brutal in how she subverts while also playing on romantic expectations. Another element that distinguishes When No One is Watching is its grounding not just in present day politics, but in history. Cole made her name in historical romance and it shows. The Brooklyn history she includes enriches and deepens the story. Alyssa Cole packs in a lot of very uncomfortable information about the colonial past and systemic racism into this 21st century thriller, placing current events firmly in context and conversation with the past. The story Alyssa Cole tells is a disturbing one. That doesn’t make it any less true or less of a pleasure to read. Note: A shorter, edited version of this review will run in BookPage
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review.Sydney has moved back into her mother's house after a traumatic divorce, but her mother's sick and the neighborhood is changing more quickly than she can cope. When a whitewashed neighborhood tour prompts her to do some local historical research so she can give a tour of her own, she reluctantly allows her new white guy neighbor Theo to assist her in the name of working off reparations debt. Is what they discover a sinister c I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review.Sydney has moved back into her mother's house after a traumatic divorce, but her mother's sick and the neighborhood is changing more quickly than she can cope. When a whitewashed neighborhood tour prompts her to do some local historical research so she can give a tour of her own, she reluctantly allows her new white guy neighbor Theo to assist her in the name of working off reparations debt. Is what they discover a sinister conspiracy or a not-really-farfetched business plan to gentrify a black neighborhood? I was surprised when the nefarious scheme was unearthed and Sydney and Theo had a real "whoa" moment and compared it to illuminati videos (although Sydney has good reason to be afraid of not being taken seriously and gets over her disbelief pretty quickly) because the whole plot sounds like simply the way business is done in America. The white people in this book might seem like cartoon villains and said nefarious scheme might seem outlandishly cruel to anyone who doesn't know this country's history. There's nothing that Cole imagines her white characters getting up to that doesn't have precedent, and even though gentrification (thinking specifically of neighborhoods in my own city, although of course it happens everywhere) is generally perpetuated without the added wrinkles she puts her characters through, that doesn't change the harm that it does to marginalized, non-white communities, nor the despicabilty of those shady real estate dudes who want to buy your house for cash. Be like Theo and do some historical research on redlining, white flight, the Dutch West India Company, and predatory lending practices to start with - and don't expect a cookie for it.
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    At first a story about a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood told from the point of view of two characters, one Black and one white. Sydney's mom owns a townhouse and has deep roots in the community. Theo and his girlfriend have just moved in. The narrative emphasizes that gentrification drives out families who have been living in a neighborhood for decades, with real estate developers sometimes using outright fraud and deception. But the story also very skillfully and poignantly shows the newcome At first a story about a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood told from the point of view of two characters, one Black and one white. Sydney's mom owns a townhouse and has deep roots in the community. Theo and his girlfriend have just moved in. The narrative emphasizes that gentrification drives out families who have been living in a neighborhood for decades, with real estate developers sometimes using outright fraud and deception. But the story also very skillfully and poignantly shows the newcomers in a neighborhood ignoring or dismissing the needs, opinions, contributions, rights, and rich historical knowledge of the longer term residents. There's also an Amazon-like company scheming to put a headquarters in the neighborhood and the company trying to buy land and driving residents out.The book had a sort of laid back, neighborhood gossipy vibe (to me it felt almost like a cozy mystery) then in the last few chapters there was a big shift in tone, with the reveals coming fast and furiously and the plot turning more to horror. I preferred the first ⅔ to the last ⅓ but I'm not the biggest horror fan out there. I wouldn't call this a thriller, but I did find it interesting and definitely worth a read.Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
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  • Bee ♡
    January 1, 1970
    Writing my review tomorrow 🖤
  • ShakilaMarie_Reads
    January 1, 1970
    WOWWWWWWW!!!That was an amazing book. It was also kind of fitting to some of what is currently going on in our present world today. This book touched on gentrification, racial bias, social justice, and the histories of enslavement... A LOT!Sydney moves back to her childhood home in her home town of Brooklyn after a divorce from her husband. As she sits upon the front stoop of her mother's brownstone, she quickly sees how the neighborhood she once knew has changes dramatically. The neighborhood i WOWWWWWWW!!!That was an amazing book. It was also kind of fitting to some of what is currently going on in our present world today. This book touched on gentrification, racial bias, social justice, and the histories of enslavement... A LOT!Sydney moves back to her childhood home in her home town of Brooklyn after a divorce from her husband. As she sits upon the front stoop of her mother's brownstone, she quickly sees how the neighborhood she once knew has changes dramatically. The neighborhood is now being bought out by white people when that never has been the case previously. Her neighborhood was once know as the low property valued neighborhood or "red zone." Across the street from Sydney, a new couple, Kim and Theo, has taken over and moved into one of her previous neighbors homes. While Theo wants to get acquainted with his new neighbors, Kim is the total opposite. Kim comes from a rich family and feels that her new neighbors are beneath her, and is not afraid to voice it.As Sydney takes on a neighborhood tour project with the assistance of Theo, she discovers many disturbing activities going on. She starts to question why everyone is suddenly selling their family homes to let this new company come in take over the neighborhood they previously owned. It seems to quickly become a "us" and "them" situation. As the back story as well as the present story is told, a bottom dropping, plot twist is thrown in. This plot twist hit me like a ton of bricks as we're told what is really going on in the neighborhood. I don't know whether I would call this a Historical fiction, a Thriller or a I don't know what, but it was a true page turner. I could not put it down! I especially loved how the flow of the book was written, given historical facts, while also weaving in and leading up to the plot twists.Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow for the advanced readers copy!
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