Book Rating (74)
Narrator Rating (16)

When No One Is Watching: A Thriller

Unabridged Audio Book

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Jay Aaseng, Susan Dalian

8 Hours 55 Minutes

HarperCollins Publishers

September 2020

Audio Book Summary

'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.' – Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author

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?

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  • Carmen M.

    This book is incredible!! The best book I’ve read this year. Marketed as a horror novel, the story highlights the realities of gentrification and the often unsuccessful survival of a minority community. It interlaces the stories/POVs of two neighbors, a young black female who lives in her mother’s house and a white male who recently purchased property accorded the street. The book also adds in a third narration that comes from a neighborhood app (Nextdoor app) to contextualize the two main characters’ point of view. The book touches on interracial relationships, violence that comes from gentrification, police brutality, Karens, class disparities, and building of communities. It is a refreshing twist and appropriation of the genre. Do yourself a favor and read this book!!!

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  • Latoya L.

    My goodness

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  • Tammicia D.


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  • Louise B.

    Captivated from the beginning. Full of twists and turns - an absolutely brilliant novel. Narration was fantastic!

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  • Linda M.

    I feel that this novel is a missed opportunity by the author. She writes good prose, the story flows and raises important issues. For the first three-quarters of the book I learned a lot about what it must be like to be black and live in the U.S., but then the story just became fantastical. I've seen the reviews here who criticize the book for its bad language - this only occurs at the beginning of the book and one has to ask why Cole did this, it doesn't make sense. The ending (about an hour on audio) was a huge disappointment. Some people like this kind of book but I couldn't get over how the author had made the whole book seem trite. I couldn't wait for it to end and when it did, all I could ask myself was 'Why did she (Cole) do that?"

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  • Karen S.

    Terrible ...

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  • Vicki G.

    Terrible language. We couldn’t listen to it!

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  • Elizabeth L.

    Great premise for a book and quite educational about gentrification. However, I found the two main characters to be pretty unlikable, could not understand why they woukd be remotely attracted to each other. The male narrator may have furthered this reaction, I found his voices for different characters very offputting, especially the female characters. I bet this would make a great movie though.

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