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When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

(3 customer reviews)


Available on backorder


Book Summary

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?



Condition: New

Paperback, Published September 1, 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks

ISBN: 9780062982650


3 reviews for When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

  1. Blondethrillerbooklover

    This story is told in dual perspectives. Sydney is a black woman, in the neighborhood she grew up in. Theo is a white man that has recently moved into that neighborhood as a result of a current gentrification push, due to a large company moving into the area.
    Sydney is being hounded by realtors to sell her mother’s home, which she staunchly refuses. Strange things begin happening. People in the neighborhood are disappearing under suspicious circumstances.
    Sydney meets Theo and he agrees to help her do some research on a historic tour she is planning for the neighborhood.
    As their relationship develops, they discover a level of corruption and depravity they never thought possible.
    I was impressed by the author’s ability to convey both Sydney and Theo’s perspective in a way that seemed authentic and elicited such an emotional response. It was interesting to switch back and forth to see things through one of their eyes, then the other’s.
    Sydney’s character was so funny. Her quick, sarcastic wit had me laughing. She was tough and smart and continued tapping her inner strength despite the beating that life had given her.
    Theo is also such a likeable character. He is so patient with Sydney, which is just what she needs with all she has endured. I enjoyed the progression and dynamics of their relationship.
    I also enjoyed learning more about gentrification and seeing it through the eyes of a person of color. It made me think for a long time after finishing the book, engaging in discussion with one of my book groups. It is definitely a thought provoking story.

  2. KC

    was one of my most highly anticipated fall books for 2020. This cover grabbed my attention, and the synopsis had this compared to Get Out meets Rear Window, where gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning. That was all I needed to know. And I think this is a good one to go in blind. So I’m keeping the synopsis vague.

    Going into this book, I was guessing it was going to be like Lock Every Door. After reading it, the books have very little in common other then both being great books.

    I can see why this book is receiving so much early praise. What a timely book for what is going on in our country right now. This book touches on gentrification, racial bias, history, and social justice. And includes suspense, conspiracy, romance, and mystery.

  3. Chandra

    Holy Howdy Doodies!! This is THE thriller of the year for me. Cole comes out swinging and all the punches land… HARD. As a New Yorker – even in only the twelve years of living here, I’ve seen neighborhoods change dramatically over time. Gentrification, as we know, is all too true a thing that occurs… and hopefully not as heinously as where this one took us, but to be honest, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it did.

    Not only does Cole deliver us a heart wrenching thriller, she also teaches us all a historical lesson that is absolutely timely and something we should be paying attention to. How seamlessly she threads this into this novel is nothing short of impressive. She also brings us very complex characters. Mainly we are introduced to Sydney and Theo. Sydney is a strong Black woman whose past makes her think that what she is witnessing may just be in her head… but things are just NOT adding up and she really has no one to turn to as she tries to navigate through her days. Theo is a poor White man trying to live in a rich person’s world and came into the neighborhood already failing. Their meeting brings about a turbulence of emotions from both sides as they both start to learn some vital lessons. I truly did enjoy their interactions – how he never gave up and how she constantly checked him. I also appreciate that the romance aspect of this never felt forced or necessary – but felt like a true movement within the book as it should have been.

    There were a lot of scenes that I cringed at. The interaction at the deli, the iPad messages to name a couple and the garden scene had me in TEARS. The microaggressions and also the blatant racist remarks and actions had my blood boiling! Kim is a fucking bitch and if I could’ve put my hands through the pages, I would’ve strangled her. But this is where this book also shines. While Sydney and Theo are the main characters, the tertiary characters were so very vivid that you could see them so clearly! Mr. Perkins and Gracie are my absolute favorites.

    Admittedly, the first almost half of the book has you wondering why this is in the thriller category – but hold on to your panties, because when it comes, it COMES… and it comes FAST. While the pacing may seem off to some, I actually think the build up of it all resonates with how these things actually do happen – with hints and tiny clues and then slaps you upside the head when you least expect it.

    I could go on and on about how much I love this book. But I’ve rambled long enough. Read this. Please. Cole gives us something new in the thriller category and I appreciate that so much. And I’ll just end by saying, I’ll never see the word taupe again without laughing. If you know, you know!😉
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