Rebecca McCormick. Powered by Blogger.

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole - Review

Sunday, May 7, 2023

You may remember that I'm doing a challenge this year where I am reading books by all the authors included in the new Marple book that I read last year, so in April I picked up When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole. I'm not familiar with the author but I was excited to read this as the premise sounded good. 

So, Sydney is a Black woman in her early thirties who lives in a historically Black neighbourhood in Brooklyn. Her mum owned a brownstone house, where she lived on one floor, Sydney lived on another, and Sydney's friend Drea lived on another. The house is clearly worth a lot of money now, especially since the neighbourhood is in the process of being gentrified. A medical research company has battled local protests to be allowed to use the old mental hospital as its new premises. This promises jobs and money in the area, but locals are unimpressed. The estate agent vultures have started to move in, promising to buy people out of their houses for good money. Sydney keeps batting them away, but her mother is really ill and she is worried about the medical debts and other stuff, so she's losing the will. 

One day she attends a walking tour of the area which goes through the historical inhabitants, but Sydney gets annoyed that they're ignoring the current inhabitants. She decides to put on a walking tour showcasing current people, and she's encouraged by some of the other residents, so she starts doing some research. On the first tour two new neighbours have arrived - Kim and Theo. They have a lot of money and have paid top dollar for their new house. Kim is immediately antagonistic towards her neighbours, being quite racist towards them. Sydney's new neighbours are similar, crowing about the steal of the house. 

Some of the book is told from Theo's point of view and we learn that things are not rosy between he and Kim. Kim's family is very wealthy and has put most of the money in to the house and renovations. It's easy to like Theo and feel sympathetic towards him, but he has dark secrets too, which he does end up spilling Sydney but it takes a while. Theo starts to help Sugney with her research. Strange things are happening around the neighbourhood. Sydney and Drea had had an argument but Sydney can't contact her friend at all.

This is an excellent thriller and I enjoyed the neighbourhood and all the different characters who lived in it. I like Sydney and wanted her to succeed at what she was doing. It also has some science fiction elements which I liked too. I'm giving this four out of five. 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blogger news


Most Read