Saturday, September 12, 2020

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

 The description of When No One is Watching is that it a thriller that is Rear Window crossed with Get Out.  This intrigued me and I was happy to get a gifted copy from William Morrow for review.

 Sydney Green has returned to her childhood home in Brooklyn after her own marriage has ended to help out her ailing mother.  She is putting together a historic tour of her neighborhood to highlight the black history and is begrudgingly assigned a new assistant, her new neighbor Theo.  He has moved to the neighborhood with his girlfriend, but their relationship has headed south quickly.  As Sydney and Theo work on putting together the history of their neighborhood, they start to notice strange things happening.  Why are long time neighbors suddenly disappearing?  Why are people trying to “gentrify” and change the neighborhood?

 I don’t want to go too far into the plot and ruin it for everyone, but I was RIVETED by this thriller and couldn’t put it down.  I loved that it made you question both Sydney’s sanity and Theo’s motivations.  I wasn’t sure who to believe.  The final part of the book was terrifying as it seems like something that COULD happen – especially in 2020.

 I liked that When No One is Watching took a hard look at gentrification and what it means to a neighborhood.  It is a very timely read.  I really liked the character of Sydney. She had to make hard decisions during a trying time, and she defended her own.  She was a strong woman.  I would LOVE to see When No One is Watching turned into a movie.  This book was truly an original story and kept me guessing all of the way through the end.  I need to check out Alyssa Cole’s romance novels and keep her on my radar for her future books.  I loved it.

 Favorite Quotes:

“People bury the parts of history they don’t like, pave over it like African cemeteries beneath Manhattan.”

 “Most of my childhood was spent blundering in the wake of my mother’s turbulent decisions.”

 “I lean back into it and we watch that shit burn down.”

 “The thread goes on and on, but almost every entry is more or less the same thing; marginalized people disappearing.”

 Overall, When No One is Watching is a timely thriller that looks at the dark side of gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood.

 Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow. Thank-you!


  1. I've read several good reviews of this one. Looks like another top contender for my TBR list. :)

  2. I do highly recommend this one. I hope you both enjoy it!!