Tuesday, September 1, 2020

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Happiest of Book Birthdays to Alyssa Cole! Her latest, When No One Is Watching, is out today from William Morrow and it is utterly fantastic!

Sydney Green is in danger of losing her home. Many of her neighbors have already succumbed to the offers of salivating real estate developers. That, or they've fallen by the wayside of gentrification. Sydney is intent on holding out, but her position is precarious. The bills are piling up and Sydney, divorced and newly single, has returned to help her mother as best she can. But things aren't looking good. 

Theo has just moved into the neighborhood and he's fascinated by it's history. He's also fascinated by his neighbor, Sydney. He and his girlfriend bought and are renovating the place across the street, but things aren't rosy in the relationship department. In fact, if it weren't for the fact that Theo sunk all of his last bit of money into buying the building, he'd already be gone. 

In her spare time, Sydney is developing an historical tour of the neighborhood in response to the whitewashed version currently being sold to tourists and new tenants. And Theo soon begins to tag along. Together, as they research more of the history of the area, they run up against some scary parallels to what's currently happening. Sydney has been accused of being paranoid before and she's anxious to avoid the accusation again. But she's beginning to wonder. Is is possible there's something else behind all of the new, white, neighbors moving into the historically black neighborhood? Surely the revitalization is just capitalism at work and not something dark and sinister. Surely that kind of thing is in the past, a part of history... 

Alyssa Cole is known for her historical and contemporary romance novels. But with When No One Is Watching she stretches her writing wings into the thriller genre—and she does it fabulously well!

This is the most deliciously creepy and dark thriller I've read in a while. And in terms of timing it couldn't be better. 

When No One Is Watching tackles the dark side of gentrification and slaps the reader across the face with it. Sure, it's tied up in an entertaining and creepy little bow, but Sydney herself is blatant in her lessons to Theo. Whether it's called revitalization or something else, rich people have narrowed in on her neighborhood and that means bad things for the people who have called it home for so long. 

I loved When No One Is Watching. I was already a fan of Cole thanks to her incredibly fun Reluctant Royals series but when I heard she was making her thriller debut, I immediately added it to my must have list and it lived up to my every expectation and more!

Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop!

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