An instant NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLER!
"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
*Marie Claire's September Book Club Pick*
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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APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
You’re constantly being watched, you don’t know whom to trust, and the police won’t help you—is this a horror story, or just a day in the life of a Black woman in America? In this incisive social thriller from novelist Alyssa Cole (A Princess in Theory), it’s both. After a painful divorce, Sydney Green moves back to Brooklyn, only to find that her once-familiar neighborhood is being bought up by rich white people. The scary part? It seems like the neighbors she grew up with aren’t leaving…they’re disappearing. Sydney begins looking into Brooklyn’s past and uncovers a chilling conspiracy happening in its present. Cole’s dark sense of humor adds just the right touch of comedic relief to her heroine’s increasingly disturbing discoveries as they mingle with the real-life horrors of institutionalized racism. Equal parts eye-opening and terrifying, When No One Is Watching is the social thriller we’ve been waiting for.
At the start of this outstanding thriller from Cole (A Prince on Paper), Sydney Green decides, as a distraction from her elderly mother's illness and other personal woes, to take a walking tour of Gifford Place, her historically Black Brooklyn neighborhood, which is becoming increasingly gentrified and considered as the home for a pharmaceutical firm's massive new headquarters. Angered by the white tour guide's detailing "the lives of the rich white people who'd lived there a hundred years ago," but saying nothing about the area's current African American residents, Sydney plans to set up her own neighborhood tour. As Sydney researches Gifford Place's complicated history and racial background, she notices that longtime neighbors and friends are starting to disappear. Theo, a new white neighbor she met on the tour, lends some unwanted assistance in trying to figure out what's going on. Sydney's paranoia and fear, coupled with her guilt at placing her mother in a nursing home, fuel the tense plot, which builds to a credible finale. This stellar and unflinching look at racism and greed will have readers hooked til the end.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Kept me on my toes
Devoured this book in 40 hours. Honestly - great writing, impactful story and definitely a solid thriller. Would recommend!!
When No One is Watching
Far fetched ending. Hal R
Set Your Expectations Correctly
I purchased this book thinking it would be a fictional thriller. At least the first half is all character development with a few “clues” mixed in. I did learn a lot about gentrification which was fascinating and eye-opening but when ending did finally reveal itself it almost felt too over the top to be believable. Good writing and character development but be aware of what you’re buying.