Review of When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (paperback)



When No One Is Watching

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 the neighborhood she loves is being erased before her very eyes. FOR SALE signs are popping up everywhere, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To preserve the past, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour: “Displaced: A People’s History of Brooklyn,” 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 efforts 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 – permanently?




This book was such a surprise for me.

While When No One Is Watching is definitely a thriller, it’s also so much more. I’m sure there are people that want a straight up thriller, but I enjoyed all the information about gentrification and how it happens. I liked the history as well as the current story.

Sydney and Theo are our two points of view. Sydney had recently moved back home after a divorce. She talks a lot about her mom and issues with her ex, but we don’t get details until much later in the book. Theo bought the house across the street with his girlfriend. Their relationship is basically non existent and he feels stuck. Theo also has a backstory that he hints at, but that info comes out later, too. Theo watches people out the windows and he’s kind of fascinated by Sydney and definitely attracted to her. Theo is white. Sydney starts to notice weird things happening in the neighborhood. She thinks she’s being paranoid at first, but Theo starts to see it, too. Sydney already has trust issues and it’s hard for her to trust a white man when it’s white men that are taking over her neighborhood. The book shows us a lot of racism throughout. It takes Theo awhile, but he’s starting to see why they can’t call the police and how far people will go to get what they want.

I gave this book 4 stars.


Have you read this yet?  Is it on your TBR?





Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

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