When No One Is Watching

When No One Is Watching

by Alyssa Cole

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

So very excited that Alyssa Cole has now added suspense to her kit bag of historical, contemporary and sci-fi romances!

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?

Featured in Parade, Essence, Bustle, Popsugar, Elle, Shondaland, Marie Claire, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, Brit + Co, Real Simple, Lit Hub, Crime Reads, Blavity, Ms. Magazine, Hello Giggles, The New York Times, Town & Country, Newsweek, New York Post, Refinery29, Woman's World, Washington Post, the Skimm, Book Riot, Bookish, Huffington Post, and more!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 07/20/2020

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. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Sept.)

Crime Reads

Cole is known for romance, but don’t let that fool you into thinking she can’t genre-jump with ease. Her first thriller, When No One is Watching, is a triumph. Sydney Green is a well-crafted protagonist and her paranoia is justified in this poignant story, which has a lot to say about racism and gentrification in America... It’s page-turning and engrossing all the while giving a history lesson on racial disparities and inequality. A timely read, and an incredibly smart writer.

Refinery 29

When No One Is Watching is inspired by Cole’s own experiences, and examines gentrification via the erasure of Black people from Brooklyn’s history—with quite the suspenseful twist.

Book Riot (Best Books We Read in June)

"Suspense at its best... you aren’t going to be able to put it down until you finish it..."

Shondaland (6 Best Books of September)

"What would fall be without a fantastic and nerve-wracking thriller? Enter When No One Is Watching... A fantastic choice for fans of Get Out, this is a compulsive, entertaining, and thought-provoking novel."

Booklist (starred review)

[A] searing indictment of the inseparable evils of racism and gentrification wrapped in an anxiety-inducing thriller with elements of romance and horror… Cole expertly layers plot twists, raising the stakes until the dramatic finale, and readers will cheer when the real heroes are revealed. Cole is a sure-bet suggestion for romance readers, and When No One Is Watching will expand her already enthusiastic audience.

Marian Keyes

"Dread builds and mutates into near-horror... It was eye-opening, sad, shocking, gripping, I devoured it in one go. I recommend SO HIGHLY." 

Wendy Corsi Staub

With a keen eye for details, Alyssa Cole deftly unspools a rich narrative with compelling characters who live and breathe against a vibrant backdrop. From the bold first line to the exquisitely subtle last, WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING is a top-notch page-turner!

Kelley Armstrong

Masterfully written suspense. Beneath a seemingly ordinary setting, Cole weaves layers of dread, all building toward a shocking and satisfying conclusion."

Parade

When No One is Watching is a thriller, Hitchcockian in its essence (those brownstones have plenty of windows, and a love story emerges as well), but with expert character development that demonstrates Cole’s ability to craft a story, it’s just as much about people as it is about place. The themes Cole explores throughout—racism, white greed, sickness, addiction, encroaching gentrification—are ones that are acutely aligned with the current social climate.

Entertainment Weekly (20 New Books Coming in September)

Combining the voyeuristic paranoia of Rear Window with the searing social commentary of Get Out, this thriller from Alyssa Cole turns gentrification into fodder for a horror movie.

Seattle Times

…if “Rear Window” and “Get Out” got married and had a baby that was a book, it would indeed be “When No One Is Watching,” which takes place in contemporary Brooklyn and combines a page-turning thriller with shrewd social commentary on race, gentrification and greed.

theSkimm

One of our fave romance writers is out with a psychological thriller. This buzzy fiction book follows a woman who's looking into the gentrification of her Brooklyn neighborhood. Turns out there's something a lot more sinister going on. Cue paranoia, suspense, and some ‘Get Out’ vibes.

Elle (The 40 Best New Books Of Summer 2020)

To turn a knotty social and economic issue into a riveting psychological thriller is no easy task, but then again, should we really be surprised the extraordinary Alyssa Cole has done it? When No One Is Watching uproots the steady gentrification of Brooklyn and transforms it into an eerie horror story where "revitalization" itself is the monster.

Esquire (Best Books of Fall 2020 for Those Long

"This high-octane thriller hits right where it hurts, taking aim at gentrification and racism as conjoined forces of literary horror… Expect major palm sweat as the novel barrels toward its chilling and eye-opening conclusion.

Harper's Bazaar (43 Best Books to Read in 2020)

"The dangers of gentrification turn very literal in romance veteran Alyssa Cole’s unputdownable new thriller."

Buzzfeed

When No One Is Watching is romance writer superstar Alyssa Cole’s debut thriller…It’s a really creepy, smart page-turner.

Hello Giggles (11 Best Books to Read this September)

The novel couldn’t be timelier, and it’s been praised as ‘Rear Window’ meets ‘Get Out.’ So yeah, you’re going to want to read it ASAP. No spoilers, but: holy plot twist.

Alafair Burke

"From the first page of WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING, I felt like I was right there in the gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood, filled with sharply etched characters and dialogue that zings. Then bam!  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."

null Vulture.com on An Extraordinary Union

Cole deftly interweaves the fraught realities of American history with romance and adventure — this is a spy story, after all — and it is elegantly told.” 

null Elle (The 40 Best New Books Of Summer 2020)

To turn a knotty social and economic issue into a riveting psychological thriller is no easy task, but then again, should we really be surprised the extraordinary Alyssa Cole has done it? When No One Is Watching uproots the steady gentrification of Brooklyn and transforms it into an eerie horror story where "revitalization" itself is the monster.

Elle

To turn a knotty social and economic issue into a riveting psychological thriller is no easy task, but then again, should we really be surprised the extraordinary Alyssa Cole has done it? When No One Is Watching uproots the steady gentrification of Brooklyn and transforms it into an eerie horror story where ‘revitalization’ itself is the monster.

Book Riot

Alyssa Cole’s upcoming social thriller When No One Is Watching is so freaking good... it’s the kind of intense and suspenseful read that you can’t put down, and when you do put it down you can’t stop thinking about it.

Library Journal

08/07/2020

Sudden disappearances and thinly veiled threats coincide in this first outing into the thriller genre from best-selling romance author Cole ("Reluctant Royals" series). The story sees an influx of white buyers of the Black-owned brownstones in the tree-lined Brooklyn neighborhood, where Sydney Green and her ailing mother own a home, begin to seem not so coincidental. Told in two voices—Sydney's, shaken but strong, and her brooding white neighbor, Theo's—this twisty tale tackles with a somber wit ongoing issues of race, class inequity, social injustice, and predatory housing practices. Why is Sydney, whose interest in local history makes her suspect it's repeating itself, paranoid the more she learns about the mysterious corporation moving in, buying up properties, and pricing longtime residents out of their homes? As Sydney's and Theo's interest in each other grows and danger mounts, can they really trust each other? VERDICT This sizzling summer thriller starts on low and heats up fast. Smart, sexy, and surprising, this suspenseful novel revealing the underbelly of urban gentrification will keep readers reading late into the night. [See "Turn the Page: Editors' Fall Picks," LJ 8/20.]—Laurie Cavanaugh, Thayer P.L., Braintree, MA

Roxane Gay on A Princess in Theory

This book was a lot of fun, sexy, with a compelling story. I really enjoyed the romance... Lots of erotic tension and a deeply satisfying ending. Definitely dive into this one.

Booklist (Starred Review) on A Prince on Paper

an international cast of complex, multicultural characters...

Booklist (starred review)

an international cast of complex, multicultural characters...

Roxane Gay

This book was a lot of fun, sexy, with a compelling story. I really enjoyed the romance... Lots of erotic tension and a deeply satisfying ending. Definitely dive into this one.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062982650
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2020
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 874
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.83(d)

Customer Reviews