When No One Is Watching

When No One Is Watching

A Thriller

Book - 2020 | First edition.
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"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?"--
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9780062982650
Branch Call Number: COLE
Characteristics: 352 pages ; 21 cm

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JessicaGma Feb 23, 2021

It's a different sort of thriller from Alyssa Cole and addresses a lot about race relations and gentrification in neighbourhoods. It felt a lot like an X Files episode where the resolution is both weird but also creepy/unsettling. Also, how far away is this from the reality we live every day? Def... Read More »


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JessicaGma Feb 23, 2021

It's a different sort of thriller from Alyssa Cole and addresses a lot about race relations and gentrification in neighbourhoods. It felt a lot like an X Files episode where the resolution is both weird but also creepy/unsettling. Also, how far away is this from the reality we live every day? Definitely pick this up to read.

w
Wako
Feb 19, 2021

The terrors of racism and gentrification are brought to new heights in this Alyssa Cole thriller. While at times one might find the story incredulous, the author truly walks a fine line of believability, by building upon instances of past historical atrocities and reinforced by the headlines of today, in creating a lived in story. The plot and prose are compelling, and the story moved along at a perfect pace. In the end I was left feeling a bit wrung out - as if I’d read a horror novel – and, moreover, saddened by the fact that this isn’t just some outlandish supernatural tale, but rather a grounded look at what has been and what could easily be.

ArapahoeJohanna Feb 16, 2021

The first 3/4 of this book was tense, oppressive, and deeply unsettling. Alyssa Cole clearly has a lot of potential as a thriller author. I spent much of my reading experience alternating between needing to know what happens next and being overwhelmed by the hopelessness and terror of the situation, so it's fair to say I was emotionally invested in the story! Everything did fall apart a bit at the end and then came back together a bit too neatly for my taste; there were definitely elements of the climax and resolution that felt disjointed and absurd. The rest of the book was good enough to make up for that, though, and I'll be on the lookout for more thrillers from this author!

m
Margush
Feb 09, 2021

Hmm. What a language. I never thought of reading a library book with so many “f” words in it. Not good. I didn’t like it. I believe thoughts could be expressed without swearing.

d
denville
Feb 03, 2021

Disconcerting fictional story of gentrification in Brooklyn. Goes a little over the top for me but does reflect the consequences of “Karen” and white privileged attitudes, when combined with corporate greed. Wil stay with me.

JCLKarynH Jan 07, 2021

This novel was one of four titles selected for the Johnson County Library's Spring 2021 Online Book Group sessions and I'm so glad of it. Discussion amongst patrons has been insightful and exciting! Alyssa Cole deftly blends suspense, romance, history, social commentary, and mystery in her debut psychological thriller. She's the queen of inclusive romances who continues to push her writing boundaries. There were some plot holes left unfilled, but overall a very satisfying read that gets at the heart of being a person of color in the U.S.

k
KatG1983
Jan 04, 2021

When No One is Watching is a supberly written thriller - the slow creep of impending doom hovers over you, the build up of dread and fear is executed excellently. The books brings to life the horros of gentrification and illuminates the ways in which it can destroy communities. If you enjoyed the movie Get Out, this book is very much in the same vein.

IndyPL_TheresaC Dec 28, 2020

Sydney Green returns to the love and support of the Bronx neighborhood of her past at the end of an emotionally destructive marriage that leaves her filled with self-doubt and on edge. Once home, Sydney dives into the excitement and comradery of the upcoming block party as well as the planning and research for the walking tour with her neighbor Theo - who has his own baggage and a broken relationship. As Sidney and Theo collaborate on researching the community's history, they notice a common thread between VerenTech’s aggressive moves to gentrify the neighborhood and the disappearance of past community members. I enjoyed this book and couldn’t decide what unnerved me more: Sydney’s anxiety and paranoia or the neighbors who “moved” under mysterious circumstances

k
kmcdouall
Dec 21, 2020

Alyssa Cole has polished her considerable skills by writing lively romances featuring African American characters. In her new novel, she delves into the category of romantic suspense, relying on standard genre tropes to propel the brisk plotline. The crime thriller aspect doesn't really kick in until well over half the book, but when it does, you will feel propelled into an eerie twisted "Get Out" narrative. Where Cole really shines is in the development of the relationship between our protagonists, Sydney and Theo. As they become entangled, Sydney educates Theo in the realities of being Black in America, as the story of ever increasing gentrification in their Brooklyn neighborhood moves forward. These characters are well developed, and the up front discussions and situations that reveal the realities of systemic racism are thoroughly refreshing. I commend Cole for speaking plainly about the history of white supremacy and racial violence, and doing so within an engaging and charming romance.

t
Trixie_reads
Dec 19, 2020

This is very readable -- I read it in just a few days because I was fascinated to see where it went. It was reminiscent of the movie "Get Out", for sure. As I was reading, I had thoughts popping up that it was really far-fetched, but then I realized it was no more far-fetched than a lot of thrillers I've read. It was just my white fragility objecting to the plot, pure and simple. I thought the ending was a bit abrupt though. I wanted to know more about that group of old people!

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miraellie
Oct 16, 2020

“Sydney.” Theo is grinning as he calls my attention back to him, though his eyes are somber. “I need you to channel the confidence of a mediocre white man. I’ll give you mine. We’ll figure it out because we don’t have any other choice.”

m
miraellie
Oct 16, 2020

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

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