When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

October 19th, 2020 Kimberly Review 13 Comments

19th Oct
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
When No One is Watching
by Alyssa Cole
Narrator: Susan Dalian, Jay Aaseng
Length: 8 hours and 30 minutes
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x

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?

Audiobook mystery thriller well written

Narrated by Susan Dalian & Jay Aaseng, When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole, quickly pulled me into this addictive, suspenseful and fascinating story surrounding gentrification. Grab a cup of pumpkin spice and check out my thoughts…

gen·tri·fi·ca·tion (noun) the process of renovating and improving a house or district so that it conforms to middle-class taste.

Told from the perspective of two unreliable yet intriguing characters, Cole quickly pulled me into the goings on of a little street in historic Brooklyn. The author sheds light on racisms, privilege and history as she pulls us along in this unexpected mystery thriller.

Wow… this was my first experience with Alyssa Cole and her writing is smooth, poignant and twisted.

The story provides two perspectives in alternating chapters. The principal character a black woman named Sydney whose world is falling apart bit by bit. Divorce, moving home, her mother’s illness, debt collectors and now witnessing the strange happenings from her front stoop.

The second perspective is from a white man named Theo, who bought the home across the street with his affluent girlfriend. Only she lives on the first floor with the air conditioning and he lives in the sweltering hot attic with the crappy bathroom.

Research for a local block party has Theo and Sydney working on a project together. They bear witness to strange occurrences, injustice and more…but with two unreliable narrators who can trust who. Eep!

The dynamics between Theo and Sydney were interesting. Their friendship start with mistrust and is hampered by his racist girlfriend. The trust between them builds, but both are keeping secrets and when attraction factors into the equation, it complicates things. 

While this was a story about the gentrification of a neighborhood it delivered a suspenseful mystery with clever unthinkable twists. All I can say is find a quiet place, plug in your headphones and devour this!

Narrated by Susan Dalian & Jay Aaseng, When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole delivers a suspenseful and fascinating story surrounding gentrification. #audiobook #mystery #thriller Click To Tweet

About Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her Civil War-set espionage romance An Extraordinary Union was the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award’s Best Book of 2017 and the American Library Association’s RUSA Best Romance for 2018, and A Princess in Theory was one of the New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018. She’s contributed to publications including Bustle, Shondaland, The Toast, Vulture, RT Book Reviews, and Heroes and Heartbreakers, and her books have received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can usually be found watching anime or wrangling her pets.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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13 Responses to “When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole”

  1. czai

    I’ve been seeing this one and I’m curious!!! It sounds really intriguing! And I especially love unreliable narrators. They’re a great setup for an absolutely wild twist.

  2. ShootingStarsMag

    I’m glad to hear you liked this one! It’s on my wish list of books – it sounds really good, and I haven’t read anything by the author yet either.

    -Lauren

  3. sjhigbee

    A brilliant review! I’m really intrigued by this one – and this isn’t usually my genre. Thank you for sharing, Kimberly and I’ve made a note of this one…

  4. Sophia Rose

    I love her historicals with their twists of suspense so I know I’d enjoy this one, too. Yes, her writing style really is easy to fall into.

  5. Jen

    So glad you enjoyed it. Your review makes me almost want to try it. I love AC’s romances, but I am not a big fan of thrillers so I passed on this one. I heard there are some pretty dark spots.