When no one is watching: a thriller you will love

Neighbors are disappearing and Sydney finds out why. If you love Get Out, You'll love this.
When no one is watching book review- Xoras Library

Table of Contents

Book name: When No one is watching

Author: Alyssa Cole

Find more of her here

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 347

When no one is watching is a psychological thriller that takes place in Brooklyn, New York. Reviews described it as similar to Get Out. 

This book focuses on gentrification and racism.  

Sydney Green is a black 30 year-old woman. She comes back to her neighborhood after a messy divorce. She’s surprised to see how everything changed and how fast it’s changing. Her neighbors that she’s known all her life are disappearing overnight. While new people are moving in the very next day. 

She decides to join a “Historical Brooklyn brownstones tour” after stumbling across an article titled Black America. It talked about a slavery theme park that was popular in Brooklyn at the end of the nineteenth century. 

She wanted to see what kind of stuff the tour would cover. When she went, she saw that none of the topics included black people. Which she found odd since the neighborhood was historically black. That’s when she decided to come up with her own tour. To do this she needed more information. 

With the help of her best friend Drea and a guy she just met through the tour, Theo. she’s able to piece together historical facts to cover for her tour. 

However, that takes a turn quickly when she realizes that people she has known all her life are disappearing each day.

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 It was very clear there was racism amongst the new white neighbors that were moving in. Some weird things were going on like the cab driver Sydney had on her way to the hair salon. He seemed to talk to her as if he knew everything about her and then drove a different route before dropping her a block away from the hair salon.

The white couple who moved across the street from Sydney was Theo and his wife Kim. Kim and the other new neighbors made it very clear that they were not a fan of the black people in the neighborhood on many occasions. Theo didn’t seem to mind as he was eager to get to know the people around him. He and Kim were having marriage problems of their own. Kim came from money while Theo didn’t. They were complete opposites from the beginning and that drove them away in the end. 

Theo met Sydney originally from the tour she attended but then he went to the labor day block party planning meeting. He volunteered to help with finding historical facts for Sydney’s tour. Little did they both know it would lead them into something else entirely

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 Neighbors disappearing

From the beginning, Sydney felt that something was wrong. It wasn’t until her neighbor Mr. Perkins who was in charge of the labor day block party went missing. 

A white neighbor told Sydney He went to visit his daughter. She has known Mr.Perkins for years and he wouldn’t up and leave without telling someone. Especially when the block party was coming up. Then about a week later new neighbors moved into his house and that’s when she decided to find out what was really going on. 

At the same time, Sydney hasn’t heard from her best friend Drea. She found that very odd, especially because Drea’s message still seemed to be “typing” for 3 days. But I thought “how is it possible that No one is watching this happen” Surely someone in the neighborhood must have noticed besides Sydney.

Meanwhile, Theo was going through things. He and his wife had a strained relationship. There was no love between them and they both felt it. Kim strategically decided to leave to enjoy time with her family. She told Theo he could have the leftover wine in the fridge but I think that was a setup. 

That night was the same night Mr. Perkins’s disappeared. Theo saw black figure shadows through his window, but he was way too drunk to tell what was real or not. My theory is there had to be something in that drink that made him so physically unable to get up when he tried to. 

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Theo and Sydney

Theo and Sydney started piecing together the information and details they could remember. When Sydney was in Theo’s living room, she noticed Drea’s air conditioner in his house. 

There was also an Ipad on the table that opens to a group chat of the white neighbors that moved in and she saw her name. Kim wanted to know if Sydney was “taken care of” yet. That led Sydney to think Theo was playing her all along so she ran out to her house. 

In this part, I couldn’t even put the book down because I grew to like Theo but at the same time I was like omgggg this is a great twist. 

Even when Theo texted her to warn her that he could see someone in her house with a gun. I was like woah he’s still pretending to be on her side? 

This guy is good- too good. 

Sydney had to hide in her own house because someone was chasing her. At this point, I’m thinking Theo is like Billy in Scream. Pretending to be on Sydney’s side but trying to kill her at the same time.

Sydney went through a secret passage from her mom’s room. That was where she found her best friend Drea dead. Drea’s fingers were still on the keyboard typing a message “I’m sorry luv you”.

 Shaken, she ran out and came face to face with Theo. He was pleading with her that he knew nothing of that group chat and that it was Kim’s Ipad. 

My thoughts

At first, I thought this was going to be a super cringe book because Race felt like the main focus, and even as a black person I get uncomfortable at times. 

But as the story progressed it tied nicely into the plot. I loved the end, when the elderly neighbors came together to help rescue everyone who was kidnapped from their homes. 

I wish we had more of Drea in the story and saw what happened from her side with how she ended up in that situation. 

When no one is watching rating

After researching the author I discovered that she writes many romance novels and when no one is watching happens to be her first thriller. I thought she did a great job branching out of her, I assume, comfort genre.

Although there was romance in this novel, It wasn’t the main focus. I am not a fan of romance novels but after reading when no one is watching I would check out more of her books. When no one is watching gets a 4 from me. 

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*This post may contain affiliate links, which mean I will receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra. cost to you. 

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