By now, many will have seen When No One Is Watching described as Rear Window meets Get Out. Those comparisons are shockingly apt. Alyssa Cole’s latest triumph incorporates elements of both psychological thriller and social horror. Its finale is a bit macabre, much like Get Out, and there is a romantic subplot as well, just as there was in Hitchcock’s masterpiece ... highly original ... Perhaps the best evidence of Cole’s skill in this regard is the remarkable correspondence between a fictional event in the book and a real-life incident that occurred just miles away from where the book is set ... Another element that distinguishes When No One Is Watching is its grounding in not just present-day politics but history.
...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.
Alyssa Cole is best known for her wildly popular and award-winning romances—quick pause to strenuously recommend her Reluctant Royals series—but When No One is Watching proves she’s a master at crafting spine-chilling thrillers, too ... Few stories have felt so real, so visceral, or so disturbing ... Readers of color will find themselves nodding in agreement and wincing in empathy for Sydney. Performative allyship is ruthlessly skewered as the rotten heart of racism is revealed behind smiling white faces, and Cole makes a special point to shine a light on white women’s contributions to the deadly status quo ... It’s one of the most relevant modern horror stories I’ve encountered, with killer prose, vibrant characters, razor-sharp societal commentary, and a knockout of a finale.