“When I think of a Black community, the first thing that comes to mind – even if i don’t want it to – is crime. Drugs. Gangs. Welfare. That’s all the news has talked about since I was a kid. Not old people drinking tea. Not complex self-sustaining financial systems that had to be created because racism means being left out to dry.”
Thank you William Morrow Books for gifting me a copy of When No One is Watching to read and review.
“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?”
I don’t know that I’ve read a thriller like this before. It was a fascinating look into the very real problems that people in our communities of color face every day but it was also a look at the problems that these same communities have faced in the past. I know that historical fiction thriller is a thing but this novel brought such an incredible historical perspective into this story that I forgot it was a thriller until things started getting intense. We are all fooling ourselves if we don’t take a step back to realize that the history represented within the pages of this book are more than likely the same histories that our neighborhoods have seen.
As I was reading this book, I wanted to know more. I needed more information on whether certain aspects of this story were true. It made me so angry to think that these things are happening today… right before our eyes and no one is doing anything about it.
I thoroughly applaud Alyssa Cole for writing such a unique story and driving her point home. Sydney Green is one tough woman and I was rooting for her from start to finish.
When No One is Watching will be published on September 1, 2020, and is available to pre-order now!