Title: When No One is Watching
Author: Alyssa Cole
Reviewed by: Michaelene M
Major changes are happening in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gifford Place. Realtors are buying people out of their homes and new stores are cropping up where local shops used to be. And as new neighbors move in, no one sees the old neighbors move out. When long-time resident Sydney Green finds herself on a tour of Gifford Place and the guide omits her neighborhood’s black residents and community, Sydney is determined to start her own tour and preserve the history of Gifford Place.
But as she and her unlikely research assistant, Theo, uncover more history, present events escalate from all directions. They’ll need to fit all the pieces together before it’s too late.
Alyssa Cole’s When No One is Watching starts out as one woman’s mission to preserve her neighborhood’s history before it suddenly morphs into a suspenseful thriller. It’s told in two points of view: that of Sydney, who experiences unexplained happenings and paranoia as gentrification changes her beloved neighborhood, to that of Theo, a white man who moves into the neighborhood to renovate a house with his ex-girlfriend and finds himself drawn into the close-knit community of Gifford Place.
Sydney doesn’t trust Theo, but as they grow closer, their research takes an unexpected turn. There is a slight romantic subplot, but the focus of the story remains on the comings and goings of the neighborhood’s occupants and Gifford Place, itself, as the community deals with racism, social injustice, and gentrification.
This timely novel will leave readers wondering, “What’s going on?” until the very last page.
When No One is Watching is available as a digital ebook and audiobook on the Oklahoma Virtual Library. Place a hold by downloading our virtual library with the Overdrive or Libby app on any device.
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