Book Review: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

When No One is Watching

by Alyssa Cole

🌻🌻🌻🌻🌻 (five stars as rated in Sydney’s mamma’s sunflowers)

The residents of Gifford Place are disappearing. One by one they are being pushed out of their homes – some forced to sell to highfalutin property investors while others just up and vanish. Sydney Green knows that there’s more going on here than meets the eye and is determined to get to the bottom of what’s happening to her friends and neighbors.

This book blew me away. Gentrification is a nasty business and this book succeeds in giving it an even more sinister spin with a very Get Out feel. Every twist and turn was genuinely enjoyable to me and the ending had me completely gripped! I love a good thriller, particularly one that is believable. I think what was most chilling about this book is that it isn’t really that far-fetched. After all, what’s more terrifying and depraved than the 400+ year legacy of white supremacy?

“People bury the parts of history they don’t like, pave it over like African cemeteries beneath Manhattan skyscrapers.”

– Alyssa Cole, When No One is Watching

✨ Rep in this book: Black author, Black protagonist, WOC, LGBTQ relationship (side characters)

Content warnings for this book: medical stuff, forced institutionalization, wrongful accusation, racism, death of a parent, murder, domestic violence, abuse, dysfunctional relationship, white supremacy, abuse of power by police and government officials

Image Description: a flat lay featuring the book When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. The cover of the book shows the front facade of a brownstone building painted blue. The lights are on in one of the windows. The book lays on sheet of blue crushed velvet with a vine surrounding it to the top, bottom and left. To the right, a vintage pair of binoculars are half in/half out of the frame.

About the Author: Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of romance (historical, contemporary, and sci-fi) and thrillers. Her Civil War-set espionage romance An Extraordinary Union was 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. (copied from the author’s personal website.)

Personal Note: girl on diversifying

One of my goals for 2021 was to be more intentional with not just diversifying my reading, but diversifying it in a more specific way. For example, instead of just saying “I want to read more books by Black authors,” as if Black folx are a monolith, I want to give attention to Black Caribbean authors. I had seen When No One is Watching floating around bookstagram for awhile. But when I learned that Alyssa Cole lives part-time in the Caribbean, I moved her to the top of my list! Also, she has some pretty spicy looking romance novels that I may need to check out in the near future….

All the best to you all!


Published by Sarah

My name is Sarah and I can't imagine my life without books. Actually, I can and it's terrible. I'm also into climbing, video games and bothering the nearest cat.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

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