Written by Katie Martinez
Daniel Mallory’s debut novel, The Woman in the Window, recently claimed the number-one spot on the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel is published under the pseudonym A. J. Finn by the publishing house William Morrow, which also happens to be where Mallory himself worked as an editor. According to a feature that appeared in the NYT, Mallory had always planned to submit the manuscript under a pseudonym as he felt his own authors may be disconcerted to see their own editor’s name splashed across a hardback in a bookstore.
Mallory appears to be following in the footsteps of authors like David Ebershoff and Anna Pitoniak, who also worked as editors before claiming the spotlight as successful novelists. However, few have received the same amount of attention as Mallory. Shortly after submitting the manuscript to his agent, a large bidding war ensued over the novel, which ultimately ended with Mallory’s own publishing house outbidding its competitors and securing a film deal with Fox 2000.
Mallory’s psychological thriller incorporates elements of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic films like Vertigo and Rear Window along with aspects of novels like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. The novel’s agoraphobic heroine, Anna Fox, spies on her neighbors from the comfort of her own apartment where she also drinks wine excessively and enjoys movies like Gaslight and Rebecca. The plot kicks off when Anna witnesses what she perceives to be an act of violence while spying on her neighbors, the Russell family. The Washington Post praised the novel as “first-rate entertainment that is finally a moving portrait of a woman fighting to preserve her sanity.”
Although the novel incorporates psychological elements from the classic films Mallory enjoys and the gripping features of successes like Gone Girl, Mallory also admits that his struggle with depression also partly informed the novel and its heroine.
According to the Express, Mallory has left publishing to work on his second novel set in San Francisco, and is hoping for a cameo in the movie adaptation of The Woman in the Window.