cover image When No One Is Watching

When No One Is Watching

Alyssa Cole. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-06298-265-0

At the start of this outstanding thriller from Cole (A Prince on Paper), Sydney Green decides, as a distraction from her elderly mother’s illness and other personal woes, to take a walking tour of Gifford Place, her historically Black Brooklyn neighborhood, which is becoming increasingly gentrified and considered as the home for a pharmaceutical firm’s massive new headquarters. Angered by the white tour guide’s detailing “the lives of the rich white people who’d lived there a hundred years ago,” but saying nothing about the area’s current African American residents, Sydney plans to set up her own neighborhood tour. As Sydney researches Gifford Place’s complicated history and racial background, she notices that longtime neighbors and friends are starting to disappear. Theo, a new white neighbor she met on the tour, lends some unwanted assistance in trying to figure out what’s going on. Sydney’s paranoia and fear, coupled with her guilt at placing her mother in a nursing home, fuel the tense plot, which builds to a credible finale. This stellar and unflinching look at racism and greed will have readers hooked til the end. Agent: Lucienne Diver, Knight Agency. (Sept.)