The Black Curtain by Cornell Woolrich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Frank Townsend is knocked unconscious by a falling piece of plaster. When he comes to, he wanders home to find his apartment empty and his wife gone. He tracks his wife down to find that three years are missing from his memories and that he ran out on her sometime after the last day he can remember. Frank tries to rebuild his fragmented life until a man from the missing three years shows up looking for Frank. Will Frank pierce The Black Curtain and put the missing piece of his life in place?
This Woolrich was okay, if a little long-winded for what it was. Frank Townsend, aka Dan Neary, loses three years of memories after a bump on the head, then goes about clearing his name. The revelation of who the man in the gray suit was was one of the better parts of the story. Everything else seemed a little convoluted and flimsy. The women, as per usual in Woolrich's stories, didn't have many favorable qualities. Who would let a man back into their life after he ran out on them without a word three years before, no questions asked?
As a friend recently commented, Woolrich's Black series were probably his way of coping with his alcoholic blackouts and it's nowhere more apparent than in The Black Curtain. Townsend trying to piece together the fragments of his memories is very similar to someone trying to figure out what they did during a blackout.
Not my favorite Woolrich but not terrible.
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