Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rendezvous in Black

Rendezvous in BlackRendezvous in Black by Cornell Woolrich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the eve of his wedding, Johnny Marr's fiancee is killed in a freak accident by a liquor bottle hurled out of the window of a small plane. Johnny snaps and goes on a psychopathic killing spree, tracking down the passengers of the plane and killing the most important woman in each man's world. Can Inspector Cameron stop Johnny before it's too late?

Rendezvous in Black has a lot in common with my favorite Woolrich book, The Bride Wore Black. Johnny systematically hunts down each man, figures out who the most important woman in his life is, and kills them in a variety of ways. Just like in The Bride Wore Black, the fun was trying to decide how he would do it. One thing that irked me was that all of his aliases had the initials JM. Way to camouflage yourself, you human chameleon!

Even though the plot was largely a retread of TBWB, it was still a good read. The cops kept getting closer but kept coming up short. A few of the male characters made stupid decisions right out of a bad movie. Woolrich's blatant misogyny was a little hard to ignore. Once again, the women were either bitches, whores, or doormats. Despite that, I did love the way Florence treated her husband, not to give anything away. Let's just saw she didn't go the Black Angel route when she found out he was cheating...

To sum it up, I liked Rendezvous in Black but I liked it better the first time Woolrich wrote it when it was called The Bride Wore Black.

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