Waltz into Darkness

Cornell Woolrich. Penzler, $25.95 (360p) ISBN 978-1-61316-152-4
In this unrelentingly grim noir from Woolrich (1903–1968), first published in 1947 and set in 1880 New Orleans, Louis Durand, the owner of a prosperous coffee-import business, is looking forward to meeting the woman he’s romanced via correspondence, who he hopes will offer him a chance for a happiness years after losing his first love to yellow fever. The Julia Russell who shows up at the dock doesn’t match the photo he was sent, but he accepts her explanation that she didn’t want him to be interested in her solely for her looks. The two wed, and gradually it becomes clear that Julia has withheld more significant secrets, which end up leading to murder. The significance of Billy, a “character that does not appear in the story” (mentioned in an opening list of characters), becomes chillingly clear by the end. This haunting downer is an excellent addition to the American Mystery Classics series. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/21/2019
Release date: 01/08/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Paperback - 310 pages - 978-0-14-023973-7
Paperback - 340 pages - 978-4-87187-610-0
Paperback - 978-604-976-774-6
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