A rant about books, horror, and the weird. I sometimes take on my love/hate relationship with goodreads and Amazon.
Cornell should have stopped at the penultimate chapter. I just couldn't buy that after all they had been through, they couldn't put this behind them as well. It seemed tacked on. Was there ever anybody better than Cornell Woolrich at creating a living breathing human being in so few words? I just a few pages we feel like we know everything about the Hazzards and Helen, even their unwritten pasts, even by the time their lives are turned literally upside down just a few pages later. That is why this is so shocking to us, almost as shocking as the shower scene in Psycho. The rest of the novel is about Helen's future life, a life as unexpected as the initial disaster that created it. Yet all the while we can feel that this is surely only hanging by the most tenuous threads. She goes from bliss to haunted in only a few sentences. The suspense is unnerving as we see her life built on a monumental lie inevitably unravel. Woolrich creates the suspense so successfully that the novel becomes a page turner for the rest of it's duration. We see the tenuousness of our own lives and happiness in Helen and Bill. The characters were first rate, we love them or hate 'em. The suspense is outstanding, as in all of Woolrich's novels and stories. And you have to love that title.