20th Century Rediscoveries


Publisher: Modern Library
On a mild midwestern night in the early 1940s, Johnny Marr leans against a drugstore wall. He’s waiting for Dorothy, his fiancée, and tonight is the last night they’ll be meeting here, for it’s May 31st, and June 1st marks their wedding day. But she’s late, and Johnny soon learns of a horrible accident—an accident involving a group of drunken men, a low-flying charter plane, and an empty liquor bottle. In one short moment Johnny loses all that matters to him and his life is shattered. He vows to take from these men exactly what they took from him. After years of planning, Johnny begins his quest for revenge, and on May 31st of each year—always on May 31st—wives, lovers, and daughters are suddenly no longer safe.




They had a date at eight every night. If it was raining, if it was snowing; if there was a moon, or if there was none. It wasn’t new, it hadn’t just come up. Last year it had been that way, the year before, the year before that. But it wasn’t going to keep on that way much...
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1. Critics in Woolrich’s day considered him the “king of the thriller.” Would you agree?

2. Rendezvous in Black was a radical departure from the detective stories popular in Woolrich’s day. What sets it apart?

3. In the essay “Cornell Woolrich: Psychologist, Poet, Painter...

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“Along with Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich practically invented the genre of noir.”