“Along with Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich practically invented the genre of noir.” —Newsday
This novel, written in 1948 is the last installment of the so-called Black Series which includes "The Bride Wore Black", "The Black Path of Fear", "The Black Angel", "Black Curtain" and "Black Alibi". At one time, Woolrich wrote in a letter to a devoted fan by the name of William Thailing that "Rendezvous in Black" and "The Black Angel" were his two favorite novels.
Some scholars agree that "Rendezvous in Black" could easily be considered Woolrich's last piece of work created during his major writing period published under his own name. He had one other major work published under William Irish, "I Married a Dead Man".
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.
"'Rendezvous in Black', the greatest suspense novel from the greatest suspense writer of all time, Cornell Woolrich, is back in print..... Do not pass up this chance to encounter one of the most startling, emotionally rattling, and beautifully written pieces of noir in American literature. 'Rendezvous in Black' is nothing short of a masterpiece: strange, horrifying, sometimes illogical, stark, achingly poetic, and ultimately devastating. - Claude Avary, Amazon Reviews
Cornell George Hopley-Woolrich (4 December 1903 – 25 September 1968) is one of America's best crime and noir writers who sometimes wrote under the pseudonyms William Irish and George Hopley. He's often compared to other celebrated crime writers of his day, Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner and Raymond Chandler.
He attended New York's Columbia University but left school in 1926 without graduating when his first novel, "Cover Charge", was published. "Cover Charge" was one of six of his novels that he credits as inspired by the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Woolrich soon turned to pulp and detective fiction, often published under his pseudonyms. His best known story today is his 1942 "It Had to Be Murder" for the simple reason that it was adapted into the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie"Rear Window"starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. It was remade as a television film by Christopher Reeve in 1998.
He's considered by many to be the inventor of the noir genre and many screenplays have been based on his mysteries, including "Night Has a Thousand Eyes" and "The Leopard Man".