26. Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, Volume 2: The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier (1957)
The Reader’s Digest Condensed Books Series Volume 2: 1957 – (The Scapegoat/The Last Angry Man/The Muses Are Heard/The Fruit Tramp/The Enemy Below)
Length: 148 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 19 March 2014
Finished: 24 March 2014
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 3 March 2014
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past. I also love to read Reader’s Digest Condensed Books from time to time.
“Someone jolted my elbow as I drank and said, ‘Je vous demande pardon,’ and as I moved to give him space he turned and stared at me and I at him, and I realized, with a strange sense of shock and fear and nausea all combined, that his face and voice were known to me too well.
I was looking at myself.”
Totally by chance, two men – one English, one French – meet in a provincial railway station. Their physical resemblance to each other is truly uncanny, and they spend the evening talking and drinking – until at last John, the Englishman, falls into a drunken stupor. When he awakens the next morning, he discovers that his mysterious French companion is gone, having stolen his identity.
John is completely at a loss, and so, has no other choice but to take the Frenchman’s place. He becomes Jean – the master of a chateau, owner of a failing business, head of a large and bitterly fractious family, and keeper of too many secrets.
Suspenseful and gripping, The Scapegoat tells the story of John’s attempts to evade the suspicion of the family, the servants, and the various mistresses of his doppelganger; even as he tries to unravel the frustrating mystery of the enigmatic person who dominates all who live in the chateau.
First of all, let me say right away that this story was very well-written. Daphne du Maurier is nothing if not a captivating author. That being said, in my own opinion, this wasn’t necessarily Ms. Du Maurier’s best work. I found that the story, while certainly enjoyable, was still rather far-fetched in places. I also found the plot slightly frustrating – although, I would still give The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier a very strong A!
A! – (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight