Black Alibi by Cornell Woolrich
Originally published 1942
Ballantine, 1st printing, 1982
Genre: suspense, roman noir, crime fiction
Synopsis & Review:Americans Jerry Manning and Kiki Walker have relocated to the South American city of Ciudad Real, finally meeting with success; she’s become a local entertainer of some fame, and he’s her agent/manager. To further fan the flames of the public’s interest in Kiki, Jerry brings her a tame black jaguar, insisting that she take it out on a leash for the photo opportunities. She makes a sensation at a local restaurant, but then someone startles the creature, and it escapes, terrifying the restaurant goers and making a fool of Kiki. The jaguar disappears into the city, giving rise to rumors as the local gendarmes unsuccessfully try to track it down.
As rumors about the jaguar and its possibly supernatural powers inundate Ciudad Real, teenage Teresa Delgado is forced by her mother into the darkening city to fetch charcoal. Frightened by the rumors, Teresa tries to refuse, but her mother is insistent. Teresa first tries their local bodega, but it’s just closed, so she takes a long, heavily shadowed route under the viaduct to another, managing to catch the owner and purchase the charcoal for her family. Nearly paralyzed by fear, she wends her way back through the dark passage, hunted by something almost unseen, making it to the very door of her home, where her mother ignores her terrified cries. When the door is finally opened, nothing is left of Teresa but torn flesh and blood. It seems obvious to all that Teresa was attacked by the jaguar, and police captain Robles summons Manning to the morgue to show him what his foolishness has wrought. click for the rest of Black Alibi!
Do you read celebrity memoirs? Which ones have you read or do you want to read? Which nonexistent celebrity memoirs would you like to see?
I don’t really. I tried to think of which celebrity memoirs I’d read, and the only one I can think of is The Kid Stays in the Picture by Robert Evans. I read it after seeing the movie, and Robert Evans in an odd way became a sort of hero to me. I also once read DeeDee Ramone’s Poison Heart: Surviving the Ramones, as any punk should (how sententious do I sound?), an dI must admit, it gave me a lot of insight into the band, and punk in general, which is I suppose all one could ask for in a celebrity memoir.
That’s it. I read a few celebrity biographies when I was a child (Marilyn Monroe, Shirley Temple, Isadora Duncan), but that’s it for memoirs. They usually don’t appeal to me for some reason, perhaps due to my preference for ancient history. I really cannot think of many celebrity memoirs I would want to read, but perhaps for Elvis Presley’s. That would be something. I might read Priscilla’s memoir Elvis and Me.
I don’t know why Robert Evans’ story struck a chord with me, but it did, even unto making me a huge fan of Kid Notorious. The things we do for love.