Rue Morgue Press

The Blackout

by Constance & Gwenyth Little

The Blackout
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When Joe Crolliz, who suffers from amnesia, answers an advertisement to be a paid companion to a blind woman, he recognizes the house and everything in it, and is at first pleased that his memory seems to be coming back. But he doesn’t much like what he’s starting to remember. Madame Rose, his imperious employer, was once a great ballerina, and she’s determined that her beautiful daughter, Colina, follow in her footsteps. But Colina seems more interested in Richard, a brash young lawyer whose firm has been managing their relatives’ affairs and who has become a houseguest in Madame’s genteel but shabby home. When he injures his ankle, his overprotective parents arrive at Madame Rose’s and move into another of the rooms. Meanwhile, questions arise as to the whereabouts of Joe’s alcoholic wife, Lily, who herself was once Madame Rose’s companion but seems to have disappeared. As Joe’s memory gradually returns, he becomes a desperate man. And Madame Rose’s long-suffering maid, Aggie, becomes equally desperate, wondering how she’s going to feed all those extra mouths. Little fans will recognize the authors’ favorite ploy of assembling a wide and divergent group of suspects into the closed confines of a self-contained dwelling.

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