The Rendezvous and Other Stories is a collection of short stories written by Daphne du Maurier. Some of them are among the earliest examples of her writing and most of them, as you would expect if you’ve ever read any of du Maurier’s work before, are slightly disturbing and unsettling. She takes some quite ordinary situations and ordinary, flawed people, and adds undertones of suspense and drama.
Many of the stories are just 10-20 pages long – perfect if you don’t have a lot of time, although in most cases I would have preferred them to be longer and more developed. My favourite story from the collection was No Motive, in which a private detective investigates an apparently motiveless suicide. I felt it could easily have been expanded into a full length detective novel, though it worked well as a short story too. The other one that really stood out for me was Split Second, in which a woman goes out for a walk one afternoon and returns home to find strangers living in her house. This story had a touch of the supernatural about it, as did Escort, which describes a ship leaving port during World War II and being rescued from a submarine attack by a mysterious sailing ship.
I liked the three stories I’ve just mentioned, as well as The Closing Door and La Sainte-Vierge, but there were too many of the others that I just didn’t enjoy very much. However, it was still interesting to read them and see how good Daphne du Maurier’s writing was even in the early stages of her career.
Genre: Fiction – Short Stories/Pages: 288/Publisher: Virago/Year: 2005/Source: Library book