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Night Has A Thousand EyesNight Has A Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a deeply strange novel, located somewhere between noir & weird fiction. It plays by most of the "rules" of a hardboiled detective story, yet refuses to allow the world to make sense of itself at the end. In fact, it suggests that we cannot make perfect sense of the world, because nothing we do will change what is fated to happen.

After getting bogged down in the lovely but maddeningly leisurely prose -- more than once -- I was tempted to give this one only three stars. However, the sheer creepiness of the experience bumped it up one. Removing free will (or even threatening to remove it) from a plot that is at least half police procedural makes for an unsettling read, & Woolrich manages the trick seamlessly. I only wish he'd taken fewer pages to do so.

Recommended for vintage crime / noir fans looking to widen their horizons, and anyone with the patience to let the full effect of this one sink in.

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