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L'angelo nero

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  287 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
A classic is back in print! This hypnotic thriller, by one of the originators of the noir form, exposes its heroine to a waking nightmare
In this classic crime novel, a panic-stricken young wife races against time to prove that her convicted husband did not murder his mistress. Writing in first person from the wife's viewpoint, Woolrich evokes her love and anguish and, fin
Paperback, Oscar Mondadori, 266 pages
Published 1991 by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore (first published January 1st 1943)
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Bobby Underwood
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Output is not quality, of course, but as Ray Bradbury noted, it produces quality, and Cornell Woolrich was prolific. He also is one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. What cinches his place in history is a stretch where he published one great novel of gripping, enduring suspense after another. In essence, he created his own noir sub-genre where before there had been none. His use of the language was extraordinary, his ability to cast a mood magical, and his mastery of creating hea ...more
David Schaafsma
Cornell Woolrich was called the Father of Noir, and I listened to this book because I have been dipping back into some noir, thanks to my reading of some graphic novels by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. And I discovered Woolrich had written the short story, “It Had to Be Murder,” on which Hitchcock’s Rear Window had been based. I’ve also been reading the noir-ish novels of Patrick Modiano. So why not pick one of the great noir mystery and suspense writers, who turned out book after book, many of ...more
Dan Schwent
Alberta Murray is convinced her husband is having an affair. Imagine her shock when her husband is arrested for his mistress's murder! Alberta happened upon the crime scene before the police and the only clue is a matchbook with the letter M embossed on the cover. She pilfers the victim's address book and starts going down the M's one by one. Can she find the killer before her husband is executed?

My problems with this book started with the premise. If a woman found out her husband was cheating o

Description: A novel as hypnotic as it is suspenseful, its atmosphere haunting, its shadows long, this intimate thriller by past master of noir fiction Cornell Woolrich delivers its unfailing angel from her waking nightmare into a chillingly impossible dream.

From the 1930s until his death in 1968, Cornell Woolrich riveted the reading public with his pulp noir. Classic films like Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window earned Woolrich the epithet "the twentieth cent
Leon Marks
Not my favorite of his, but I had tons of distractions while reading this, so it might just be me.
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought and read this book for two reasons. One is that I had seen a couple of film noirs I thoroughly enjoyed based on Woolrich's books, so I was curious about his work. The second is that I realized I haven't been reading as much 'pulp fiction' as I should.

"The Black Angel" was written in 1943 and is filled with characters and places very reflective of the era. It is, in simplest form, about a woman whose husband is sentenced to death for murdering someone, and her efforts to prove his innoce
Nathanael Smith
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my 3rd Cornell Woolrich book to read, and I think I have to say it's been my favorite of his that I have read so far. It's all about a girl who's husband is accused of murdering his mistress and of course doesn't believe he was the guilty party so goes on a venture to discover the real murderer. At first I was a little unsure as to how much I would enjoy it, for one thing the format was told in a different way than I'm used to for a mystery, and on top of that it was all told through th ...more
BLACK ANGEL. (1943). Cornell Woolrich. ***.
In order to enjoy Woolrich’s novels, you have to send yourself back in time to the 1930s and 1940s when the conventions he used in them were more real than they are now. If you can do that, you will have surmounted a big hurdle and begin to appreciate his place in the history of mystery writing. He is known as the ‘Father of Noir,’ which is likely true when you get over his many histrionics. Anyway…this novel explores the plight of a young wife who just
Carla Remy
Blackness within darkness, and sequences within sequences, hypnotically Woolrichean. Stunning and amazing, despite a big logic flaw towards the end (why would Alberta investigate the 4th "M" from the victim's address book, once she knew who the monogramed matches belonged to? Makes no sense). But other than that, cool weird interestingness and strangely moving depth. Did I mention the narrative is 1st person from a female's perspective? Awesome. As far as I can tell, this is extremely unusual fo ...more
Lady Delacour
Woolrich knew the art of writing.
His descriptions were so creative.
Hillary Huber did a nice job narrating.
Slow start but, soon hits her stride.
Tom Shannon, Jr
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid read by Woolrich! Protagonist Alberta French investigates her husband Kirk's extramarital affair with Mia Mercer, only to discover the woman dead in her apartment. She knows Kirk's innocent so she swipes Mia's address book before vacating the murder scene, because it has Kirk's name in it. Before leaving, she notices the initials "MM" on a crumpled matchbook cover that was wedged into the door frame to keep the door from locking. Kirk, who was repentant and about to break off the a ...more
Cecily Kyle
Sep 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wobble
Just not my thing I guess!

I am pretty confident that if I wasn't reading this book to fulfil a challenge I am participating in, it would have been a DNF. However, I went along just to finish it and my mind didn't change...
Maybe because it was written in the 1940's but it felt so much like I could picture it as a black and white movie, the way she described things were almost theatrical. Nevermind the fact that she does everything in her power to try to exonerate her cheating husband... like co
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime_fiction, noir
A solid, old school noir mystery. Excellent writing, although the dialgue is a bit stilted for the modern ear--but no worse than watching an old b@w movie. The first-person female narrator presents in interesting study for feminist readers/writers.
This is copy 40 of 300 signed numbered copies, signed by:

Rex Burns (Introduction)
Matt Mahurin(Cover Illustrator)
Jacob McMurray (Jacket Design)
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the evocation of another era--could even imagine the dialogue being spoken with the crisp elocution of the movie stars from that time period.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cornell Woolrich was one of the most accomplished noir writers of the century and is often ranked just behind Hammett, Chandler, and Gardner. He also wrote under the pen names William Irish and George Hopley. Dozens of films were adapted from his books, including Black Angel, Fear in the Night, Rear Window, The Bride Wore Black, and Original Sin. His work is dark and brooding and often features a protagonist who has sinned and cannot ever get his or her hands clean. His best known novels include ...more
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Apparently, this book is typical of the Woolrich style -- though I cannot confirm this at it is my first exposure to his writing. I've seen "Rear Window" numerous times, however, and another of his works was the basis for that film. This book is narrated by a young and apparently beautiful angelic wife of a cheating husband. When she discovers her husband's bags packed for a getaway from married life, the wife decides to confront the mistress while her spouse is at work. She discovers the other ...more
Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Holger Haase
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first two chapters could easily be called "Stand By Your Man".

A cheated wife stands loyally by her husband who is accused of murdering his lover and faces the electric chair. All she can focus on is getting back with him again and proving his innocence.

As ridiculously door mattish as this may sound, these over-the-top declarations of eternal love for someone who probably didn't deserve much better work actually quite well as she is soon being confronted with a range of situations in search o
Tim Schneider
I felt like this was a fairly weak effort from Woolrich. I've taken to giving him a pass on the absurdity of his plots. This one is more than a tad difficult simply from the motivation of the protagonist. Keeping in mind that this was the early 40s, I'm still not sure I buy it.

Again we have heavy coincidence and far-fetched plotting, a Woolrich hallmark. And again the episodic chapter nature of the writing. Generally that is more than made up for in the actual writing and the palpable suspense
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, thriller
Viso d'angelo

E' così che Kirk apostrofa amorevolmente la mogliettina Alberta nell'intimità, viso d'angelo. Quando Kirk viene ingiustamente accusato dell'omicidio della sua amante, Mia, Alberta gli perdona anche il tradimento e fa di tutto per scoprire il vero assassino.
Incurante degli ambienti in cui deve intrufolarsi e dei compromessi a cui deve scendere, Alberta segue una lista di quattro nomi, quattro uomini candidati al ruolo di assassino.

Bellissimo noir d'epoca, Angelo nero è un romanzo go
M.E. E. May
This is the first novel I've read by Woolrich and I enjoyed it, but like all fiction written in the 1940's and 1950's, it isn't the same fast-paced novel I'm used to reading. I had to keep that in mind as I did struggle from time-to-time and skipped over some rundant portions. I'm sure in 1943 it was a great read for mystery readers. We must keep in mind that investigative forensics at that time consisted of fingerprints and blood type for the most part and read this like a historical novel. At ...more
Wow--this is perfection. I have been hunting Cornell Woolrich like the dodo bird and this was the first thing I was able to get my hands on. I am not disappointed--a noir women's adventure--amazing. The main character, Alberta French, is brave, naive, quick to learn, and an all around good egg--but she still gets trapped in the snare that is noir. Beautifully written, exciting and tense and unpredictable. I cannot wait to read more of Woolrich if this is any indication of what I can expect.
While her husband is on death-row for murder, a determined wife tries to prove his innocence by ferreting out the real killer. Each chapter, she insinuates herself into the life of another suspect. Each tense step in her investigation could be a separate story; a noir portmanteau.

There is a HUGE plot hole, but I loved the wife's resourcefulness and the overall atmosphere of the story so much that it remains a solid 4 stars.
Apr 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The narrator was getting on my nerves. Perhaps, it is a measure of some slight progress I have been making lately, however haltingly, in breaking out of the obsessional cocoon of my own making, in which I have been sleeping, like a waking dead, lately, finding kinship and consonance with/in these books.
It was too easy to guess who the killer is going to turn out to be. So, I made sure, by skipping to the very end. I will still try another Woolrich, but so far - too melodramatic.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir-pulp
This is the fourth in the author's so-called "Black Series". Told in first person by Angel Face **her husband's nickname for her**, who is a naive twenty-three year old playing amateur detective, trying to save her husband from the electric chair. She grows up fast, digging around in New York's darkside. Female noir, this go around and Woolrich who they called the "master of psychological suspense", makes me want me to find more of his novels and other noir from the 40's.
Tom Leland
I think this was my 2nd crime novel from that period...might be my last. Just don't think it was THAT easy to continually come in contact with nefarious people. Supposedly more film noir movies adapted from Woolrich's books than of any other writer...but I was only barely caught up in it here and there, mostly just sort of went along with a sort of abstract interest. I can see why such writers (Gardner, Hammett, etc.) were popular...
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Great crime noir novel, a man finds himself facing the electric chair for a crime he claims he didn't commit, his wife searches for the killer. Cornell Woolrich is a master of noir fiction, he wrote Rear Window and The Bride Wore Black, and many, many more of his stories were filmed. Great stuff.
May 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Woolrich/noir fans
Shelves: pulp-fiction
Another Cornell Woolrich novel where a woman has to clear her husband from a crime he didn't commit. Sound familiar? It should. "Phantom Lady" was the same book. But it's okay, it's well written and a swell time waster. Just don't expect anything different from Woolrich here.
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Cornell Woolrich is widely regarded as the twentieth century’s finest writer of pure suspense fiction. The author of numerous classic novels and short stories (many of which were turned into classic films) such as Rear Window, The Bride Wore Black, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Waltz Into Darkness, and I Married a Dead Man, Woolrich began his career in the 1920s writing mainstream novels that won ...more
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“It's hard to say goodbye for good at any time or any place. It's harder still to say it through a meshed wire. It crisscrossed his face into little diagonals, gave me only little broken-up molecules of it at a time. It stenciled a cold, rigid frame around every kiss.” 12 likes
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