Moira's Reviews > The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
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's review
Mar 07, 2011

really liked it

Daphne du Maurier was amazingly ahead of her time. Or a little nuts. Or on drugs (drug use appears often in her books!). But whatever, she was a masterful storyteller.

The premise of The Scapegoat is that a quiet professor man runs into his doppelganger (don't you just love that word!) and the double (a French count) drugs him and forces him to change places. Over the course of one week, the main character uncovers secrets, makes a mess of things, finds out a lot about himself and ultimately makes life better for the Count and his family. Fascinating.

I was a little disappointed at the end, however. There were a lot of possibilities for the conclusion of this tale - murder, double murder, discovery that it was psychological phenomenon, a major shift in personality and more. But du Maurier chose a very simple one. As a tale of introspection, that works. But knowing that she can leave you with twists (The House on the Strand) and terror (The Birds), I was hoping for something truly chilling.

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