Two men-one English, the other French-meet by chance in a provincial railway station and are astounded that they are so much alike that they could easily pass for each other. Over the course of a long evening, they talk and drink. It is not until he awakes the next day that John, the Englishman, realizes that he may have spoken too much. His French companion is gone, having stolen his identity. For his part, John has no choice but to take the Frenchman’s place-as master of a château, director of a failing business, head of a large and embittered family, and keeper of too many secrets. Loaded with suspense and crackling wit, The Scapegoat tells the double story of the attempts by John, the imposter, to escape detection by the family, servants, and several mistresses of his alter ego, and of his constant and frustrating efforts to unravel the mystery of the enigmatic past that dominates the existence of all who live in the château.
Dame Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) was a prolific writer whose works include Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, The House on the Strand, and The Birds.