Tom Ripley is quietly living a life of luxury at his chateau at Villeperce, and, as ever, is keeping one step ahead of the law - he has, after all, a past that would not bear too much close scrutiny. This fifth novel featuring the protagonist Tom Ripley finds the sophisticated and amoral American expatriate being harassed by David Pritchard, a ...
Tom Ripley is quietly living a life of luxury at his chateau at Villeperce, and, as ever, is keeping one step ahead of the law - he has, after all, a past that would not bear too much close scrutiny. This fifth novel featuring the protagonist Tom Ripley finds the sophisticated and amoral American expatriate being harassed by David Pritchard, a fellow American whose boorishness marks him as something of Ripley's alter-ego. Inexplicably familiar with all the incriminating details of Ripley's past, Pritchard is determined to expose him. He shadows Ripley's every move, first spying on him at home in France and then following him to Morocco. Tensions build on the return to Villeperce as Pritchard sets out to locate a body Ripley would prefer remain hidden in a nearby river.
Somehow the sociopathic Ripley get rid of his nemesis, the nosy American who has something on him. Highsmith is great at getting into the mind of a louse and making us sympathize with him. Read the other Ripley books before this on (the previous is Ripley Under Ground) for the background of this sly story.
May 25, 2007
... the Ripley story created out of the streets and two-storey houses it's easy to speculate that show goes on, it never ends. This time the sins of Tom's past were on the edge of that pond where they got buried again - for how long? we never know. I'm just so curious if Heloise will leave him, after all, or, I mean, did she leave him? Frankly, Tom does not seem quite a male, neither female, and the 'it' must have been supposed to create such the impression: between two different patterns, between two different lives, between good and evil. But it always remains a dilema, if a bit of ripley is somewhere inside your neighbour waiting to jump out just in time you never expect it. That's not the book you enjoy, but it's the theme that get you scared.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-08-24 With the chilling, knife-edged subtlety that is her trademark, Highsmith ( Strangers on a Train ; Ripley's Game ) details the civilized life pursued by her sociopath hero Tom Ripley, who here makes his fifth appearance and his first in a dozen years. Now living in the French countryside with his wife, Heloise, Ripley is bothered by an obnoxious American couple who have rented a house nearby and who seem bent on exploring incidents in Ripley's past. With no apparent personal motive, David Pritchard and his wife Janice refer to an American art dealer named Murchison who mysteriously disappeared some years ago after visiting Ripley. Ripley, who had murdered Murchison to prevent the exposure of an art forgery scheme and then dumped his body in a nearby canal, grows increasingly anxious and angry as Pritchard continues to harass him and begins dredging the local canals. Highsmith leads up to her resolution as unsensationally and evenhandedly as she describes Ripley's ordinary days spent tending his dahlias, practicing Schubert on the harpsichord, relishing his meals and looking out tenderly for Heloise and their housekeeper. The perfect gentleman, he is civil, considerate, utterly well mannered--and deadly. Highsmith will make readers look closer at their neighbors, and at themselves. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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