‘The Cry of the Owl,’ by Patricia Highsmith

Novel, 1962 Terrific psychological thriller, in which a deranged cast of characters get involved and wound up with each other’s affairs. Every one of them ends up in a much worse place than when they started. A terrific piece of storytelling, in which tragic and almost comedically escalating situations involving stalking, ex-wives and vengeful lovers are played out against a backdrop of respectable small town … Continue reading ‘The Cry of the Owl,’ by Patricia Highsmith

“A Dog’s Ransom” by Patricia Highsmith

Novel, 1972 Story of an Ivy League graduate who’s somewhat compromised over his life on the beat, and who makes a few choices which are both strange, and which lead him into situations he’s hopeless at trying to deal with. A book where the tension is skillfully ratcheted up with the reader taken on a journey focused on a main character who slips away from … Continue reading “A Dog’s Ransom” by Patricia Highsmith

"The Two Faces of January", by Patricia Highsmith

Novel, 1964 Gripping psychological thriller looking at attachments, classical and Oedipal conflicts and characters struggling and bringing each other down across Europe. While this novel may possibly have benefited from a tighter ending, and if the classical references are laid on a little thick in places this is, nonetheless, a cracking read. Not in the top bracket for Highsmith, but an excellent romp, with a … Continue reading "The Two Faces of January", by Patricia Highsmith

"A Suspension of Mercy", by Patricia Highsmith

Novel, 1965 Nail-biting suspense of little subtlety but huge impact, in which a net and circumstances draw ever tighter round a pretty unhinged, psychotic central protagonist. This is real page-turning stuff and a study in a few disintegrating personalities, where the readers’ view is continually shifted around by some deceptively read-a-long writing skirting over some pretty seismic motivations and actions. This is a novel which … Continue reading "A Suspension of Mercy", by Patricia Highsmith