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10 Of The Best Patricia Highsmith Books

Take a look below for our list of 10 of the best Patricia Highsmith books.

1. The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1955 psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith. This novel introduced the character of Tom Ripley, who returns in four subsequent novels. It has been adapted numerous times for film, including the 1999 film of the same name.

2. Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train (1950) is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith about two men whose lives become entangled after one of them proposes they “trade” murders. It was adapted as a film in 1951 by director Alfred Hitchcock and again in 1969 by Robert Sparr. It has since been adapted in whole or in part for film and television several times. The novel was adapted for radio in 2004 by Craig Warner, and adapted for the stage in 2013 (also by Warner).

3. Ripley’s Game

Ripley’s Game (1974) is a psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith, the third in her series about the con artist and murderer Tom Ripley.

4. The Two Faces of January

The Two Faces of January (1964) is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith. Its title alludes to the two faces of the Roman god Janus, after whom the month of January was named. Biographer Andrew Wilson, in his 2003 publication Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith claims the title is ‘appropriate for the janus-faced, flux-like nature of her protagonists’.

5. The Price of Salt

The Price of Salt (later republished under the title Carol) is a 1952 romance novel by Patricia Highsmith, first published under the pseudonym “Claire Morgan”. Highsmith—known as a suspense writer based on her psychological thriller Strangers on a Train—used an alias as she did not want to be tagged as “a lesbian-book writer”, and she also used her own life references for characters and occurrences in the story.

6. Deep Water

Deep Water is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith, first published in 1957 by Harper & Brothers. It is Highsmith’s fifth published novel, the working title originally being The Dog in the Manger. It was brought back into print in the US in 2003 by W. W. Norton & Company.

7. The Blunderer

The Blunderer is a psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith, first published in 1954 by Coward-McCann. It was third of her 22 novels, the second published under her own name.

8. The Cry of the Owl

The Cry of the Owl is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith, the eighth of her 22 novels. It was first published in the US in 1962 by Harper & Row and in the UK by Heinemann the following year. It explores, in the phrase of critic Brigid Brophy, “the psychology of the self-selected victim”.

9. Ripley Under Ground

Ripley Under Ground is a psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith, the second novel in her Ripliad series. It was published in June 1970.

10. This Sweet Sickness

This Sweet Sickness (1960) is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith, about a man who is obsessed with a woman who has rejected his advances. It is a “painful novel about obsessive imaginary love”.

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