Review- Highsmith, “Ripley Under Ground”

Patricia Highsmith, “Ripley Under Ground” (1970) – I seem to remember liking the first Ripley book, though it was a few years ago and I don’t remember much past that bare impression. This one, the sequel, was a snoozer. Ripley is enjoying life in a French suburb with a wife, nice house, and fancy art collection, having gotten away scot free with killing and for a time impersonating a dude. He gets in trouble because he’s involved with a ring of art forgers that starts to get rumbled. He impersonates a reclusive artist and also kills a guy and needs to keep the police, his wife, the victim’s wife, and various other interested parties from finding out. Highsmith has been called “the poet of apprehension” and there is a tense mood throughout but the action isn’t very exciting. Ripley puts more effort into planning the shopping with his servant lady than he does in rooking people, which I guess is meant to convey how effortless Ripley is in lying but doesn’t make things more exciting. Are the subsequent Ripleys more worth it? *’

Review- Highsmith, “Ripley Under Ground”

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