Tom Ripley detests murder - unless it is absolutely necessary. If possible he prefers someone else to do the dirty work; in this case, a victim of a fatal disease, with no criminal record, who will murder for a reward, in order to provide for his young widow and child.
Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1921 but moved to New York when she was six. In her senior year she edited the college magazine, having decided to become a writer at the age of sixteen. Her first novel Strangers on a Train, was made into a famous film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951. Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland in 1995. Her last novel Small g: A Summer Idyll was published posthumously just over a month later.
"To call Patricia Highsmith a thriller writer is true but not the whole truth: her books have stylistic texture, psychological depth, mesmeric readability" Sunday Times "Highsmith has done it again. It seems to me she has reached a point where because she knows exactly what she is about she cannot miss" The Times "It's hard to imagine anyone interested in modern fiction who has not read the Ripley novels" Daily Telegraph