“I think Patricia Highsmith, at one stage, was much more appreciated in Europe than she was in America, even though she was American by birth. I think Ripley just set so many characters in motion because he was one of the first entirely amoral central figures, someone who commits appalling crimes and murders but you actually feel a kind of sympathy for. Well, if not a sympathy, you’re intrigued by the character. It’s also fascinating because he’s a kind of blank canvas. So in The Talented Mr Ripley – which was made into a movie not that long ago – he’s got this friend who he rather sucks up to called Dickie Greenleaf. When he murders Dickie and takes on his persona, it’s almost as if he becomes more real to himself as a person, because he’s being someone else. Which I think is fascinating – and goes back to actors and Charles Paris. This idea of the criminal who does it almost from lack of his own personality rather than the power of his personality. It’s a very interesting area, which has been explored a lot more since, but I think Patricia Highsmith was the first to do it.” Read more...
The Best Whodunnits
Thriller and Crime Writer